Happy Friday friends! This week, I am going to share with y’all some pieces of the second lesson from CROSS 2020. John Piper presented the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, beginning with the second line which is probably one of the more convicting and powerful lines, at least for me personally. “Hallowed Be Your Name.”
So, what does the word, “hallow” even mean? According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, it means to make holy, or set apart for holy use. It also means to give great respect. Some synonyms for “hallow” are “bless,” “consecrate,” and “sanctify.” God’s name is to be esteemed as holy. It’s to be sanctified, blessed, highly respected, and even treasured. When we think about it, how often, or how well, do we truly bless the name of God? How sincere are we when we say we respect Him or when we sing, “holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”? I’ll be honest, there are times when I can truly worship and hallow God’s name with everything I am but then there are many times when I’m just saying a bunch of empty, meaningless words. That makes me no better than the Pharisees Jesus addresses in Matthew 15:8-9 when referring to one of Isaiah's prophecies (Is. 20:13). "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me...."
What is extremely powerful about the Lord’s Prayer is something I had never realized until Piper spoke at the conference and that is the fact that the prayer is not just mere statements. It’s also a list of requests. Genuine requests that we should take to the Lord on behalf of ourselves and others for the sake of transforming our hearts and minds. Even for the sake of transforming our very lives. Piper emphasized how the phrase, “Hallowed be your name,” the first request in the prayer, “is an explicit request for a response of the heart to take place.” In other words, we need to pray and ask God to move in our hearts so that we may be able to hallow His name the way it’s meant to be hallowed. Because unless we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, I don’t believe we will ever be fully capable of honoring God’s name the way He created us to.
Another thought that I want to briefly present is how we are to hallow God’s name not just with our words but our actions as well. One specific example is how God commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) as a way of hallowing His name; something the CoMission staff put into practice regularly on the USFSP campus. When we look at global missionaries, or even stateside missionaries on the college campuses, who have crossed borders and cultures to make His name known among unreached people groups, they are literally hallowing His name in the utmost way possible.
As Piper so appropriately said, “Missions exists because the hallowing of God’s name doesn’t.” After all, how can a group of animistic people in Mongolia hallow the name of their Creator when they have never even heard of Him? Or, how can a group of college athletes or Greek members hallow His name correctly if they have never been taught? As Romans 10:14 explicitly says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”
May God’s name be hallowed high above every other name in every nation in the years to come.
For your enjoyment, click here to view the entirety of John Piper's sermon from CROSS 2020.