INTRO - Ex 6:1-3 Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. (KJV) - In the Hebrew culture, a person’s name was more than a mere label—it was synonymous with his character or reputation. When a person’s name was mentioned, it brought to mind all that he was. In his book The Lord’s Prayer, E. F. Scott writes, “It was assumed in ancient thought that the personality of a man was somehow bound up with his name, so that when you uttered his name the man himself was affected.”
In Mt 6:9, when Jesus was teaching us how to pray He said these words “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” My question for you is this - Are you ready to pray “Hallowed be Thy name?”
I. THE CHOICE OF A GOOD NAME - In his book, I Almost Missed the Sunset, Bill Gaither writes: Gloria and I had been married a couple of years. We were teaching school in Alexandria, Indiana, where I had grown up, and we wanted a piece of land where we could build a house. I noticed the parcel south of town where cattle grazed, and I learned it belonged to a 92-year-old retired banker named Mr. Yule. He owned a lot of land in the area, and the word was he would sell none of it. Gloria and I visited him at the bank. He looked at us over the top of his bifocals. I introduced myself and told him we were interested in a piece of his land. "Not selling," he said pleasantly. "Promised it to a farmer for grazing." "I know, but we teach school here and thought maybe you'd be interested in selling it to someone planning to settle in the area." He pursed his lips and stared at me. "What'd you say your name was?" "Gaither. Bill Gaither." "Hmmm. Any relation to Grover Gaither?" "Yes, Sir. He was my granddad." Mr. Yule put down his paper and removed his glasses. "Interesting. Grover Gaither was the best worker I ever had on my farm. Full day's work for a day's pay. So honest. What'd you say you wanted?" I told him again. “Let me do some thinking on it, then come back and see me." I came back within the week, and Mr. Yule told me he had had the property appraised. I held my breath. "How does $3,800 sound? Would that be okay?" If that was per acre, I would have to come up with nearly $60,000! "$3,800?" I repeated. "Yup. Fifteen acres for $3,800." I knew it had to be worth at least three times that. I readily accepted. Nearly three decades later, my son and I strolled that beautiful, lush property that had once been pasture land. "Benjy," I said, "you've had this wonderful place to grow up through nothing that you've done, but because of the good name of a great-granddad you never met." (-- Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.)
1. Pv 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
2. Ec 7:1 A good name is better than a good ointment,
A. They Have A Reputation - Mt 7:15-18 "Beware of the false prophets,.... "You will know them by their fruits. - What do the following all have in common? Dell, Gateway, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Stanley, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Menards, Polaris, Marvin, Kodak, Cannon, Sears, McDonalds, Burger King, China, IRS. They are all names with which we attach some kind of reputation.
B. Getting One Is Easy - How many of you have a name? Did you choose it or did someone assign it to you? How many of you have a reputation? Is it any good? While most of our names are assigned to us, our reputation is earned. The easiest way to get one is to do nothing, but than again, it won’t be much of a reputation we earn.
C. God’s Is... - What kind of reputation does God have? When we think of God we may think of Him as loving, giving, forgiving, listening, deaf, judgmental, involved, uncaring and distant... While in the Lord’s prayer God is called Father, he is also considered Holy. We need to Hallow His Name.
II. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY - Can you imagine saying the same thing over and over and over and over... Repetition can be tiring to listen to. I wonder if God get’s tired of hearing Himself being called Holy.
1. Is 6:1-3 Seraphim stood above ... And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."
2. Rv 4:5-8 And the four living creatures, ... ; and day and night they do not cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come."
A. God And His Name Are Holy
1. Ex 15:11
2. Lv 19:2
3. Lv 21:8
4. 1 Sm 2:2
5. Ps 30:4
6. Ps 111:9
7. Hb 12:10
B. What Is Hallowed Anyway - Turning to Vines dictionary of NT words, He describe the Greek word “hagiazo” from which “Hallowed” is translated from in the following way - to set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of “common” A couple illustrations will help make this a little clearer.
