You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. —Exodus 20:7
You are at work or at school when someone hurts themselves and cries out “Jesus Christ!” Or, a person gets really excited about something and they yell out “Jesus Christ!” Maybe a person is sorrowing over a situation and says “Jesus Christ!”
Think about this: Why do people punctuate their sentences with the Name of Jesus Christ? A person may be mad, sad or glad and then they communicate their feelings by using the Name of Jesus Christ to punctuate those feelings. Why does that happen? Some say, “It is only a habit.” One dictionary says a habit is “an acquired behavior pattern, a customary practice or use, a dominant or regular disposition or tendency or an addiction.”
Jesus died on a Roman cross of execution about 2,000 years ago. There have been many others who have been considered great teachers, philosophers, thinkers, religious leaders etc. When a person is mad, sad, or glad why not use the name of Aristotle, Buddha, Mohammad or Socrates’ name? Why not use the name of Plato or Einstein, Hitler or Stalin, Mao Tse-tung or any other name? Why is the Name of Jesus taken in vain? Can you think of any other name that has been used in vain for almost 2000 years? No, you cannot! If you can, please contact me and let me know that I am wrong.
So why is the Name of Jesus used to punctuate people’s speech? There is more to this than most people realize, care to think about or just deny it. The Reason… In Exodus chapter 20 and verse 7 we read: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” In this verse we have a command and a consequence. The command is: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…” This means that we are not to use the Lord’s Name in a hollow way; in an empty way; in a meaningless way; in a senseless way; in a foolish way; in a disrespectful way; in a dishonoring way or blasphemous way which is disrespectful. There are only two positions we can take toward God.
The Command: 1– We can believe what He says in His Word, the Bible, and worship Him as all mankind should. This would include great respect for His Name and not speaking His Name in a dishonoring way. It would also mean I am living for Him and not just saying I believe and live however I want.
The Consequence: 2– We can disbelieve His Word and rebel against God like Satan did. Those who do not respect His Name and do not want to live for Him are guilty of sin against Him. To use His Name in a disrespectful way is blasphemy.
Two Ways: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Two Foundations: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).
Jesus is the Way: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only way to be saved from our sin.
Jesus is the Foundation: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11). Jesus is the only foundation to build our lives on.
All Other Ways Lead to Eternal Destruction! “Then they (those are not living for Jesus; those who do not believe) will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who do believe) to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
The Reason people take the Lord Jesus Christ’s Name in Vain is because, whether they know it or not, they are rebelling against Him. They may or may not understand, but they are under Satan’s control and he is seeking to keep them from trusting Jesus and is seeking to destroy them forever. “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God” (II Corinthians 4:4).
Jesus is Declared to be the Son of God by rising from the dead (Romans 1:4). “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…” (I Corinthians 15:20). “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is alive and that is why His Name is used in vain. If He was dead like all the other great names of the past, His Name would not be used in vain.
Call on Jesus to save you now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw
Dear Father, be pleased to speak to those who need to hear by the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s help.
But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders… —Exodus 18:21
People who do not fear God will be susceptible to being bribed. Bribes corrupt leaders so they will do things for others because they are getting a pay back of some sort. If there is corruption among leaders in a nation, state, city or town you can count on bribery taking place.
Here’s an interesting title to an article— “Why Congress Cannot Operate Without The Bribing Power Of Earmarks.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/12/29/why-congress-cannot-operate-without-the-bribing-power-of-earmarks/#3a692b316fb8 When we take a look at the financial unhealthiness of our nation it helps us understand how we got there when there is so much corruption taking place in our government because of bribes.
Godly men will do what is right and hate bribes. They will not be like so many who are in leadership today who love bribes. May the Lord be pleased to rise up leaders who will do what is right.
Dear Father, may those who You have encouraged to step into leadership positions do so with the express intent of honoring You. May this be so in the authority of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord reigns for ever and ever. —Exodus 15:18
Jesus is our King. Herod tried to kill Jesus. The Jewish people rejected Jesus as does much of the world today. But, Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. He has all authority on earth and heaven! (Matthew 28:18-20). “If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (Psalm 50:12).
The world is a mess because of the devil who is a liar and murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Those who have not trusted the Lord Jesus need to “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). This is why the world is a mess whether people realize it or not— it is because they are not thinking right, they have been trapped by the devil, they are his captive and he is driving them to do his will instead of God’s will. This is true of every person who has not trusted the Lord Jesus!
