Posts Tagged 'God'

Hallowed be Thy Name

Picking back up today in the study I’m doing of The Lord’s Prayer that we talked about a few weeks ago.

This time we’re going to look at the phrase, “Hallowed be Thy Name.”  As I said in the previous post; on the surface The Lord’s Prayer (TLP from now on) doesn’t really seem that deep.  I’ve pretty much dismissed it in the past because I just never tried to look past the basic words. 

Hallowed be Thy Name:

1)     As I started this study, I immediately came across something I never realized.  I’ve always read this phrase as a STATEMENT, but it is actually a PETITION.  A petition is actually a request.  That’s interesting.  So, Jesus wants us to ask God to glorify his name.  Why? (And is there meaning in the fact that this is a petition and not a statement of fact)

I’m not going to number anything else, I just wanted to number that point for some reason. 

Let’s work on that one word question above, Why?  The author makes an interesting point here – he says that a person’s name stands for that person.

“When you think of a person’s name you don’t have in your mind a series of letters, but you think of that person and you respond either positively or negatively to the thought of that name depending upon what you think of that person…How a person responds to God’s name, either praising it or taking it in vain depends upon what that person thinks of God.”

What we’re really asking God for, is to make his reputation great, so that people will honor and respect Him. 

The author states that this petition expresses our greatest purpose and our greatest need.  From the Westminster Shorter Catechism we learn that, “Man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  That means that this should motivate everything we do. It is our greatest need as well because we will most enjoy God when He is most glorified. 

Check out these verses:

“…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace…”     Ephesians 1:4-5

“…bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”    Isaiah 43:6-7

“…so I made the whole house of Israel cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory…”    Jeremiah 13:11

“Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.”    Psalm 106:8

“But I acted for the sake of my name, that is should not be profaned in the sight of the nations…”  Ezekiel 20:14

“For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake…”     1 Samuel 12:22

“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you…”    Isaiah 48:9

“But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, “These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of this land.”  But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.  Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God:  It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.  And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them.  And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”   Ezekiel 36:20-23

In case we hadn’t yet gotten the point that God takes his reputation seriously, we have this story of Moses and Aaron from the book of Numbers.  Actually, I’m just going to summarize Numbers 20:2-12 for you instead of typing it all out. 

The Israelites are still wandering around in the wilderness, and they’re still complaining and not trusting God to provide for their needs.  They’re thirsty and they complain to Moses and Aaron that they need water.  They actually say they wished they had died than endure this hardship or being thirsty.  So Moses and Aaron pray to God and God tells them to command a rock to bring water and that He will bring water out of the rock to give water to everyone and all their cattle.  Here’s what happened:

“Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall WE bring water for you out of this rock?”  And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 

Whoa!  Wait a second?  Is it really that big of a deal that they struck the rock instead of just speaking to it?  This is the guy that God chose to lead his people out of Egypt to the promised land.  He’s been leading them now, wandering around for more than 38 years.  It isn’t like Moses isn’t a big deal to God.  He clearly likes the guy or something.  Now, after all that, he’s going to exclude him from getting to the promised land just because he hit a rock?  Seems a little excessive on the surface, but there are clues in the passage as to what was really going on here.  Let’s look at it in light of God needing his reputation to be glorified.  Here’s what the Matthew Henry commentary says about this passage:

“Moses must again, in God’s name, command water out of a rock for them; God is as able as ever to supply his people with what is needful for them. But Moses and Aaron acted wrong. They took much of the glory of this work of wonder to themselves; “Must we fetch water?” As if it were done by some power or worthiness of their own. They were to speak to the rock, but they smote it. Therefore it is charged upon them, that they did not sanctify God, that is, they did not give to him alone that glory of this miracle which was due unto his name. And being provoked by the people, Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips. The same pride of man would still usurp the office of the appointed Mediator; and become to ourselves wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Such a state of sinful independence, such a rebellion of the soul against its Saviour, the voice of God condemns in every page of the gospel.”

God takes his reputation VERY seriously. 

Now let’s turn and look at something that is just amazing to think about it.  I wrote last week that God is both Just and Justifier.  In that blog we discussed that Jesus came and lived the perfect life for us, as well as dying the death we deserve.  Having a primary purpose of glorifying God is no exception.  Check out what the authors of this study have to say about it:

“Jesus came because all of us have failed to fulfill our purpose.  Instead of living for God’s glory, we have lived for our own glory.  Instead of being caught up in the great purpose of making God’s name great in the world, we have been caught up in making a name for ourselves.  We have been more concerned with our reputation than God’s reputation.  In many ways big and small we have not hallowed God’s name.  And so for the sake of his own name God sends his Son to glorify his name.  Jesus fulfilled our purpose for us: he glorified God in all that he did.”

