Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:00 pm
The Messenger, November 21, 2012
May We Know and Glorify You
By JOHN K. JONES
Special to The Messenger
We are continuing our discussion of the Heidelberg Catechism as it considers the Lord’s Prayer. Today we examine Q & A 122.
Question 122 asks: What does the first request mean? Answer: “Hallowed be your name” means: Help us to really know you (Jeremiah 9:23-24; 31:33-34; Matthew 16:17; John 17:31), 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 ( Exodus 34:5-8; Psalm 145; Jeremiah 32:16-20; Luke 1:46-55, 68-75; Romans 11:33-36). 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 (Psalm 115:1; Matthew 5:16).
We enter a short study of the first request of the Lord’s Prayer. There are six requests in the Lord’s Prayer, and we will look at each in turn.
What if I told you I loved my wife and then was unable to answer some basic questions about her? What if I could not tell you that what color her eyes are? Or how tall she is? Or whether or not she drinks coffee? Or who sings her favorite love songs? Or any details about her? Would you believe I truly loved her?
Why do we treat our relationship with God that way? We say we know Him personally, but we are unable to explain any details about Him because we know nothing of theology, the study of God. Our “personal relationship with God” can be shallow and lifeless without knowledge of Him.
To really know God is to know about Him, His “power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy and truth.” To know Him is to praise Him for “all (His) works and for all that shines forth from them.” If we do not know things about God, how can we say we know Him personally at all?
God gives His children a new heart, a heart that desires to do the things He wants them to do. The new heart God gives us enables us to see His kingdom, place our trust in Him and repent of our sins (John 3:1-15). The new heart also makes us want to live for Him. If we know God personally, we want to praise Him and to live our lives the way He wants us to.
We “direct all our living — what we think, say and do — so that (His) name will never be blasphemed because of us but always honored and praised.” When others look at our lives — our simple trust in God, our repentance when we sin, and our good works — they want to honor and praise God for what He has done in our lives.
May those whose lives cross our paths ever exclaim with the Psalmist, “Not to us, oh Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Psalm 115:1a).
Editor’s note: John K. Jones is a deacon at Grace Presbyterian Church on the square in Troy, where he attends with his family.