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Watch Your Motives – The Third Commandment

Sunday, September 2, 2012, 0:01
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Watch Your Motives

The Third Commandment

Be careful about your motives.

Exodus 20:7

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Deuteronomy 5:11

“‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.’”

We also take the Name of the Lord in vain when we take it for selfish reasons, as Simon the magician sought to do in Acts 8. Ananias and Sapphira also took the Lord’s Name in vain when they tried to gain notoriety as generous people in their offering to the Church in Acts 5.

We always need to be careful about our motives. In our “celebrity” culture it’s too easy to want to appear to be holy or generous or bold or spiritual in order to draw attention to ourselves. But God calls us to take His Name for the purpose of drawing attention to Him.

Whenever we try to use the Lord’s Name for our own advantage, we are taking His Name in vain.

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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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