Summary: One wonders why there are so many people who claim to be Christian but so few people proudly being Christian.
STOP ON POUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN
I think it is important to most folk that they have a good reputation. Every one would like others to think highly of them. I know that since I have come to Christ, my name is important to me, not because I am self orientated, but because my name is now aligned with Jesus Christ, and I don’t want to dirty his reputation.
But whatever your reason, I know that each of us here this morning wants to protect our reputation. What is reputation? One of the best definitions I have ever heard of the word reputation, is that it is what people think and say about you when you are not there, or what it is that goes through their mind when they find out you are coming to visit.
Just like your face or your thumbprint, your reputation is how people identify you.
You have heard the expression I am sure, His reputation precedes him.
So this morning I want to ask the question, what kind of reputation are you building?
How will people think of you in a few years time? What kind of reputation do you want to have and are you doing something about building that reputation right now. Are you proud of who you are? Are you proud of who you are becoming?
Now whether or not you have accepted Jesus in your life yet or not, you have to be concerned with those kind of questions. You have to agree that what you are doing right now is moulding who you will be tomorrow. Who you will be tomorrow will directly affect how people will see or think of you. It will affect your reputation.
Here is where Christianity is so awesome. Not only will it challenge you to want to have a good name, but it will also give you the best possible characteristics to add to your reputation.
So if you want to start building a name for yourself that puts behind all the immature childish things that you have placed emphasis on for such a long time. If you are finding that the things you are becoming known as are not the kind of thing you would like to have written on your tombstone, then its time you got yourself a new reputation.
Maybe you are the party animal, maybe you can pull into three or four girls in an evening, maybe you fly off the handle and loose your cool at the drop of a hat, maybe you are an easy one night stand, maybe you are so emotionally unstable, or are so hard that no one knows who you are. Whatever it is, I want to say that its time you become proud of something else. Some of those things might make you the center of attention right now but they wont for long.
Being a Christ oriented disciple is a reputation I can live with. Being someone who attempts to give and show love, is a reputation that I would love to have on my tombstone. I stand proud of what Christ is making me because it is a hell of a lot better than the reputation I was making for myself.
You see that’s the thing. Being able to be proud of who you are. What your morals and belief structure is.
There were three men in scripture who each had an impeccable reputation. You probably all know the story in the bible of Shedrach Mesach and Obednego.
Describe situation – not wanting to compromise their reputation as men of God.
Read Daniel 3:17-18
They would rather die than compromise who they were.
They were proud o be men of the most high God. Nothing would change that. A quick turn the blind eye and there would have been no problem just to bend a knee to this false god. But what would that have showed others. No they stuck to who and what they were and knew that they were building a legacy as men of honour an faith.
We know the story. Because they were proud to be men of God, their reputation was increased and improved a 100 fold. The King set them apart and lifted them up in honour.
Are you ready to go to death to protect what God is doing in your life. Are you ready to step into a furnace that had killed men just in getting too close to it just to prove that you are a Christian?
In some studies it has been indicated that upwards of 70% of people in this country say they are Christian.
I suppose to many of those folk, Christian simply means that they are not Jewish or Muslim.
But what does it mean to you. When you come into church this morning, what does it mean to be Christian? What does it mean to identify yourself as a Christian? How will people see that you are a Christian? Do you want to be identified as a Christian?