There Is No Legitimate Reason…

    • for a Christian to be unkind (Ephesians 4:32)
    • for a Christian to be unthankful (Ephesians 5:20).
    • for a Christian to be unfaithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).
    • for a Christian to be uncaring (1 Peter 1:22).
    • for a Christian to be ungodly (Titus 2:11-12).
    • for a Christian to be unjust (Colossians 4:1).
    • for a Christian to be unforgiving (Ephesians 4:32).
    • for a Christian to be unprepared (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
    • for a Christian to be unsettled (Psalm 37:7).
    • for a Christian to be untruthful (Ephesians 4:25).

 

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3rd Commandment – The Name Of The Lord Thy God

Two out of the 10 commandments God has given to man deal with sins of the tongue.  That’s 20% of the commandments dealing with the misuse of speech.

Commandment number three deals with taking God’s name in vain.
Commandment number nine deals with speaking falsehood and lying.

Commandment number three protects God’s name.
Commandment number nine protects our name (see Proverbs 19:22 & 22:1).

There is a holy dignity in the very name of God and He takes the use of His name very seriously.

1.    CONSIDER THE REVELATION OF GOD’S NAME:

Scripture gives us many various names of God, each name revealing a different aspect of His character.  A person’s “name” is, in many ways, their reputation and glory.

We are told that the ancient Jews held God’s name to be so sacred that when the scribes were copying the Scriptures and approached the name of the Lord, they stopped, bathed completely, then wrote the name with a brand new, unused pen.

We give our children names merely for identification, rarely considering the meaning of that particular name, but not so with God.  God uses names to describe some aspect of the character of the one being named.

I am afraid that there are many Christians who have little or no understanding of the significance of God’s name, thus, the careless use of God name even among Christians.

Bible scholars suggest that there are nearly 300 names given for God in the Bible.  Let’s consider a few and their meanings.

God” (Genesis 1:1).
This is the most common name God uses for Himself throughout Scripture and means, “the strong and faithful one.”  It is associated with God as creator and testifies to His infinite power.
We must consider the incomprehensible power of the one who’s name we use so lightly.

Jehovah” spelled “LORD” or “GOD” (Exodus 20:2) – here is the combination of three names meaning: “He that always will be, He that is, and He that always has been.”
In Genesis 6:3-7, we’re told that Jehovah hates and judges sin.
In Exodus 15:11, we’re told that Jehovah is the God of pure holiness.
In Exodus 34:6, we’re told that Jehovah is the God of infinite patience, love and mercy.

Lord” means “master,” indicating the relationship of a master to his servants.  This name reveals God’s complete authority over man.  Philippians 2:11 assures us that “every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, (master, authority).

Most High God” indicates God’s ownership of all creation.  Notice in Isaiah 14:14, Satan sought to attain this position.
The “most High God” owns our bodies and all we possess, making us mere “stewards” of God’s possessions.

God’s name is holy because it is a revelation of Himself to mankind, a revelation of His character. How sad (and foolish) that man uses God’s name so lightly and abuses God’s name so easily. 

The use of God’s name is not just for identification, but as a recognition of who and what He is.

2.    CONSIDER THE VAIN USE OF GOD’S NAME. (Exodus 20:7)

God states very plainly, we are forbidden to use His name in vain (in an empty or worthless way).

The Profane Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

Profanity is very common today, even among some profession Christians, yet profanity if filthy!  This is a sad commentary on the character of a person using profanity.

If you will study your Bible very carefully, you will find that the only people in Scripture who used profanity were those who denied the Lord.
Any person who loves and respects the Lord will not use profanity.

The Trivial Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

To use the name of God in a humorous story to get a laugh or to use God’s name to “let off steam” is blasphemous.

The Dishonest Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

I have met some folks who are seldom guilty of telling the truth.  Yet, there are many in the church who will lie to God about their relationship with God, or use the name of God to mask their sin, this is hypocrisy.

3.    CONSIDER THE VIRTUE OF GOD’S NAME.

The gift of speech is a sacred responsibility that we must one day answer to God for.

Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we are justified.
Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we gain repentance and forgiveness.
Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we saved.
And remember, it is at the name of Jesus we must someday all bow down.

The Pastor & The Guest Speaker

When a Pastor invites an evangelist, missionary or any other guest speaker, he assumes some responsibilities to that guest.  The following list may be helpful to ensure that our guest speakers are taken care of and the meeting is a success.

