Summary: This sermon brings this sermon series to an end. Since it should be our goal to make our lives all about God, then we should do our best to protect God's good name by our life of integrity and character. We are God's ambassadors and let's be the best ambassadors we can be.
A. Today’s sermon brings to a conclusion our sermon series “It’s All About God – Living A God-Centered Life.”
1. It has been a real joy and a real blessing for me to develop this sermon series using Max Lucado’s book “It’s Not About You” as a resource.
2. We have spent three months of Sundays exploring what it means to live a God-centered life.
3. We have sought to behold God’s glory and holiness.
a. We have sought to understand God’s eternal and unchanging nature.
b. And we have sought to grasp the fact that our God is love.
4. Then, with this clearer understanding of who God is, we have explored how to properly emulate and reflect our God.
a. We can reflect the glory and greatness of our God best when we make our lives all about God and not about us.
b. In order to make our lives all about God, then we must make our message and our salvation all about God, and we must make our bodies and our struggles, and our success all about God.
B. To conclude this sermon series, I want us to explore the need for us to protect God’s good name.
1. If our lives are supposed to be all about God, then we will do our best not to bring shame on God’s name.
2. If our lives are all about God, then we will do our best to guard God’s good reputation.
3. I don’t know if most parents of the present generation say this kind of thing to their kids (especially to their teens), but parents of other generations used to say this regularly to their kids when they left the house: “Go have fun, but don’t do anything that will bring shame on the family name.”
4. Proverbs 22:1 says: A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.
5. If that’s true of a good personal, family name, then how much more true should that be about our heavenly Father’s family name?
6. The 3rd commandment in God’s 10 commandments of the Old Testament is: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)
a. The Christian Standard Version translates the verse: Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name.
b. The Amplified Bible renders the verse: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn (im-pyoon) the character of God]; for the LORD will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].
7. We often only think of language, when we think of taking the name of the Lord in vain, but I want us also to think about lifestyle.
a. This command of God calls us to elevate the name and the reputation of God to the highest place, not only in what we say, but in how we live.
b. The goal of our existence should be to give honor to God’s name.
C. Let’s employ a modern day parable to illustrate this truth.
1. Once there was a Manhattan skyscraper and everyone in the building worked for the Owner and CEO whose office was on the top floor.
a. Most of the workers in the building didn’t know him and had not even seen him, but they had seen and knew his daughter.
b. The owner’s daughter worked for her father and she exploited her position to her benefit.
2. One morning, the owner’s daughter approached Bert, the guard and said, “I’m hungry, Bert. Go down the street and buy me a muffin.”
a. The daughter’s demand put Bert in a quandary.
b. He was on duty and leaving his post would put the building at risk.
c. But the owner’s daughter insisted, “Come on, now, hurry up.”
d. What option did he have?
e. As he left, he said nothing, but he thought something like: “If the daughter is so bossy, what does that say about her father?”
3. But the owner’s daughter was only getting started.
a. While she was munching on the muffin Bert brought her, she bumped into a paper-laden secretary and asked, “Where are you going with all those papers?”
b. The secretary answered, “I am on my way to have them bound for an afternoon meeting.”
c. The owner’s daughter said: “Forget the meeting. Come to my office and vacuum the carpet.”
d. The secretary started to counter: “But I was told…”
e. But the owner’s daughter cut her off: “And I am telling you something else.”
f. The secretary had no choice, after all, this was the owner’s daughter speaking.