DAY 7 - THE NAME OF OUR GOD
Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
READ: EXODUS 34:5-7
The football was sailing through the air towards the receiver. I was confident that I could get this interception. I was confident that I could shut down this side of the field that I was defending. I was confident that I was in charge of my life. And then I heard the sound that changed my life forever—SNAP!
Someone ran into my knee, which was planted, and knocked it out of the socket at a 45-degree angle. That’s right, I was looking at the bottom of my foot, which was so close I could reach out and touch it. Immediately, I went to the ground with my leg flopping around in the air like a flag caught in a blustery wind. I sat on the ground stunned. I was in shock. The whole field stopped its movement for a moment. It was as if time stood still.
Looking up, while time was frozen, I saw faces as they looked back at me. They had looks of horror. My leg was off to my left, right at the knee, at a 45-degree angle. I stared at it, as they stared at me, 800 plus people just staring and saying nothing. Then I thought, “I have to either get on the bus (with my leg at a 45-degree angle), go to the emergency room and let them fix it or I just have to snap this leg back in place.” I didn’t think twice. I just lifted my leg up a little off the ground and swung my knee out to get a little momentum and then snapped my upper leg in quickly, hoping the bottom half of my knee would follow. Thankfully, it did. While my leg was going back into place, I heard some girl yell out, “Oh gross, did you see his leg!”
Then a picture flashed before me. Call it a vision, or a parable, or something like that. I instantly remembered a word of exhortation that a man had spoken to me. Previously, years before, he talked about how God was going to touch me, and restore me, and I would never be the same again. “Touch me,” I thought! That’s laughable. It is more like God had tackled me.
Over the next few months I did a lot of soul searching. I did not have health insurance and just sat in a chair, TRAPPED BY GOD, with my foot propped up, day after day. As a new husband who could not provide for my family, I was distraught and anxious. Daily, I would pray, read my Bible and just keep asking God, “Why won’t You fix this! Why won’t You just take the pain away! Why won’t You just leave me alone!” It took three months for me to calm down and let Him tell me He loved me.
It was at that time that I had to learn to pray—in a deeper way—by connecting to God first. I thought that I had learned how to pray: I had my list, I prayed the “Our Father”, but in a moment of desperation, I felt God drawing me deeper into a lifestyle of fervent effective prayer. What do I mean by that? That is prayer, which is connected to His heart. How do you connect to someone’s heart? You listen. You ask questions. Then you listen again. Then you talk to them. If you learn to do this with empathy (preferably away from your phone), then you will learn to pray. So, let’s go through the “Our Father” and see if we can: lean, listen, & learn. Let’s see if we can meet the heart of God, hidden deep behind the words.
Remember the line in the “Our Father” prayer, “Hallowed be Your name”? Did you ever wonder what that meant? It means “holy”, or “sacred, is Your name”. But which name? Seriously, have you ever read all God’s titles in the Bible? There really are a lot. But each one is special and tells a marvelous story. They share who He is and what He thinks and feels about you. They declare what He has done and what He can do and what He will do.
Consider the story of Moses, when he was leading Israel out of Egypt, and they were facing incredibly hard times. Moses, not wanting to give up, asked that God come and walk among the people. God, who is overwhelmingly Majestic, could not be with the people because of their sinfulness. But He promised to hide Moses in the corner, covering him, while declaring His Holy name. Each title of His name was a different attribute vividly displaying who He was and what He could do on Israel’s behalf. God is holy and our sinful flesh cannot dwell with a Holy God.
But God is an amazingly good Father that loves you with an eternal desire (that is never ending). So, He went at great lengths to send His Son to dwell among us; grace and truth walked among us. The very face of the Father, perfectly displayed through the Son. He doesn't want us to hide in the corner, like Moses had to, instead He wants to be with us, dwell with us, and grow with us for all eternity. Therefore, He sacrificed His one and only, His most beloved Son, upon the cross. There the precious blood of Jesus, set us free from the debt of our sin and thrust us forward to worship God in heaven. Even when you are on earth, as a child of God, we are also seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph.2:6). Life is not boring. The Holy Spirit brings us to His throne. Now, let’s take a look at the Name of God and the attributes God wants to bring into your life. That’s right He called us to be holy just like Him (1 Peter 1:16). So, what you behold is what you will become—quite a journey, huh!
“The Lord, the Lord God (Jehovah = "the existing One") merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:5-7)
WHY IS THE NAME OF GOD IMPORTANT?
