I listened to a sermon this morning that… well, shook me up a little. Let me tell you why.
The preacher, who was standing in for the regular guy, entitled the sermon “Being Marked by His Name.” Sounded encouraging to me. When I heard the title, I thought “Yes, we’re claimed; a people of His possession.” This guy took it from another angle.
He began in Deuteronomy 5, explaining that after Moses delivered the 10 commandments to the Israelites, God referred to Himself as “YHWH” (pronounced ‘yah-weh’); the most personal, intimate, and relational name of God, given specifically as a convenant between He and the Israelites.
However, YHWH, was more than just a name. It was a mark upon God’s people; they were His possession, His bride, and the recipients of grace, goodness, and provision. They were set apart; the sheep of His pasture, guarded and guided by His sovereign hand over them.
There was (and still is) power in His name. There is freedom and life and redemption in His name. It is by His name and for His name that we are saved, reconciled, baptized, made whole, and proclaimed righteous before the His throne. For the praise of His glorious grace and by the matchless name of YHWH, we are ransomed and made heirs with Christ.
Then he said…”So when God says, ‘Do not take my name in vain,’ He’s not just referring to the words you say. He’s referring to the entirety of your existence.”
Then it sank in. If we claim to be people of His possession and call Him YHWH, then all that we do, the things that we say, how we spend our time, the effort that we put into relationships, how we serve, if we tithe, etc. are ALL reflections of His name. And if in any area of our lives we do not reflect His nature or bear the fruit of His spirit, then we take His name in vain.
If all that we are and everything that we have is not offered in worship, then we profane the name we proclaimed.
Convicting? Yep. Challenging? Yep. Impossible? No.
2 Corinthians 5:14 says “For the love of Christ controls us…” His love, if we surrender to it, will control and compel to do what we ought. His love is greater than and has conquered all that we will ever encounter. He has given us all that we need for life and godliness, if we would but choose to follow and obey.
The pastor concluded with this challenge:
We can not expect Him to be our shepherd if we are not willing to be His sheep.