The Third Commandment



Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

We have come from the object of worship in the first command, to the means of worship in the second command; in the third command, we are given God’s name.

Looking at the preface of these commandments, the name that God gives His people is His covenant name- Yahweh. The giving of this name will cause us to think back to the first time this name was given to Moses at the burning bush. Moses asked God in the burning bush: “Who shall I say that it is who sent me? What is His name?” And God replies with I AM THAT I AM, which in Hebrew contain the four letters, YHWH, which literally means “He is.” This is His covenant name, the…

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Who Are You To Judge?

Island brow

There is a lot of teaching about how Christians should not be judgmental.  In fact, Matthew 7:1 (Do not judge…) now rivals John 3:16 as the most often quoted verse in the Bible.  While it is true that Christians should be careful about judging, to what extent should we be non-judgmental?

In Who Are You to Judge?: Learning to Distinguish Between Truths, Half-Truths, and Lies, Erwin Lutzer helps us sort through this maze of mystery.  Should we just accept whatever is put before us in the name of Christianity?  If someone claims to be from God, should we take them at their word?  With solid Biblical insight and well presented information, Lutzer shows that we must search the Scriptures to determine what is true, what is half-true and what is a lie.  That, in and of itself, means to judge.

The Bible clearly calls believers to be…

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What does Romans 11:6 mean?

The Question Box Blog

What does Romans 11:6 mean?

Here is what Romans 11:6 says,

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (ESV)

One of the first things to do when you want to understand a verse is to look at the context. This means looking at what comes before and after the verse to see if that helps us understand it. In Romans 11, Paul (the author of the book) is talking about his own people, the Jews. He’s helping his readers understand what Jesus means for his people because Jesus was the fulfillment of a ton of Jewish prophecies and many Jews were rejecting Jesus instead of seeing how He fulfilled their faith.

Paul explains that God has not rejected the Jewish people even though the Jews rejected Jesus. Paul explains that there are some Jewish people…

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Entertaining Strange Angels

Renewing Your Mind

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ESV Hebrews 13:2

At prayer time tonight, Chris and I were discussing the encounters we have with people throughout the day. He had a rough day with some of his interactions at work, and I had two of my three appointments cancel on me. While tempted to get frustrated with people, we encouraged each other that every interaction with people is an interaction with someone created in the image of God, marred by sin, and loved by Christ. His difficult interactions with coworkers were interactions with sinners in need of the gospel. My interactions with people cancelling appointments were interactions with sinners in need of the gospel (actually one was supposed to come by and film their baptism testimony…this sinner had encountered the gospel!). Our interaction together encouraged us each to continue to love each…

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Mercy and Not Sacrifice

7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges … Continue reading Mercy and Not Sacrifice

Let Light Be Your Day!


26011191914_b1d7268e21_hSimple Truth

Every day the sun comes up and the sun goes down and so we have what is called day so… where did the word “day” come from? The word day was given to the first day when God said, “Let there be light” and He called the light day, but interestingly enough, the first day wasn’t a sun litten day, it was a light litten day (the physical/material sun was made on the forth day).

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Treasured Hopelessness


~ Written by Cassie Rayl

I’ve experienced seasons which left me seemingly drowning in hopelessness. I knew my Savior was Jesus Christ. I knew my eternity was secure in Him. I knew the Truth of the Gospel. But despite that knowledge, I felt weighed down, pointless and distraught. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Those were not fun times. They aren’t necessarily seasons I enjoy remembering. However, I still find myself wandering back to those memories and pondering what I learned despite my less-than-desirable emotions and circumstances.

The reality was, my hopeless, and seemingly pointless, season taught me to fall to my knees. The anguish in my heart forced me to not only darken the door of the Throne Room, but to run and fall into the arms of my Heavenly Father. In those seasons of hopelessness, I needed my Creator-Savior in a way I…

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Sex as Worship

Renewing Your Mind

Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love! Song of Solomon 5:1

Many commentators feel the author of the line above is actually God, encouraging Solomon and his bride to take their fill of sexual intimacy in their marriage. This shouldn’t seem as a surprise to us, as the New Testament is abundantly clear that the marriage bed is undefiled (Heb 13:4), and Paul’s admonition to not be apart for long (unless it be for prayer–1 Cor 7:5). In fact, we had a running joke in our newlywed small group that sex was actually worship. It wasn’t so much of a joke as it was a practical application of Scripture!

I hope this encourages you that our spiritual formation should be fun! Jesus came to give us life and to give it to the full. Wouldn’t it make sense that something that can be as awesome as sex would have…

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Rejoicing Together Always

pure devotion

Rejoicing Together AlwaysPhilippians 1:18-21 (ESV) What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

The text came in long after I was sleeping from our daughter at summer camp. She shared her experience and all the enthusiasm that I have come to expect from the “mountaintop” times hidden away with God and a bunch of young people. I cannot imagine a place in time without cellphones but they don’t need them…

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