  1. Communicate early and often with one another.  The pastor should make it clear to the speaker what kind of meeting it is, if there is a theme, when the meetings begin and end and any other pertinent information.
  2. Send a letter to confirm the dates and times of the meetings as soon as you schedule the meeting.  It is important that the guest speaker has the dates in writing on paper.  That way there is not question about scheduling.
  3. Determine early in the scheduling process how the guest will travel to the church (airplane or driving.)
  4. The pastor should contact the guest speaker at least one week before the meeting and go over the schedule one more time. Confirm the guest’s mode of transportation (if flying, establish the pick up times from the airport) and answer any questions the speaker may have.
  5. Be sure to cover all the guest speaker’s travel expenses.  I have always felt that it should not cost the guest anything to come and be with me.  If he is driving, be sure to cover gas and food expenses both to and from the meeting.  If he is flying, it is often best to send a check covering his ticket expense before he travels.  Usually the evangelist and missionaries like to have their travel expenses taken care of with a separate check (for tax purposes), so check with him about this.
  6. Make sure you have the nicest accommodations possible for your guest speaker.  If you have a “prophet’s chamber,” please make sure it is clean, neat, and well stocked with goodies.  If at all possible, there should be internet connection and television.  If he is staying in a motel, use the best motel you can afford; one that is neat and clean and not too far from the church.  It is nice if there is a restaurant attached or nearby for the speaker’s convenience.  It is best not to have guest speakers stay in the homes of church folks.  Though this has been done in years gone by and may seem more economical, it presents difficulties for the guest.  For instance, privacy is a major concern along with propriety concerning family members at night and during daytime hours when the husband is at work.  House pets and allergies become a concern for the speaker also.
  7. It is not necessary to spend every moment with the evangelist.  No doubt he has his work to do (study, correspondence, etc.) and needs time for himself.  On the other hand, do not abandon him either.  All men are different and some like to fellowship with the pastor more than others.  Of course, if he has his family with him, he’ll require more time alone with his wife and kids.
  8. Do not drag the poor guy around with you on all your daily chores.  He is not interested in sitting in your car while you’re in the post office or tagging along with you while you go grocery shopping.
  9. Plan an afternoon to do some sight-seeing or visit a local museum or something.  Give him a diversion, especially in week-long meetings.
  10. Determine if he likes to get together for a meal before or after the service and schedule your week accordingly.
  11. Take advantage of his experience and ask him questions.  Learn from him. Glean ways to improve your meetings.  Again, moderation is important here – don’t drive him crazy by badgering him all through the meeting.
  12. At the end of the meeting, give him a very generous love offering.  Evangelists and missionaries are God-called gifts to the church and should be compensated as such.  It is very difficult to give too much to a man of God.  We have found that God blesses our church when we give generously to the men He sends our way.  Keep in mind that many missionaries and evangelists have no regular weekly income and must rely on the love offerings to pay their bills and meet their needs.  Along with this, remember that many times they have blank weeks with no meeting or income, so your generosity helps make up for these “down” times.
  13. After the meeting is over, immediately send a thank you letter to your guest speaker.  Express your gratitude for his ministry and report on any additional decisions or blessings you received as a result of his ministry.
  14. Treat your speaker as an honored guest.  Whether a nationally renowned preacher or a young missionary family on deputation right out of Bible college, they should be treated with respect and dignity and given the best accommodations possible.  My thought is that it is better to have less meetings and treat the guests right than to have meetings every other week and not be able to afford to take good care of the men you bring it.

There is much, much more that could be said and there are other preachers with much more experience than I that could add more to this list, but I trust that this will help.  Over the years, we have heard horror stories as to how missionaries and evangelists have been treated by pastors and churches.  Though the bad experiences are the exception and not the rule, (and of course, our Lord takes care of His servants), nevertheless, we can all work at improving how we treat our guests.  If you would like to contact me about ideas on caring for guest speakers, please do not hesitate to email me at mlibc@juno.com.

TEMPTATION

Thoughts from 1 Corinthians 10:13

  • There is no temptation so unique to myself, that I am excused from resisting it or justified in indulging it.
  • God is on my side in conquering every temptation
  • If I am unable to have victory over a temptation, God will not allow me to be tempted by it, thus, the fact that I am tempted is proof that I can have victory.
  • Every temptation I faced comes with an “exit” or “escape” route.
    Note: temptation is to be fled or escaped, not confronted.
  • God want\s me to be victorious.
  • God is on my side in conquering every temptation.  (yea, I know, I repeated that one, because God really, really wants me to have victory!)

God’s too….

  • gracious for me to murmur against Him
  • patient with me for me not to wait on Him
  • holy for me to be trite with sin
  • kind for me to be unhappy with Him
  • omniscient for me to try to deceive Him
  • omnipresent for me to flee from Him
  • infallible for me to doubt Him
  • wise for me not to trust Him
  • determined for me to resist Him
  • compassionate for me not to embrace Him
  • giving for me not to thank Him.