Have you ever gotten involved in something that you thought was going to be the same old thing only to have it change the way you look at something forever?  That was me this past week.  I get to do an online Bible study with friends from church and we’re doing one now on the ten commandments.  


      I know what you’re thinking.  I am almost fifty years old.  How many times have I read over or studied the ten commandments?  I can remember memorizing them as a young girl for children’s church.  I have gone about them my whole life on the surface.


      Thou shall have no other gods before me. No graven images etc.  This study has revealed things to me that are so simple, yet have made me say oh my goodness.  Now I don’t want to downplay any of them, and we aren’t done with the study yet, so I can’t go into all of them.  The one that has struck me the hardest is, “You shall not take the name of the Lord you God in vain.”  


      As it backs up the first two, one God, no images, this one says, the LORD Your GOD.  My GOD.  My Jesus.  My Savior. (Insert name of God here that says what He is to you…) So one, He is my one and only God.  He is talking directly to me!  Little ol me.  


      Two, what does that mean?  Don’t take His name vain.  I always thought it meant what my  mom told me it meant.  Don’t say His name like a cuss word.  Don’t say, oh my g&, and for goodness sakes, don’t say g&% d @#$ or j#@$% c$%*@.  I grew up believing saying those words in anger or frustration would send me straight to hell.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe that saying those words like that is awful.  I can almost tolerate someone cursing around me, but if they say those words, I’ll say something.  I’ll even try to be nice about it, but I’ll speak up. 


      However, the facilitator of this study put it like this.  His name is powerful.  Names mean something.  Especially at the time that the commandments were written.  The name given to you was speaking to your character.   Look at David.  He married a woman named Abigail who was the daughter of Nabal.  His name means fool and he ended up being just that.  Jacob means supplanter or deceiver and that was what he started out being.


      When we say the name of God, we are aligning whatever is happening or whatever has happened with the very character of God.  How convicted am I?  God’s character is perfection.  In the words of a song, “His name is the highest, His name is the greatest, His name stands above them all!”  His name is His character and not a word to be taken in vain.  


      I pray for you all in the name of Jesus.  

Bonnie Smith
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