Moving on to the third commandment, this is one that is familiar for most. I think though we may not fully understand the significance of the warning. This is not just about swearing in God’s name, this is about so much more. Do we reflect the character of God? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We all have seen someone who thinks highly of themselves, thinking they are better than others. We have all seen the person with a chip on their shoulder, someone with an ax to grind, unwilling to humble themselves for the task at hand. That is a dangerous situation when that person professes to be a Christian.
Proverbs 3:7; NLT; 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear (respect) the Lord and turn away from evil.
As communities go, the racing community can be a much more pleasant place to be than the world outside the pit gate. There is a camaraderie that we all share, good circumstances or bad we are in this together. I see it especially when adversity strikes and we rise up and come together to support and lend a hand. I’ve seen times when fierce competitors lay aside their differences and help one another. I know it is not perfect but I see more caring and compassion in the garage area than I do in society. I might go as far as to say the “Church” could learn some lessons from the race community. I think that is what Rev. Pat meant when he said that’s why there is a fence, this is a safe place, what’s on the other side is scary.
He had a point, as a society we have digressed. We like to call ourselves one thing but act in ways that calls into question our statement. I find the racing community to be more transparent that the outside world. You don’t have to read between the lines, they will tell you exactly what they think. Now sometimes it is not pretty but you will know where you stand. I would rather know than have to guess.
The third commandment goes like this;
Exodus 20:7, NLT; “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
There are many ways to misuse something especially the Lord’s name. We were taught that means don’t use the names of God and Jesus in an expletive way, swearing. I contend there is more to this than just uttering the name of God in a derogatory way. Think about what it means to invoke the name of God for an advantage or to receive good treatment.
We guard our reputation at Racing with Jesus Ministries and strive to honor God in all we do. At times people have used that reputation to gain an advantage. Our name has been used to gain access to the pit area by saying they were with us. It has been used to secure credentials. It has been used to misrepresent who someone is for their gain. Likewise the name of God is misused in the same way.
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is. Jesus said;
Matthew 7:21-23:NLT; “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
The world is full of people that claim to be something they are not. It is an election year and the spin doctors are all about telling people what they want to hear. When we hear something or read something someone was supposed to have said our first thought is distrust. There are some who take their stance based on what the poll numbers say. Politicians flip flop more than a fish out of water. I am not sure how they keep things straight. I guess that’s why they need spokespeople to tell us what they meant was not really what they said. That should not be with us that call ourselves Christians.
Matthew 5:33-37; NLT; “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
When we claim the name of the Lord we put ourselves in a challenging situation, one in which we will fail. Why, because we are not perfect, we are not capable of keeping the commitments we make. The control is not in our hands. So how should we proceed? With humility, grace, mercy, kindness and self-control. We can represent the Lord well if we practice these. When we fail we need to acknowledge that, humble ourselves before God and seek forgiveness.
But if we refuse to, all bets are off. God explains that if we take His name in vain it won’t go well for us. When we claim the Lord’s name we claim His character and begin a journey to be like Christ. That is the meaning of the word Christian; Like Christ. I would encourage you to start that journey. There are only two true ways to live this life, with God or without. They are contrasted in this way;
Galatians 5:19-23;NLT; When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
The Ten Commandments provide the foundation on which to build a life that recognizes God and honors Him. They help us understand what the right parameters to frame out life are. They help us know that there is a right way and a wrong way to live. Sometimes we choose the wrong way thinking we can deal with the consequences. The consequences of wrong choices will overwhelm us. We will not choose differently until we cannot deal with the consequences of our poor choices. I encourage you not to let it get to that point.
Rules to live by, I am looking forward to exploring them further. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.