by Andrew McQuitty

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Living Up to a Great Name (3 of 10)
Andrew McQuitty
Exodus 20:7

''The worst blasphemy is not profanity, but lip-service'' (Elton Trueblood).

Introduction: you need to know who your Father is!

In 1932, Walt Disney was concerned when Charles Lindbergh's little boy was kidnapped. Realizing that children of celebrities were at risk, he took precautions for his daughters Dianne and Sharon. Walt Disney shielded them totally from publicity. He allowed no photographs of them to be published and never took them to big events. As a result, they stayed safe, but they also stayed ignorant of their father's true fame. When Dianne was six, a friend at school excitedly asked her: ''Is your father really Walt Disney?'' Later that night when Walt was reading his paper, Dianne exclaimed in exasperation, ''Daddy, you never told me you were Walt Disney!''

Dianne didn't realize how influential her daddy was. She hadn't known how great a name she had to live up to. I wonder if it's not the same for us as believers? We call God ''Father'', but like Dianne Disney, we may not be fully aware of his true greatness. In the Bible, God is called ''Yahweh'', ''I am that I am'' (Gen. 2.4; Jn. 8.58); ''Adonai'', the Lord of Lords (Mal. 1.6); ''El-Shaddai'', God Almighty (Gen. 17.1; Ps. 91.1); or ''El-Roi'', the Strong One Who Sees (Gen. 16.13). There are many others: Jehovah Tsidkenu - the Lord of Righteousness. Jehovah Shalom - the Lord our Peace. Jehovah Nissi - the Lord our Banner. Jehovah Shammah - the Lord who is present.

Why are such names important? Because a person's name represents all that they are--their talent, character, and essence. If you were to describe a person to me as one who is a great wife and mother, who loves to hang with her friends and read good books and who bowls terribly, I could sum up your lengthy description in one word: ''Alice.'' Her name captures her essence. In the same way, all that God is is captured in His name. Because God's name means ...

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