"I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name."                                                                                                                                 -Psalm 138:2, NKJV

Just about every translation says it differently, because of that last phrase. Taken most literally, it says: "You have exalted above all Your name Your word." What does that really mean? Perhaps what fits in with the most literal understanding of the words is simply this: As great and glorious as God's name is; His word is most exalted. How can that be? How can God determine to exalt His word to an even greater extent than His name?

Perhaps it is because so many people claiming to use God's name will misuse it, to their own detriment. This is so important, because of how the world does this thoughtlessly. Exodus 20:7 says: "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."

Even so, there are those who would never even consider misusing God's name as an oath or swear. Nevertheless, they take the name of God upon themselves, openly referring to themselves as Christians. All the while, they commit what Psalm 138:2 infers to be an even greater sin: overtly dismissing the word of God.

They do so, by saying such things as: "Well, I know the Bible says this, but here is what I believe!" In other words, even though the Lord declares that negating His word is an even greater offense than misusing His name, they by-pass the clear directives of the word of God in favor of their own interpretations of what is right and what is wrong.

By making our own standards of right and wrong of greater importance than the word of God, we are committing the dual sins of taking the name of God in vain and overstepping the word of God, as well! Could it be that God's hand of judgment is upon this nation, precisely because we have ceased concerning ourselves with the divine commands and directives of God's word?

It is one thing for us to focus our attention on building up the church, numerically and financially, but it is of far greater importance for us to build up the church, spiritually! We can only do that, by focusing our attention on obedience to the word of God! Isaiah 66:1-2 says: "Thus says the Lord: 'Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,' says the Lord. 'But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word."

We can only know God's word by studying to see what it says! This year, may we focus on daily personal Bible study. May we avail ourselves of the weekly Sunday School classes, Kid Connection, Mission Friends, and Children in Action; along with Wednesday evening Awana, Youth, Awana Mom's and Pastor's Class. Remember: Obedience to the word of God also lifts up the name of God!

Blessings & Peace, Brother Dan