Until we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior we live for ourselves. When we truly trust Jesus we seek to please Him by doing His will and no longer live for ourselves, but also seek the good of others. May we do so today!
Dear Father, thank You for saving me out of the devil’s trap and helping me to think rightly. I am grateful that I am no longer imprisoned by him to do his will, but am now free to serve You. May I do so in the authority of Jesus my King! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K80pozOfrU
Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ —Matthew 18:32-33
Do we truly understand the “tremendous debt” that God has forgiven us when we trusted the finished work of Jesus at the cross? Sin is contrary to God’s character and is an affront to Him. We cannot fully understand His Word if we do not understand the unholiness of sin and the holiness of God. Nor will we understand the judgments of God in the Old Testament or the New Testament without this understanding of the nature of sin and the nature of God.
As we grow in our understanding of how much we have been forgiven, then we can more readily forgive someone else when they sin against us. But, we must also understand that unforgiveness will affect of fellowship with God (Matthew 6:12, 14-15) and that we should forgive as Jesus has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13). When we understand better as to how much we have been forgiven then our love for God and others will grow (Luke 7:47).
Who is there that you need to forgive? Do you not want to forgive that person? Why? Don’t you understand the tremendous debt you have been forgiven? Forgive…
Dear Father, thank You for forgiving my sin in Jesus and for giving me Your righteousness in Him as well. Oh, I desire to be with Him in glory, but may I first be faithful with the work You have for me on Earth in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.
But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God. Exodus 9:30
A nation’s leaders who “do not fear the Lord God” is a nation whose leaders will be unrestrained in their attitude toward the people they lead. They will be calloused to the condition of the general populace and they will only have their own comfort in mind.
Years ago I had read a book about Russia that a reporter, Hedrick Smith, from the New York Times had written. Yeah, this was years ago… published in the 1970’s. While he had spent a few years in Russia he wrote this book. He said at that time people would carry those netted gym bags around or at least that is what he said the bags looked like. When there was fresh produce or clothing items available the people would buy enough for themselves and other extended family members. The most common items were not readily available to the general populace in those days, but the leaders had special stores they could go to and buy anything they wanted. Items not available to the common populace were always available to them. This is how selfish, ungodly leaders operate wherever they are found. They really do not care about the general population. Their concern is for themselves.
This is how the Pharaoh, King of Egypt, was acting. Terrible judgments were coming upon his people but because he had a hard heart he would not yield to the Lord. He said that he did not know the Lord and would not obey Him. His ungodly attitude brought much destruction to the land of Egypt and his people.
Ungodly leaders of any nation are bound to be destructive in some manner. They promote ungodliness. Here in the U.S. the government supports the killing of children through abortion even though “In 37 consecutive polls performed throughout the past 21 years on the issue of abortion, Gallup has found that a majority of Americans surveyed say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.” http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/03/two-decades-of-gallup-polls-show-majority-of-americans-want-abortion-to-be-illegal-in-most-cases/ Yet the government still uses tax-payers money to support abortion not only in our own country but is seeking to sway other nations to do the same! http://dailysignal.com/2013/01/23/abortion-u-s-taxpayers-fund-it-here-and-abroad/ Yes, ungodly leaders are very destructive. Beware of those leaders who claim to be Christians! Jesus
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? —Matthew 16:26
What choice would you make? If you could own the whole world and everything in it, but it would mean forfeiting your soul in Hell after you die, would you do it? Would temporarily having all this world offers be more important to you than to be with the Lord Jesus in Heaven forever? Apparently, that is the case with the majority of people and they don’t even own much of what this world offers! Still, they rather just live for the temporary life and not for the eternal life that Jesus offers.
You are more important than all the world’s treasures combined. Do you see yourself that way? Jesus did and does! Man could never offer anything that would be acceptable as payment for sin— “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay” (Psalm 49:7-9). How costly is it for a life to be redeemed? It took the eternal Son of God to come to this planet and pay our sin debt by sacrificing Himself on the cross, rising from the dead that “whoever calls on His Name will be saved” (Romans 10:13). May we rest in the finished work of Jesus and not focused only on the temporary things of this world!
Dear Father, thank You for redeeming me through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now may I seek to honor You by living according to Your will in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power!
Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” —Exodus 4:11-12
Is there someone the Lord wants you to speak to, but you feel inadequate? Are you coming up with all kinds of excuses as to why you cannot go and speak to that person or group of people? Who made you? Surely if the Lord asks you to speak to a person or group then He will give you the ability to do so.
Moses did not want to go and speak to Pharaoh as the Lord told him to. He made all kinds of excuses as to why he could not go. “Then the Lord became angry with Moses” (Exodus 4:14). Yes, the Lord God was angry with Moses because of his excuses. But, the Lord was gracious with Moses and sent Aaron to be Moses’ spokesman. Moses was willing to go with Aaron being his spokesman.
Will you be obedient and go to speak to the person or group the Lord has told you to speak to? May you do so!
Dear Father, May I be obedient to speak Your Word to the people You desire me to. May I do so in the authority of Jesus and in the Holy Spirit’s power.
In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation.… Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. —Exodus 1:6, 8
When new leadership does not know or deliberately ignores the biblical history of the past generation or generations —populace beware! Ungodly leaders will institute their ungodly ways on people that will be harmful and destructive. Elitists think they know what is best for the rest of the people. They think they are the smartest people in the room.
So it was with this new king that came to power in Egypt. He did not know anything about Joseph. The name meant nothing to him and as he considered the Israelite segment of the population he became concerned and fearful of their possible rebellion. Apparently he was a paranoid king, but this paranoia caused him to enslave the Israelites and force them into hard labor. He had no historical evidence in Egypt to think this way about the Israelites, but it was his twisted way of thinking that cause him to take this action.
There are those in American governmental leadership today that do not know the biblical foundations of this nation or they are deliberately forgetting it or ignoring it (II Peter 3:5-7). How many of this present younger generation even know the reason people came to this country to settle? Does this present generation know that Creation was taught in the educational system well before the theory of evolution? Do they even know that homosexuality used to be against the law and that laws against sodomy have been erased. The prohibition on sodomy and bestiality has even been removed from the military code. This generation does not know these things, but they are accepting the outcomes as “normal.”
Those who oppose these changes and seek to live out biblical values will be seen as a problem in our culture. If our nation continues in this direction the persecution of Christians that has begun to surface will increase. Look what is happening in the Middle East— Christianity is being purged in many areas without as much as the slightest objection in the West. Surely the same can happen here as it is in the Middle East or has in nations of the past. May we be wise in our understanding of these things and serve according to the Lord God Almighty’s desires.
Dear Father, whatever the direction of our nation goes, may those who know the Lord Jesus be faithful to You as first priority. May we honor You and seek to encourage others to do the same. May all this be out of love for You and for people and in the authority of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. —Genesis 50:14-21
It is one thing to be guilty of something and to carry it around for 22 years like Joseph’s brothers did, but it is quite another thing to still be carrying that guilt and fearing judgment for it for 17 years after you have been forgiven. How about you? Are you carrying guilt around and fearing judgment even though you have been forgiven? If you are then that is a false guilt and you need to accept the forgiveness that has already been given you. Once we are forgiven for an offense we do not need to feel guilty about it again. No, forgiveness frees us and we should not be feeling bound by something when we have been forgiven. This is a destructive tool of Satan to discourage us.
In the verses above we see that Joseph’s brothers sent him a message after Jacob died. They still feared that Joseph would get even with them. The message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” They had been in Egypt now for 17 years. 17 years Joseph had them provided for and they still doubted that he had sincerely forgiven them. These brothers were hounded by their guilt for 22 years and now they had been carrying false guilt around for another 17 years without having to! 39 years of feeling guilty for having sold Joseph into slavery. How sad is that!
How did Joseph respond when he got the message? He broke down and wept. Why did he weep? It was because his brothers still feared him. They still believed he would get even with them for what they had done. They did not believe that Joseph had forgiven them. This is why Joseph wept…
I wonder how God responds when He forgives us and we do not believe Him and are fearful that He will judge us. How it must grieve Him to see those He has forgiven to be held back, bound and hindered from truly doing His will by false guilt. Instead of being loaded down with false guilt “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). When He forgives you are forgiven! Now live free and run the race He has for you!
Dear Father, thank You for Your forgiveness through the righteousness of Jesus my Lord. May I accept His forgiveness and run the race You have for me. May I do so in the authority of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.