1. Xerox - The concept of hallowing a name appeared in modern times in a series of unusual magazine ads placed by Xerox Corporation. Their purpose was not to sell a product, but merely to stop people from using the word Xerox as a generic term for copier. The company wanted its name to be set apart, to be used only for copiers it deemed worthy of the trademark. When we pray, “Hallowed be Your name,” we are in part asking that God’s name would be set apart in a similar way—that people would not trivialize Him or take Him lightly.
2. Toothbrush - Another helpful illustration of “holy” compares it to your toothbrush. Your toothbrush is special and important to you because of the unique purpose to which it has been dedicated. You wouldn’t take kindly to anyone using your toothbrush for a different purpose. You might even have another toothbrush around the house, one used to clean shoes or another to polish the terminals on your car battery. You wouldn’t want the three confused. Imagine your reaction if your youngster comes in and announces that he has just brushed the dog’s teeth with your brush! In a similar manner, anything in the Bible that is holy has been dedicated for a special purpose and therefore is deserving of special treatment. To pray that God’s name be made holy is to acknowledge that it is unique and special. God’s name is not to be treated as common or everyday. God’s name is to be Hallowed.
III. TO USE NOT ABUSE - Ma 1:2-14 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect ?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name....
A. Warnings Of Misuse
1. Lv 18:21
2. Lv 19:12
3. Pv 30:8-9
4. 1 Tm 6:1
B. God Protected His Name - Throughout the Scriptures, we see God going to great lengths to protect His name. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt not because of any merit on their part, but He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known. (Psalm 106:8). David understood that God kept him on in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. not for his own good, but “for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). In the days of the prophet Ezekiel, God showed His mercy on stubborn and rebellious Israel not for their sake, but His (Ezekiel 36:22–23).
C. How We Abuse It - If we are going to pray “Hallowed be Thy name,” we must be willing to do just that, yet to often we do just the opposite, we misuse or misrepresent God’s name - Ex 20:7 "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. - The Hebrew word “vain” (lassaw) means empty, meaningless, thoughtless, senseless, frivolous, worthless, groundless. It means using God’s name in a thoughtless and insincere way. The root of the word (shawu) has the idea of a vapor that fades and vanishes away, a vapor that is meaningless and worthless. It also has the idea of a tempest, a storm, a tornado that is erratic, that jumps here and there, that causes destruction and devastation, that is totally senseless and destructive
1. With our words we abuse - The psalms are full of exhortations to praise God’s name, accompanied by specific lists of His mighty deeds and His glorious characteristics. We, too, should honor God’s name by telling others—both believers and unbelievers—about what we see God doing, but do we.
a. A person misuses God’s name or takes God’s name in vain by profanity and vulgarity.
b. A person misuses God’s name by false swearing.
c. A person misuses God’s name by using His name in some irreverent way, in some frivolous, dishonoring, or light way.
2. With our lives we abuse - We who are called God’s children represent Him here on earth. We provide a picture to the unbeliever of what He is like. On the same occasion that He left us the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave us a command: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Years later, Peter echoed Jesus’ words: “Live such good lives among the pagans that . . . they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12).
a. A person misuses God’s name by hypocrisy. A hypocrite....
(1) Is a person who professes the name of God but lives for self and the world
(2) Is a person who uses God’s name to manipulate people (to get what he wants)
(3) Is a person who uses God’s name to secure support for projects that are not necessarily God’s will
(4) Is a person who uses God’s name to secure followers, to deceive people
CONCL - Make no mistake about it, our words and our actions have a powerful impact on the name of God. James reminds us of the power of the tongue - for good or evil. He cautions against words that contradict our prayers: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh . (James 3:9-12)
Ps 111:9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name Are we ready to treat God’s name with the holiness it deserves? Are we ready to pray “hallowed be Thy name?”