I was sitting at a sporting event, when the lovely, Christian lady beside me shouted, “Oh, my God!” as her child made a mistake. I cringed inside. And then I wondered, “does she know?” Does she know that the Bible tells us not to use God’s name in vain?
And honestly, this is not unusual. I hear Christians do this all of the time. Many are wonderful people who obviously love the Lord. Is it because we just don’t hear this called sin anymore? Are we so hardened to the use of His name due to the company we keep and the entertainment that we fill our minds with, that we just didn’t notice when we started doing it, too?
Exodus 20 is where we find the ten commandments. The third commandment is “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
We are not to use God’s name as a curse word. We are not to use His name lightly. If we study who God is, we understand a bit more why this is such a grave sin. God is holy, sovereign, unchangeable, omnipotent, omniscient, faithful, patient, and merciful. This is just a short list of the adjectives that could be used to describe God, the One who made a way for us to be reconciled to Him through His son, Jesus Christ. If He is so awesome and so wonderful (and He is!), then we can understand why it is so important for us not to use His name when we are angry or surprised.
I am not writing this to point a finger or to make you feel guilty. Quite honestly, I have personally believed for a long time, that I probably shouldn’t even say “Oh, my gosh!” It is obviously a sadly disguised copy of the original. And yet, I still struggle with it. You will still hear that come out of my mouth on occasion. Language is a hard thing to change. When we grow angry or are surprised, we tend to forget our speech in the heat of the moment.
My desire in writing, as always, is to make us think. We need to think about the words that come out of our mouths. If we are a redeemed soul saved by grace, then all of life should be lived intentionally to please our heavenly Father. May we recognize that taking God’s name in vain in any form is offensive to the Holy God who saved us. And let’s start today anew using our tongues to glorify God’s name instead of curse it! (growing4life.net)
(Might I add, the use of OMG on social media is no different, yet we see Christians using it all the time.)
Friday Night Dinner Ride 4/28/17 Join us at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana Ave at 6pm. At 6:30, Road Captain Howard McCann, sporting a new look I hear, will lead us to a great destination for dinner. Don’t miss out on the food, fun, and fellowship!
2017 FRL Trip to Colorado June 14-18. Once again, we will ride the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park and play in Estes Park, Colorado. Email Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org for hotel booking info.Rooms are limited, don’t delay!
All praise be to the name of Jesus!
He Knows Us Completely
In the divine omniscience we see set forth against each other the terror and fascination of the Godhead. That God knows each person through and through can be a cause of shaking fear to the man that has something to hide—some unforsaken sin, some secret crime committed against man or God. The unblessed soul may well tremble that God knows the flimsiness of every pretext and never accepts the poor excuses given for sinful conduct, since He knows perfectly the real reason for it. “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” How frightful a thing to see the sons of Adam seeking to hide among the trees of another garden. But where shall they hide? “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? . . . If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day.”
And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some bidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” (A.W. Tozer)
Friday Night Dinner Ride 4-21-17 We will meet at Kohl’s Parking Lot at 6pm and go kickstands up at 6:30. Come join us for a great evening of food, fun, and fellowship!
Many of us dearly love the teachings of Jesus with all their rebellious love, extravagant grace and audacious freedom. And yet often we don’t want to talk about the cross. It’s an unfortunate end to the story of our great teacher, and so we play up the teachings and play down the blood and the guts and the death.
But there is no “Christ” without the cross. Don’t take my word for it. Take it from Jesus Himself:
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven …” (Matthew 16:13-17).
Well done, Peter. That’s the right answer.
Amidst the wealth of confusion about the identity of Jesus, you nailed it. So right are you, in fact, that your answer could not have come exclusively by your own intuition or intellect—it was a gift from God Himself. But Peter did not understand the implications of calling Jesus the Messiah, or the Christ:
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns'” (Matthew 16:21-23).
Peter wanted a cross-less Christ. A great teacher. A charismatic leader. But a dead one? A suffering one? Unthinkable. That can’t be right. But according to Jesus, the very idea that He might be Christ and yet not face the cross is blasphemous. An idea with demonic origins. It cannot be so. Jesus won’t stand for it.
If you take the cross away from Jesus, you strip Him of His mission. You devalue His life. You nullify His authority. And you stand against His crowning triumph and glory.
Jesus withstood the taunts of the soldiers. He was silent before the mocking crowd and the preening government officials. But He will not remain silent when someone tries to separate Him from the very reason He came to earth in the first place. There is no such thing as a cross-less Christ.
As you continue to prepare for Easter, be reminded of Jesus’ willingness to take on the cross. Consider that this act was His choice, a willing submission, for the sake of us all. (Michael Kelley)
FRIDAY NIGHT RIDE 4/14/17 Due to the high winds and uncertainty of rain we will meet at Rudy’s, 4930 South Loop 289, at 6.30pm. Come join the fun!
FRL EASTER MEAL @ CARPENTERS KITCHEN 4/16/17 Join us for one of our favorite ministry opportunities as we feed Lubbock’s homeless at Carpenters Kitchen, Main & Ave. S. We will meet at 10:30 to set tables and prepare the food. Once again we will be serving brisket, pork tenderloin, and all the fixins’. Bring a #10 (109 oz) can of green beans, corn, or fruit to help restock the pantry. Don’t miss out on this blessing! We will all go have lunch together after we finish serving.
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31b NASB).
It’s a really important step to commit to reading your Bible regularly for a short period, maybe a few weeks. It’s a great way to get started, but you should never leave it there. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31b NASB). It’s the long-term commitment to learning from Jesus and his Word that makes us his disciples.
How do you continue in the Word and stay connected with Jesus through his Word for the long term?
- Make the decision to do it. It starts with your commitment. Don’t wait for a better time to make God’s Word a regular part of your life. Start your commitment today.
- Make a declaration. Announce your intentions to others. Hold yourself accountable. If you keep your commitment to God a secret, it’s easier to slip up.
- Make a determination. Don’t allow anything to knock you off your commitment. Be absolutely determined to make this a permanent habit in your life, particularly in the early months. If you start skipping days, it’ll be much harder to stay committed to God’s Word.
- Double up. Get a spiritual partner to come alongside you for support and encouragement. This is someone with whom you can share what you learn in your quiet times. It could be someone in your small group, a friend, or a family member. The Bible says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT).
Spending time with God should be a lifelong habit, not a passing fancy. Research shows you need to do something for about six weeks straight to build a habit. Make God’s Word part of your life today — and for the rest of your life. (Rick Warren)
FRIDAY NIGHT RIDE 4-7-17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot at 6pm. At 6:30 Road Captain, Preston Langford will lead us on a great ride. Don’t miss out on the fun, food, and fellowship!
Easter at Carpenter’s Kitchen 4-16-17 Once again Fellowship Riders will be preparing and serving lunch to Lubbock’s homeless at Carpenter’s Kitchen. We will be serving smoked brisket, pork tenderloin and all the fixins’. Please join us on that day at 10:30am at Main and Ave. S. This has always been one of our favorite events and biggest blessing of the year. You don’t want to miss out. We ask that you bring a large can of corn, green beans, or fruit to help stock their pantry. We will be done by 1pm and will go to a nearby restaurant for lunch together.