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Wednesday of Lent 1

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. — Psalm 145:1–3

God wills for His holy name to be used by His people. He has revealed His name through His prophets and apostles in order that Christians would “call upon his name” (1 Chronicles 16:8) and “sing praises to his name” (Psalm 68:4).

However, what God gives as good is soon corrupted by sinners. The name of God, which is given for our use to call upon in times of trouble, to thank in times of joy, and to teach to all generations, is misused as a thoughtless exclamation in moments of fear, anger, or surprise, or, all the worse, to promote falsehood that glorifies men rather than God. It is a terrible violation of God’s gift of his name to use it in vain.

Indeed, the misuse of God’s name is so vile that we can almost understand why certain Jews forbade its use altogether. However, good intentions should not overrule what God Himself has instituted. God does not will for His name to be marked and avoided, as if one could preserve himself from sin by refraining from uttering those syllables. It is just as sinful to refuse God’s command to pray and call upon his name!

What then shall we do? We shall pray as Jesus taught: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” We ask that God would guard and keep us so that, by His Word, we would use His name as He wills: to call upon it in every trouble, to pray, praise, and give thanks. God earnestly desires for His name to be used so, for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32).

Dear Father, we give thanks for Your holy name, which You have given to us in Your Word. Grant that we would ever use Your Name as You will to Your glory. Amen.?

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