Summary: As we must be careful about our family names, we must be careful not to bring dishonor to God’s family name.

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Purpose Driven Life #7


September 13, 2003

How much do you value your name? Do you have a good name? God tells us, in Proverbs 22.1, that to have a good name is better than great riches. I think my mother must have taken this passage literally as she often reminded my sister and I of our name and the need to watch our behaviour so we didn’t bring shame to our name. She was concerned that we reflect good things to others as we interacted in the community area in which we lived.

Well, our heavenly Father has a similar concern. Our quest in life is to bring glory to God.

Ro. 11.36- everything is for his glory. Everything is to bring glory to God. Everything is to bring positive to the name of God. WE are to bring positive to the name of God.

Glory is not something we think about a great deal- it’s not something that enters our daily vocabulary very often. However, it’s important to God. Glory has to do with all that God is. He is important, splendid, powerful, and awesome. He is good. He is the creator of everything, so everything reflects His goodness, and other qualities, in some ways. I believe that the smallest creatures, in acting and being precisely as God created them to be, show God’s glory. The dog, in being perfectly dog-like, reflects God’s glory. The same is true of any animal or creature you can name. (Now, I know we might wonder whether anything, perfectly, reflects what God intended for them since the sin in the Garden of Eden. However, overall, I believe these parts of creation are more reflective of God’s fullness and glory, in being all they were intended to be than are the two parts of creation that can actually choose to not reflect God well- these are the angels that fell, and humankind.

Otherwise, we read that the heavens declare God’s glory. We see that there is a new Jerusalem coming that doesn’t need light because God’s glory is enough illumination- there will be no blackouts then. We read that Jesus fully reflected- and reflects- God’s glory and that when He lived on earth people saw his glory in his graciousness and truth, even though they didn’t ‘connect the dots, so-to-speak’ and draw the right conclusion during his earthly life and ministry.

Paul declares:

Ro. 3.23- all fall short of God’s glory because of sin. None of us has given God the full glory he deserves from our lives. In fact, this is at the root of sin. Do you remember that John the Baptist was perfectly happy to direct attention away from himself and toward Jesus? Do you remember that, on one occasion, John said that he must decrease while Jesus must increase? That is the heart of giving glory. That is the heart of ‘not bringing shame to the family name’. When you think of it, all sin, then, is failing to give God glory. It is loving anything else more than God. Refusing to bring God glory is what Lucifer did, originally, and what Adam and Eve did in the first human sin, and is what we do when we sin. We allow pride and rebellion to guide us, rather than humility and obedience, and we glorify ‘us’ rather than ‘him’, and we do what seems right to us. We are supposed to do what seems right to Him, but we don’t, so we choose to not give glory to God.

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