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From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 32
The Second Commandment
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (for the Lord will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain).
What does this mean?
Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not use his name superstitiously or to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, but call upon him in every time of need, and worship him with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.
Pulling It Together
We are to use God’s name properly. Because we trust God, we may believe that he will take care of us. Therefore, we do not need to resort to deceitful practices of any sort in order to have our needs met by the Father. If we pursue God first—if we follow him (Matt 16:24)—instead of running after our necessities, we may confidently trust that God will take care of the rest. So, we do not need to abuse God’s character in irrational ways, such as insisting our services for him garner merit and therefore rewards. Rather, we are to take up our crosses—we are to hand over our lives to God—and follow him, trusting in his goodness and love.
Prayer: Help me seek you, O God, and trust you with the rest of my life. Amen.
Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.
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A Listening Bible: Letters from Jesus in the Written Word, by Glen S.R. Carlson, helps you take time to LISTEN to what Jesus is saying to you from Romans to Jude (softcover; 692 pages).