Wednesday, 7 July 2010

On Bearing the Name of God

Reflecting on the amazing grace of God, this video sums up so much of what God has done for us in Christ:

Truly amazing, that Christ has taken me from rebel to child of God!

Yet...I have been studying the name of God in the scriptures, and I see the awesomeness of what it means to bear His Name as His child. For "you have exalted above all things your name and your word" (Psalm 138:2). God's Name is supreme, and He does all things to bring glory to His Name.

His dealings with His people Israel were on this basis: "You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD." (Ezekiel 20:44).

His purposes through the church are the same - "so that the name of the Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess 1:12).

This means that those who bear His Name must live lives worthy of that Name. Does that not give us cause to pause and tremble? Especially when the third of the Ten Commandments is not to misuse His Name. Speaking to the Israelites after redeeming them from slavery in Egypt, God reminds His people shortly before they enter the promised land “If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name – the LORD your God – the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.” (Dt 28:58-59). Paul commands “All those who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered” (1 Timothy 6:1). Surely the worst thing I could possibly do now that I bear the Name of My God would be to do anything which would cause that Holy Name to be blasphemed?

This almost feels like a burden too heavy to bear. For even though I may be on the narrow path, I do trip, I do stumble, and during those times of tripping and stumbling I am not honouring His Name. Even if my outward actions may not always betray me, I know my thoughts and attitudes do, and the Holy light of God's Word reveals those thoughts and attitudes to be the darkness that they are. Yet Jesus promises that His yoke is easy and that His burden is light.

My hope has to come from Him. Paul tells the Philippian believers to "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Phil 2:12-13). Let's fear and tremble at the awesomeness of this Name we now bear, and as we work out our salvation by reading His word, praying at the throne of grace, fellowshipping with other children of God, and sharing in the Lord's Supper to remind of us the One who bought us with His blood,then He promises to change the very desires of our hearts to walk in His ways.

I can only live this way by daily repenting, daily casting myself onto His mercy, daily acknowledging my helplessness, daily seeking His grace. This song captures this so well:


  1. Only today did I find a quiet moment to read your post. Thank you, Diana, again, for bringing your love for God to the written page:
    "This means that those who bear His Name must live lives worthy of that Name."

    It's true. We can profane His Name by the way we live, treating Him as common. Or we can bring Him a greater glory.

  2. Yes Elizabeth, and the more I think about this the more I see my need of Him and my need to be hidden in Christ.