Not only did he glorify God in his life, he glorified him at his death as well.  Read John 12:27-28

“‘Now is my soul troubled.  And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?  But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.”  Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 

One last thing I want to say, and I’ll state it as a challenge for those that follow Christ.  When we pray, “Hallowed by Thy Name,” we are making a commitment to God to live our live for that purpose.  It is a commitment to make God’s glorify the purpose behind everything you do.  Many people have struggled with the meaning or the purpose of life.  As Christians we don’t need to wonder, we can be sure that our purpose and our meaning can be found in living life in such a way that glorifies the name of the Lord. 

 The next time you pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name,” hopefully you’ll have a better understanding, as I now do, of what it actually means, and allow it to actually affect the way you live.

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“Do you understand what I have done to you?”

It seems like a pretty simple question.  And if we read it in the context of when it was said, the answer may seem obvious (or not).  However, just like Jesus desciples, I think it is a hard question to answer yes to.  Particularly if answering yes is more than just the words, if it’s actually action to back it up to.

John 13: 3-12

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper.  He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”  Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”  Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.  And you are clean, but not every one of you.”  For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”  When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garment and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?

Here are some questions I wrote for myself after pondering this for a time:

Well, do I?

If I did why would I still worry about the things I worry about?

If I did why would I still care about some of the things I care about?

If I did why don’t I care about some things I should care about?

Do I live like I understand it?

Legacy Adventures

For my first post, I’m going to go back to an email I wrote some friends last year in explanation of what Legacy Adventures is and what my first experience with them was.  I’ve edited it a little for adult content (just kidding), I just took a few things out that don’t pertain here…enjoy and check out Legacy Adventures here.

“I felt compelled to share with you guys about something I’ve attended a couple times now that has had a profound effect on my relationship with my kids, as well as my relationship with God.  About a year ago a friend began telling me about this thing called “Legacy Adventures” he had attended, and how awesome it was.  As he told it, it was a father/son camping trip where you go out to the woods and shoot BB guns, bows and arrows, go fishing, build stuff, etc.  Guy stuff.  He said that it was an amazing trip with just he and his son, and that he got to have some time with other dads that were struggling through life the same way he was: how to be a good dad, how to be the spiritual leader in their house, you get the idea.  He couldn’t wait to go on another trip, and as time went on he felt called to join the ministry and is now on the leadership team.

Well, I put it off and put it off, but finally in April decided to sign up for the May Father/Daughter trip.  The only person I knew going in was that my friend was the co-leader of that particular trip, so I actually wouldn’t be spending much time with him or anything because he would be fairly busy while we were there.  This is not a situation I am normally comfortable in.  As I told him later, we were up on the rim and I felt like I left my comfort zone at home.  Anyway, not knowing what to expect I was fairly apprehensive about the whole thing.  Jasmine however, was very excited about the opportunity to have me all to herself.  We drove up there on Saturday morning and got to the campsite around 10.  Set up the tent, had lunch and split into different groups for the afternoon activities.  For this particular trip there were three different activities:  shooting gallery (BB Guns, Bows, hatchet throwing) –- the girls really seemed to dig this by the way, probably because it’s not stuff they usually do — , then a craft (we made a pot and planted seeds), then blindfolded painting where your partner tells you what to paint and you try to do it blindfolded.  Every activity was a lot of fun, and it provided some insight into Jasmine’s personality for me.  The other thing that was awesome about the activities was just how purposeful they all were.  At the outset of each activity our leader explained the purpose behind that particular activity, and what it symbolized.  Fantastic stuff.

That night, after the girls were in their beds, the men talked around the campfire with the leader doing some teaching from the Bible as well as sharing personal things from his walk.  Outside of the fact that I was spending a day and a half straight with just Jasmine, this time was the highlight of my trip.  I never would have thought I would say that, but it was.  Trust me on that.

Next day was some “daughter directed” free time and pretty much a camp wrap up.  So all in all, it requires a commitment of Saturday 7 am to around 2 or 3 Sunday afternoon.  Some of the trips are actually to places that have cabins to stay in.  On those trips, you drive up Friday night since there’s not tents to set up.  Two nights instead of one.

As for the “camping” part.  I am honestly not a camper, I know some of you are so this is no big deal.  For the rest of us let me say this.  EASY CAMPING.  Basically you bring clothes, a tent, and sleeping bags and you’re good.  They take care of all the food and the cooking.  They even set up some port a potty type toilets that are really good.  The tough stuff is taken care of!

…I really just wanted to reiterate that I think this is something that almost all dads could use.  How many of us really get one on one time with our kids in an environment where we can do fun stuff, and pay attention to them (with no distractions), and also get some encouragement in our relationship with God?  I would say, not too many opportunities like that.

Some of you I have already spoken with about this and some of you I haven’t for whatever reason.  One last thing – this is for kids age 5 and up (otherwise too young to do most of the stuff), and I would suggest that even if you have more than one kid of a gender, you only take one with you per trip.  Obviously, it’s no big deal if you do take more than one, however I think it takes quite a bit away from giving each child that special alone time with Dad.  I hope you will all pray about whether this is something you may be able to attend in the future.”

I will be attending 3 trips this year: April 10th-11th, June 12th-13th, and October 9th-10th.  See their entire calendar for 2010 here.


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