Friday, June 17, 2011

Small "g" or Big "G"

"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

The above commandment is perhaps one of the most ignored in Scripture, even by professing Christians.

Forget the fact that unbelievers freely misuse the LORD'S name without forethought on a regular basis.  Their abuse of it demonstrates their ignorance of the One Whom they are blaspheming.   You can almost forgive them for it because of their lack of understanding.  However, those who claim to know God don't have an excuse for their gross negligence of His command and the disrespect they demonstrate by blaspheming His Holy Name.

I recently listened to a portion of a sermon that had been posted online.  I say "portion" because after less than two minutes into the recording, the pastor expressed his frustration with some "technical difficulties" regarding the sound equipment by using God's Name "in vain."  What was disturbing was how quickly and easily the words left his mouth and the little chuckle that followed.  To be honest, why would I want to continue to listen to the sermon he had recorded before his congregation if he had no more respect and reverence for the One he was going to preach about?  Needless to say, I didn't listen to the sermon.

When I hear others exclaim, "Oh, my God!", or misuse His name in other various ways, regardless of the reason, it literally causes a physical reaction within me; a discomfort and uneasiness, as though I had been physically struck, and it makes my heart ache.  My usual response is to say to them, "Yes, He is."  It's my hope that, somehow, this truth will sink in and cause them to rethink their words and their position in relation to Him.

He is God Almighty Who has absolute and eternal power, majesty, and sovereignty over ALL of creation, including us.  Isn't He more deserving of our awe, our respect, our reverence?  Isn't He the One Who, with Divine and eternal love has given us all things, including Himself as Father, Savior, and Friend, Who provides for and sustains us even in the worst of times?

When we fail to remember this vital and necessary truth about our God, we relegate Him to nothing more than a god with a small "g" - a god who deserves no more acknowledgment than we are willing to give Him; a god of our own creation, one that fits the mold we've chosen for Him and don't mind using His Name as a swear word.  We are telling Him that we are sovereign over Him and His holiness, and that our thoughts about Him don't matter.  He is a little god in our eyes and we refuse to magnify Him above ourselves.

God deserves a big "G" in the front of His Name.  Not only in the way we think of His Person, but also in how we speak of Him, especially if we claim Him as the One and Only God Who has brought us from death to life.  He is the Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  The Everlasting and Eternal God Who deserves ALL our praise and worship and certainly doesn't deserve having His Name used as a profanity, especially by those who should know better.

Give His Name the honor and glory it is due.  Use His great Name to elevate Him above all things and self, and to proclaim Him to others in need of His saving grace.  For it was by His  grace that YOU also were saved and His Name should never be blasphemed or used flippantly or abusively by anyone so blessed.

Let Him know you haven't forgotten how important He is to you by reminding others that, indeed, He is our God whose Holy Name deserves our highest esteem.

If you don't, as His commandment above states, He has promised He won't forget, either.

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