Down in southwest Oklahoma there are a group of burgs that are filled with great people. Ninnekah to Rush Springs, go west from Rush Springs and you’ll hit Sterling. Keep going you can roll through Elgin. Turn right in Elgin and you can find Fletcher or Cyril. Keep going west and stop at Porter Hill.
Now if you’re really savvy you know where we are headed. Maintaining westerly course you’ll find yourself on the Meers Porter Hill Road that runs smack into Meers itself. They tell me it’s famous, but I grew up not that far away and it’s just Meers. I don’t have a great spiritual thought regarding Meers and Meers Burger. I just want you to know that I know where it is.
I really just want to go back through Elgin and stop between there and Sterling. I used to drive from Apache to pick up my high school sweetheart out there. I met my Sterling girl (that’s where she attended all twelve years of school) in 1972. We’ve been sort of an item ever since.
Right out of high school I married a Sterling Lady Tiger. It wasn’t an Elgin Owl, not a Fletcher Wildcat, not a Cyril Pirate or Cement Bulldog. This Apache Warrior thought that country girl was the catch of his life. And now, nearly forty years later, I still think she’s the one.
We Got Married
Ok, this is where we transition to that faith part of my writing assignment. When we got married she took my last name. How about that? Or, as we Apachean’s say, “Ain’t that sumpthin?”
We were way too young when we got married. The odds were stacked against us in many ways. But we decided that we should follow Jesus Christ and allow Him to direct our lives. He saved us and continues to save us in many, many ways. As Christ followers we call ourselves Christians. We have taken His name.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord
will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
God Gives Us His Name – Handle With Care
The Third Commandment references our relationship with God. He is the Lord our God, we are given His name and align ourselves under His identity. (That name which is above every name.) We can see the beauty and importance of this name we bear—as well as the deep honor it necessitates. Let’s unfold five thoughts:
Firstly, let the man who will profess the name of God then live accordingly. A person who professes to be a writer, but never actually puts pen to paper, has not lived up to the fullness of that name. It is a person’s right and responsibility act according to the thing he professes—his profession. You may be asked, “What is your profession?” The answer will ultimately be based more on your practice rather than your intentions. God willing, we will profess Christ.
Secondly, when we commit our work to God—our very lives—then we have pledged loyalty to Him. Jesus said, “Let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil.” (Matthew 7:37). Our Lord is speaking to the simplicity of a vow. It is not to be a loquacious oath, but a word of honor. Take God’s name in honor, serve Him in deed and truth.
The preacher of Ecclesiastes declares, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity,” or meaningless and meaningless! There is no purpose. Where will God’s people (those who take His name) go to find meaning and purpose in this world? We entreat God; we call upon His name, not for our glory (vanity) but for His glory. So, thirdly, we invoke the name of God for His purpose. We pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. There is joy in His purpose. What is the right and meaningful task of life? It is to be aligned in His will; we do not take His name lightly and certainly not frivolously.
His name is the truth. Commandment Three beckons God’s people to humbly recognize the purity, righteousness, and virtue of His name. We are not to take Truth for granted or immoderately. God’s people will covenant by the certainty of who He is. For His name is utterly and completely the truth. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe. Yes indeed, the truth will set you free.
Fifthly, and somewhat familiarly, the name of God is not to be profaned. What is the opposite of bowing down (humble submission)? The answer is profanity—the refusal to bend. It is the arrogance of disrespecting His holy name. Not only that, but to profane is to misuse. It can be an idle utterance or smug blasphemy; it may be the vainglory selfishly invoking God’s name to serve the boastful pride of life. Surely few things are more profane that those who would exploit the name of God to prey on others (charlatans of the world).
His name is Holy. His name is Supreme. There is a day coming when every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Why does His name hold such power? It’s because God has given Him the name that is above every name— His own.