Hallowed be Your Name

By Scarlett Stough

As a child I thought as long as I didn't use profanity that I was not breaking this commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…." (Exodus 20:7 KJV). The NIV and the NLT both use the word "misuse" instead of "take."

As an adult, I have come to realize there are more devastating ways to dishonor the name of God.

"Hallowed" is an old fashioned word which means to consider sacred, holy, and honorable the name of God. The NLT translates Matthew 6:9: "…may your name be kept holy…." The language we speak or the pronunciation we use is not the important thing; how we protect the reputation of God is the important thing.

Honoring God's name is one of the ways we show we are living in the fear of God. Living in the fear of God strengthens the witness of the church in this world.

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
Acts 9:31 NLT

God made a promise to those who are "called by my name" (2 Chronicles 7:14) that if they would pray and turn from their wicked ways, he would hear their prayers and heal their land. This promise still stands for the descendants of Israel and their national lands, but it is also true for those of us who have taken to ourselves the name "Christian." Is it possible, we are diminishing our influence in this world because we are not honoring God's name in the way we live?

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:11-12

Living in the fear of God means making choices in our conduct which reveal who God is by trusting and obeying him—living by every word of God (Matthew 4:4). It means genuine repentance when we do wrong by God's standards which always hurts somebody, if not immediately, in the long run.

Jesus said to his disciples, "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves…."
Luke 17:1-3

We are being watched and judged by the people around us. God is being unfairly judged by our failure to live by Jesus' teachings. We also know people can be offended because we follow Jesus' teachings: "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me (Luke 7:23)." In these cases, we must fear God and not man. We simply will not perfectly reflect the character of God no matter how well intentioned. But by living in the fear of God and by allowing his Spirit to work in us and being obedient to what we know is right, we can be a stronger light shining on his way.

Volume 17 Issue 08 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation |

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