The story has been told of the tribesman who ventured into the city for the first time. Of all the trappings, he was most captivated by the city lights. He was determined to bring this miraculous thing back to his people and went about obtaining a light bulb, a socket, and a light switch. Returning to his village he climbed the highest tree and hung the light. His fellow tribesmen inquired, “What are you doing?” but all he said was,
Wait until dark and you shall see!”
As word spread and as the sun set, the entire village gathered around the tree eagerly waiting for this thing to be seen. As darkness covered the people, the tribesman held the switch high above his head. When the crowd gasped, he flicked the switch.
We Know What Happened
Nothing happened because the light bulb was not connected to a source of power. The light bulb the man brought back to his village was in fact a light bulb, but it was a light bulb in name only. Because it was not plugged-in, it was worthless for the purpose for which it was designed and worthy only of the village trash heap.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4
What’s Your Name?
The text from John 15 is very clear; if we are not plugged into the source of power in Christ Jesus, we are Christians in name only. Remember, we too were made for a specific purpose. I believe that when the Law came down off the mountain, this is what the Father meant when He said to not take the Lord’s name in vain.
Consider the definition of the word vain from Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
- Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance
- Fruitless; ineffectual. All attempts, all efforts were vain.
- Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments.
- Showy; ostentatious.
- Unsatisfying. The pleasures of life are vain.
- False; deceitful; not genuine; spurious.
If we call ourselves by His name, then the action implies a desire to be connected to the power associated with the name, hence emptiness becomes profusion, pride turns to humility, and falsehood yields to truth. Conversely, taking Christ’s name in vain is to akin to denying the Son in order to maintain depravity. Frankly, I could make the case that those guilty of this are also lying adulterers, after all, the church is the bride of Christ.
What would you call a wife who takes her husbands name, but continues to carry on in a worldly fashion as if not married at all?
This is what Jesus says,
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:22-23
It doesn’t have to be that way. Confess the sin for what it is, turn away from it and turn towards Jesus, and start walking in His ways and not your own. You’re married…start acting like it.
These articles may or may not relate:
- Vain Pursuits (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- To You My Lord (shelleywilliamsblog.com)
- Thou Shalt Not Take The Name Of The Lord Thy God In Vain (answersfromthebook.org)
- Take Not the Name in Vain (orthosphere.org)
- Victory in Christ (genesisone.wordpress.com)
- Energy-Saving Light Bulbs Emit Carcinogens (positivelygood.net)
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