1108/24/2008 "teEn-MAIL"]


It has been noted that the greatest achievements of mankind have been
accomplished by two types of people: those who were smart enough to know it
could be done and those too dumb to know it couldn't. It is amazing what
some CAN accomplish when others just leave them alone and let them try.
Someone else has stated, "There are three kinds of people in the world: the
wills, the won'ts, and the can'ts. The first accomplish everything; the
second oppose everything; the third fail in everything." [original source

Into which of these groups might we feel we fall? It has long been
believed that the use of "positive affirmations" CAN powerfully motivate
toward success. However, some become so positive they can't do anything that
they become amazingly successful at failure! Certainly we each have
limitations, but often times we sell ourselves short of what CAN be
accomplished either by or through our lives that we simply don't put forth
the effort.

When I consider the life of Paul, I see one who was very successful in
the work of the Lord. For sure he had challenges and setbacks. There were
times his desired work in an area was hindered, even by Satan. (1
Thessalonians 2:18) However, in his reliance on the Lord and allowing God to
do His Work through Paul, he was powerfully motivated to press on in it. Was
there a "positive affirmation" associated with His life? Most definitely!
Can there be a more powerful "positive affirmation" than the one Paul made
in his letter to the church at Philippi?

We read. . .
4:13 ESV)

I believe Paul's success in ministry was relative to the coupling
together of his "I CAN" attitude with the strength the Lord provided. It did
not all depend on Paul, but he still had to be willing to step forward in
faith and allow the Lord to use him -- and use him the Lord did! We are all
probably very familiar with those words of Paul. However, maybe it would be
a good regular exercise to recite them until we truly begin to believe them
for ourselves. If the work is what the Lord desires us to do IT CAN be done!


OMG ! What is the problem

11Do some of your friends—even Christian friends—have that not-so-great habit of saying "Oh my God!" in response to just about anything—good or bad? Like:

You: "We just broke up!"

Friend: "Oh my God! That's awful!"

You: "My parents just bought me a Mustang convertible!"

Friend: "Oh my God! What a cool car!"

If some of your friends (or even you) have a habit of using God's name like that, well, it's not a good thing. A lot of people would say it's breaking the third commandment: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God" (Exodus 2:7, NIV). And they'd have a point. But it's not the only point behind Commandment No. 3. In fact, it may not even be the most important point. Want to know what the most important point is? Then read this week's top story—taken from the June/July print issue of Ignite Your Faith.

More Than a Name
I caught a tiny glimpse of how God must feel when someone misuses His name.
by Jason Lawrenz

"You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."
—Exodus 2:7, NIV

More Than a Name

I couldn't keep from grinning as I took my seat. Friday had arrived. My favorite class with my favorite teacher was about to start. And just before class, I found out that I got a lead part in my school's fall musical. It was a great day … until I overheard my name. Andrew*, a classmate two rows behind me, was saying to someone: "That Jason Lawrenz is such a … " As my head turned, Andrew realized I could hear what he was saying and he quickly changed the topic, but the damage had been done. No, he hadn't said much more than my name, but the way he said it was offensive, angry and mean. It hurt a lot. I also worried that he'd done damage to my reputation—all because of the way he'd said my name.

Looking back at that experience, I think I caught a tiny glimpse of how God must feel when someone misuses his name. In fact, God is so concerned with how people use his name that he gave us the third commandment: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name" (Exodus 20:7, NIV).

Obviously, God takes his name very seriously, and he doesn't want anyone misusing it. So, we should probably ask ourselves, "How do we misuse God's name?" To answer this question, we need to dive into a little history.

Centuries before Moses and the Ten Commandments, God chose Israel to be his messenger to the world. In ancient times, messengers were usually associated with royalty. Kings regularly used messengers to communicate with other nations. When a messenger delivered a message, he would first announce the name of the king who sent him. This official announcement was very important. Once he used the king's name, his message carried the authority and power of the king.

So, if the messenger delivered an inaccurate message, then he had "misused" the king's name because he said something with the king's authority that the king never told him to say. Additionally, the messenger's inaccuracy reflected poorly on the king and caused the king's name to lose some of its power and authority.

As God's messenger, Israel received the third commandment as a charge to use his name faithfully. This meant delivering the right message. God still uses messengers. He has chosen you and me to deliver his message to the world, and our message is the Gospel—the Good News that Jesus came to rescue us from our sins.

Let's bring this back to the commandment. The verse says that we shouldn't misuse God's name. Since we are God's messengers, misusing God's name means acting or speaking in ways that keep others from hearing the gospel message. This includes using God's name as an ugly swear word, but it also includes stuff like having pre-marital sex, drinking, gossiping behind someone's back, spreading lies, or treating others rudely. Doing this stuff doesn't align with the message of God's love, so it keeps our friends and classmates from hearing that message. And worst of all, misusing God's name like this will hurt him just like Andrew hurt me when he spoke my name so offensively.

Being commanded to consistently act and speak in ways that honor the gospel message is a huge challenge. After all, we all mess up. But there is a big encouragement for us: The Bible says that Christians are a "chosen people" (1 Peter 2:9, niv). God has chosen you and me to be his messengers, which means that he believes in us. He believes that we can be effective messengers.

So do you desire to be the King's messenger? If you do, then take a moment and ask God to help you. Ask him to give you the strength you need to honor his name with your words and actions. Then go into the world as a Christian and share the message of God's love. This is how you use his name in the right way. This is how you become a true messenger to a world that needs the true message.

Jason is a youth pastor in Essex, Massachusetts. He has a degree in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College, and he is pursuing a Master's degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

chit chat corner

if you've got dreams in your heart why don't you share them with me? and if dreams don't come true i'll make sure that your nightmares are through if you've got pain in your heart why don't you share it with me? and we'll just wait and see if it's half of what it used to be and lay it down slow lay it down free lay it down easy but lay it on me if you've got love in your heart why don't you keep it with mine? i can't promise a miracle but i'll always be trying and lay it down slow lay it down free lay it down easy but lay it on me lay it down easy lay it on me lay it down easy but lay it on me