God Is Holy!
August 21, 2021
Jordan is a good Christian. He really loves the Lord and wants to follow Him. Jordan’s dad is a minister, and Jordan likes being involved in church youth activities, especially when he can sing solos in church and at other events. When he’s singing, Jordan really feels on fire for God.
Some of Jordan’s friends aren’t active, churchgoing Christians, but they’re cool with his Christianity, and they don’t hassle him. One day Jordan is in a store with some friends. One of the guys is looking for some new athletic shoes, and the others are just hanging out and talking. Jordan accidentally leans back on a display and knocks a whole bunch of shoeboxes to the floor. He says a couple of bad words.
Embarrassed, Jordan scrambles to stack up the boxes as his friends laugh and insult him about how clumsy he is. He shoots some insults back at them. Just at that moment the saleswoman comes along to see why these guys are making so much noise. “Don’t worry about the boxes; it was an accident,” she says. “But please keep your voices down and watch your language in here.” She says it nicely, and they say, “Sorry, ma’am,” and start to move toward the door. But then the saleswoman notices Jordan.
“Hey, I know you,” she says. “Your dad is the pastor at my sister’s church. We went there for that big youth rally last month, and you sang that beautiful song—’I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.’ I enjoyed that so much.”
The saleswoman holds Jordan’s eye for a long moment, and Jordan would like to sink through the floor. He knows he has let himself, his parents, and God down. He feels bad because this woman knows he is a Christian.
Jordan wishes he could hit the rewind button, go back a few minutes and change his reaction to knocking down the stacked shoeboxes and be a better example.
Memory Text: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7, NKJV).
Our Beliefs, no. 2, The Trinity: “God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 66-69
Read 1 Peter 3:9, 10.
Perhaps some of your friends like to use bad language.You try to set a good example because you don’t think it is right for a Christian to use bad language. One day as your friends are all slinging insults and rude comments at one another, one friend notices you’re keeping quiet. “Hey, hold it, everyone,” he says. “We got the preacher here now. We need to watch our language!” How do you respond? Would you say, “Thanks, guys, I appreciate it if you wouldn’t talk this way”? How do you think your friends’ would respond?
Log on to www.guidemagazine.org/rtf to post your responses. Be upfront and honest. Say what you think.
1. Unscramble the word below to find out which heathen king acknowledged and praised (number 2) God.
2. Fill in the missing words to find out what he said.
3. Unscramble Revelation 4:11, NKJV, to find out who is worthy and why they are worthy to receive glory and honor.
4. Fill in the blanks and answer this question: Whom are we to look to?
5. Fill in the blanks to identify the Trinity.
2. “And at the end of the time I,, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I the and and Him who lives: For His is an dominion, And His is from to” (Daniel 4:34, NKJV).
3. created You were for and are power Revelation worthy created they O You exist and all by Lord will glory 4: to and Your receive 11 honor and NKJV things
4. “ to, and be, all you ends of the earth! for I am, and there is” (Isaiah 45:22, NKJV). Answer:
5. “The grace of the, and the love of, and the communion of the be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Read James 3:5-10.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Have you ever heard this saying? It’s true that words are powerful. Anyone who’s been on the wrong side of a name-calling bully or had a so-called friend insult you to your face knows that. What about swearwords? We all know they’re supposed to be bad, wrong, or dirty—but why? We live in a world where “everybody’s doing it,” and Jesus’ name is just as common as “Oh, wow!” What is the impact of using such language? Does it really matter what we say? Absolutely!
It matters because we represent God’s kingdom in this world, and everything we say or do reflects on Him. Rather than being the casual word we use when we drop a book on our feet, the name of God is the banner we march under, the label we’re known by. That means we shouldn’t use God’s name in a casual way. He is holy, and anything relating to Him should be reverenced, respected, and honored. Any language that is degrading, insulting, or offensive shouldn’t be heard on the lips of one who is an agent of God’s kingdom.
Look up the following texts. In them you will find answers to the questions below.
Exodus 20:7, NIV
Matthew 12:34-37, Message
James 3:5-10, NIV
Ecclesiastes 5:2, NIV
1 Peter 3:9, NIV
Psalm 19:14, NIV
Colossians 4:6, Message
Revelation 19:1, NKJV
1. If you would love life and see good days, what must you do?
2. Will God hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name?
3. What should the goal of our conversation be and do for others?
4. In God’s sight, what should our words be?
5. How many words should we use?
6. Who does glory, honor, and power belong to?
7. How are the tongue and fire alike?
8. In the day of judgment what are the two things that can happen to you because of the way you used your words?
Read Psalm 19:14.
Review the memory text.
If you’ve made the commitment to be part of God’s kingdom, then God expects your speech to reflect that. If you are using God’s name in vain and swearing, you can make a commitment to keep your language uplifting and reflective of the values of God’s kingdom.
If you exposed yourself to friends who swear, if you listen to TV and music that’s full of swearwords, it will be difficult not to use those same words yourself. You want to be sure to surround yourself with wholesome and uplifting friends and material.
Think about the words you hear in the media and what they really reflect. You love Jesus—why use His name only as a curse or an exclamation? What about words such as gee (for Jesus) or gosh (for God)? They may be shortened versions of the real words, but everyone knows exactly what they reference. God is holy, and everything about Him and His creation should be referenced with respect and honor. Don’t allow yourself or others to degrade something you hold in reverence. Don’t allow your words to reflect anger, hatred, or insults. Clean up your act, and clean up your language. Fill your mind with God’s words, and let your words show that you’re His child.
Read Ecclesiastes 5:2.
Think about the way you talk. Is swearing a problem for you? If it is, and you’d like to change that, choose the words you want to stop saying and write them on the lines below. Then write a sentence prayer to God asking for His Spirit to stop you and remind you before you speak these words.
Maybe you don’t swear. Good for you! Are there other things in your speech (unkind words, quick temper, gossip) that need to be changed? Or maybe you want to use your words in more positive ways (encouraging others, saying kind things). On the lines below, write a sentence or two asking God to help you make these changes.