by M. Kenneth Lyon

This content is part of a series.

Taking God Seriously (3 of 10)
Series: Taking Control of Your Life
M. Kenneth Lyon
Exodus 20:7
July 18, 1999

Well, we're on number three. Number one was "Remember the Lord your God who delivered you. You'll have no other Gods before me." Second, no graven images. We talked about those substitutes, whatever it might be that stands between us and God. And then we hit this third one. Don't misuse the name of the Lord, your God. What's the big deal about a name? It would seem that names are pretty valuable. I mean Michael Jordan signs a contract for a gazillion dollars for his name to be used to promote orange juice or a telephone company's long distance plan. Names are important. Celebrities sue people who use their name inappropriately, that is, didn't agree to pay them so much money for its use. You saw in the newspaper just last week that there's a fellow who's buying people's names on the Internet so nobody else can use them. Then in turn he's offering those celebrity names to the celebrities themselves for just the transfer fee of $75 that they may have control over their name on the Internet so that nobody can use it inappropriately.

Names do seem to have an awful lot of value. The Scriptures teach us that a name has value because it has to do with our reputation, our character, and our authority. In our reputation have you ever heard anybody say, "She's really making a name for herself." Or "He has a good name." If I were to mention a few names, like Adolph Hitler, immediately a mental image would spring to mind about the reputation of that man. If I were to use the name Billy Graham, another image would spring to mind. Our name is valuable, and a name is valuable because it reflects our reputation.

It also reflects our character. Once our name is linked in fact with who we are and what we are, it's very difficult to change that. That's why in the biblical witness, oftentimes when a person has a change of heart, a life-change direction, the Sc ...

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