The Power of a Name
Our culture, many of us included, is quick to take the Lord’s name in vain. We instinctively blur out “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh my God!” without thinking about the impact those phrases have.
We can all recall the second commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” And, it might be easy to think what’s the big deal? It’s just a name. I’m not renouncing my faith or cursing God (at least not intentionally).
But, when we think like this, we’re forgetting the power of a name. And, not just any name, but the name of Jesus Christ Himself.
On January 3rd each year, we actually have a feast day for the Holy Name of Jesus. At first, this sounds kinda silly...it’s a feast for a name. But, when we remember how much power and authority the name of Jesus has, it begins to make sense.
As English-speaking Americans, we know that the expression “in vain” typically means without success. If we do something in vain, it means that we did it, and the intended result was not accomplished. In light of this, we turn back to the second commandment.
How can we embrace the reverse of this commandment — how can we use the Lord’s name with success, with His power and authority? What does this look like?
Try this exercise: simply say the name Jesus, maybe even multiple times. Do this over and over again for a half hour. Constantly try to bring your mind back to Christ.
This exercise is also an invitation — Jesus, work in my life. In times of temptation or anger or frustration, remember the name of Jesus. Invite Him into your souls.
Arguably, the shortest prayer possible, yet it’s the most powerful.