As we approach Christmas Day and we think about the First Advent, many times our thoughts go to the scene of a lowly manger, tired parents, and a newborn baby wrapped in cloths. We tend to focus on the Baby.
And rightly so!
It is fascinating to think that before He was even born an angel appeared to both Joseph and Mary to tell them that this Baby should be named Jesus (Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31). But have you also noticed all of the other names and titles given to the Baby at His birth?
- a Savior who is Christ the Lord
- Immanuel which means “God with us”
- Son of the Most High
- King of the Jews
- Ruler of God’s people
- Son of the Most High God
- God Himself
What do we do with the name of the Lord?
When I say “the name of the Lord” I’m not talking about the five letters that spell J-E-S-U-S or even C-H-R-I-S-T. The name of the Lord means all of God’s character, His majesty, His personality, His magnificence, everything that makes God God.
The Bible clearly tells us how to use God’s name properly. We are to use the name of the Lord for…
- batting the enemy
- casting out demons
- healing the sick
The use of the name of the Lord should distinguish us. CHRISTians bear the name of Christ, so they should represent the character of God accurately, and in a way that causes others to glorify Him and want to approach Him.
If there is a proper way of using the name of the Lord, that also means there are ways we can misuse the name of the Lord, something God expressly forbids in the third of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:7).
We misuse the name of the Lord when we…
- …use His name as a throwaway phrase or as a curse word
- …make light of His majesty
- …allow Jesus to be one of many options to salvation (see Acts 4:12)
- …use His name to make us look or sound religious (see Matthew 7:21-23)
- …perform parlor tricks (see Acts 19:13-16)
There is a holy balance—Jesus is both King of kings and a Friend of sinners. God paid an incredibly high price so that we could be reconciled to Him, but not so that you could treat Him ignorantly or carelessly. This calls for some serious searching by the Holy Spirit! Perhaps you could pray a prayer that David penned: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
To take a look at the other stanzas of this Christmas carol, please click here.