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His Holy Name

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, LORD’S DAYS 47

What does the first request mean?

Hallowed be your name means,

Help us to really know you, to bless, worship, and praise you for all your works and for all that shines forth from them: your almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy and truth.

And it means,

Help us to direct all our living – what we think, say, and do – so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised.

DEVOTIONAL: OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 4

His Holy Name

The Bible declares that we need our Holy God to rescue and restore our unholy world. So, we are taught to pray: “Hallowed by your name.” Our Holy Father alone can rescue this world through His Holy Son by the power of His Holy Spirit. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our prayer. Rescue and restore us and our world to holiness.

The Catechism draws our minds and hearts to two themes – two requests – for holy Christian living.

First, we are to pray: “Help us to really know you…” Stated positively, if we are to properly know ourselves, we must first know God. Stated negatively, just as a tree severed from its roots will begin to die, so life severed from its Creator is marked by decay and death. That, of course, is the human problem. We have severed ourselves from the Father. There is no other way to explain the threat of nuclear war, systemic physical abuse, sex trafficking, the devaluation of the disabled, abortion, racial conflict, lies, deception and a whole host of other behaviors that assault and dehumanize human life. The only way human dignity can be restored is to turn to the root of human dignity, our holy God! We need to know Him whose “almighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy, and truth” in Jesus Christ alone can rescue us from sin and evil and restore us into the beauty of His holiness.

Second, we are to pray: “Help us to direct all our living…so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised.” This should be the natural fruit of our salvation – to pray that we “may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21). Why? Because Biblical Christianity teaches that we are rescued from sin in order to be restored to holiness in the likeness of Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 4:16-18, Ephesians 5:1-2). Too often the gospel is wrongly reduced to a rescue from a sinful world for a one-way ticket to heaven. The gospel is much more than that. It rescues the lost, renews the heart, and restores lives for obedience today. The gospel is not an invitation to escape life. It is a call to bear the fruit of new life now.

The Lord’s Prayer is sometimes called the prayer of discipleship. It describes the life and ministry of Jesus, it describes life lived and ministry done in Jesus’ name, and it describes the gospel purpose of Jesus in the world today: “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If we pray that God’s name will be recognized as holy, then we recognize that Jesus is the one who leads the way in that holiness. He came clothed in human likeness, yet was without sin, to do the will of the Father (2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Hebrews 2:14-15). We pray, therefore, to be living disciples who walk in the holiness of Jesus, seeking to do the Father’s will in His name. That is God’s holy gospel purpose in us and through us!

Will you make this your prayer? Will you make this your life?

Pastor Calvin Hoogendoorn

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Sunday, October 29

Prayerfully read Exodus 3:1-15 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. How should God’s holy name define your faith and life? How does it define your faith and life?

Monday, October 30

Prayerfully read Psalm 145. Describe the Lord’s “mighty acts” and kindness at work in your life. How will you commend God’s work to the next generation?

Tuesday, October 31

Prayerfully read John 1:1-14, 29-34. How is your life a display of God’s justice, wisdom and mercy? Would others agree with your self-assessment?

Wednesday, November 1

Prayerfully read 1 Timothy 1:12-17. We can all relate to Paul’s self-assessment: “I am the worst of sinners.” How then does your life display God’s truth, mercy and unlimited patience?

Thursday, November 2

Prayerfully read Colossians 3:1-17. God’s holy name should define our holy walk. Who or what do you treasure – set your heart on – most? How does it shape your lifestyle? Is the Father’s work in Christ your greatest treasure? Do you desire to imitate His holiness as the natural fruit of faith?

Friday, November 3

Prayerfully read Romans 2:17-29. People often hear and evaluate the gospel message through the behaviors of self-professed Christians. Reflect how your life may blaspheme or may cause another to blaspheme the name of the Lord.

Saturday, November 4

Prayerfully read 1 Peter 2:4-12. People often hear and evaluate the gospel message through the behaviors of self-professed Christians. Reflect how your life is a testament or may help another’s life become a testament of praise to the Lord.