1. His NAME is who He is – Your name identifies you with your family, culture, and part of your story. God’s Name declares His nature, character and HOLINESS; be holy as I am HOLY. Therefore, when God declares His name, He is showing who He is, what He thinks and feels about you, and what He wants to do on your behalf.
2. Jesus’ last prayer was about God’s Name – In John 17, Jesus prayed 4x about the name of God. Jesus in the flesh was a living example of the Father’s NAME; Jesus asked that the disciples would be kept by the Father’s NAME; Then Jesus said, I have declared Your NAME and will declare it, so that the disciples will grow in love. You must search out the NAME of God to grow in HOLINESS.
PROVISION FOR HOLINESS IN HIS NAME – Jesus calls us to be HOLY like Him and provided a way for us to do this:
1. THE LORD, THE LORD GOD - (Jehovah = "the existing One") He existed before! He is the God who was, and is and is to come. God is Supreme on His Throne and nothing is above Him. His LOVE is Supreme, His HOLY Throne is Supreme, His GOVERNMENT is Supreme.
2. MERCIFUL – Compassionate towards you; Through His MERCY He loves and enjoys you even in your weakness He will wash you clean of guilt and condemnation to the humble and repentant—He makes NEW CREATIONS (2 Cor. 5:17).
3. GRACIOUS – GOD LOVES YOU, He will give you GRACE, bless you, and give you power to overcome sin and walk righteous, even when you don’t deserve it (to those that are humble and repentant of their sin) —He makes NEW CREATIONS (2 Cor. 5:17).
4. LONGSUFFERING – Patient and slow to anger; He is our Father, and He is slow to anger towards you; God the Father is faithful to you even in your continual weakness; Through His MERCY, He loves and enjoys you even in your weakness, while He gives GRACE to overcome sin.
5. ABOUNDING IN GOODNESS AND TRUTH – Goodness (kindness and faithfulness) Truth (sureness, reliability; His word is Right); Your Father has more goodness and Truth—for you—than you can imagine; The devil is limited in His attack towards you, BUT God the good Father is the creator of goodness and truth—His affections are towards you—and nothing can take that away.
6. KEEPING MERCY FOR THOUSANDS – For 1000’s of generations, generation after generation, the Lord will give His people mercy (He will wash away our guilt, shame, and condemnation even when we do not deserve). His mercy and compassion towards us are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Note this in context of the 10 commandments (2nd commandment); you shall not make or carve an image, making for yourself an idol to worship (Exo. 20:4-6).
7. FORGIVING INIQUITY AND TRANSGRESSION AND SIN – God will forgive (to lift, bear up, carry, take) our iniquity (perversity, depravity, guilt or punishment of iniquity) and Transgression (rebellion against God, nations and other people).
8. BY NO MEANS CLEARING THE GUILTY – God is the Just Judge, He is Justice, He is a Jealous God; God chastens believers and judges the unrighteous who hate Him and walk in iniquity. Again, note this in context of the 10 commandments (2nd commandment); you shall not make or carve an image, making for yourself an idol to worship (Exo. 20:4-6).
ACTION4U: Did you know God wants you to be holy just like Him? Write down the sin you think is too big for God to handle (I am sure you can’t think of one). If you are holding on to any sin give it over to Him, and pray the prayer below.
PRAYER4U: “Father, You showed Yourself to Moses, and he lived. I want to see You and become like You. I want to be holy like You. You are:
1. YOU ARE THE LORD, THE LORD GOD - (Jehovah = "the existing One”) You are the covenant making and covenant keeping God. Fill me with the Fear of the Lord.
2. YOU ARE MERCIFUL; help me to be merciful like You.
3. YOU ARE GRACIOUS; help me to be gracious like You.
4. YOU ARE LONGSUFFERING (patient); help me to be patient like You.
5. YOU ABOUNDING IN GOODNESS AND TRUTH; help me to love truth like You.
6. YOU KEEP MERCY FOR THOUSANDS; help me to show mercy generation after generation.
7. YOU FORGIVE INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION AND SIN; help me to forgive those that have sinned against me.
8. YOU BY NO MEANS CLEARING THE GUILTY; help me to seek Your justice.
ACTION4ONE: Today, go buy a card (any card will do) and write out a quick note. I like to include a scripture or two. And give it to them when the time arises.
PRAYER4ONE: “Father, today I ask that You would awaken their hearts to Your love. Let them know there is more, so much more. Send forth Your Holy Spirit to open their eyes, turn their heart towards You, and fill them with Your Majestic awe. Fill them with Your holy name!”
Have you been blessed by this and want to be a blessing?
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