This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)
You can read the devotion below, or listen to it here.
Through this series, I am addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.
Today we will focus on these words: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."
The name of God is spoken all the time, however, mostly it is used and abused in ways that in fact dishonor God. One such way is to use it flippantly, without any thought. I am sure that you have heard, maybe even used O.M.G. ~ oh, my God
!This is not a usage of God's name that honors Him. If you think otherwise, then simply insert your name in the place of God. Would you like everyone to utter your precious name in this manner?
A songwriter once put this command, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God." to music.
"Do not My holy name disgrace, Do not My Word of truth debase.
Praise only that as good and true Which I Myself say and do."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]
We ask our preschool students what are some good ways to use God's name? They come up with various answers including: Praise the Lord! or Jesus loves you. We don't usually ask them for ways to misuse His name as we don't want to give them any ideas or encourage them in saying such things.
Dr. Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God:
We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.
Once again we realize that we have fallen short regarding this command and need to seek God's grace and mercy. That is what our Creator offers to those who call upon the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]