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Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Good Name

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"A Good Name"

"A good name is more desirable than great riches. To be esteemed is better than gold" (Proverbs 22:1).

This morning I was talking with a friend concerning a coin collection he was dealing with as part of an estate. We were discussing the great numismatic value of some coins, i.e. the value to a coin collector versus the coin's face value. Some coins, unbeknownst to non-coin collectors, are worth thousands of dollars. But today we want to discuss something of much greater value, our name.

In our line of work we hear a lot of names and, as much as we are able, try to learn them. I like to be personally addressed by my correct name just as most all people do. We know those who have common names and many with Bible names including the common names like Matthew, Mark, John, and to a lesser degree Luke. We also encounter some lesser heard Bible names like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos.

Yesterday I was visiting with three men whom I know to be Christians, two young men and the father to one of them. I stopped to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Two had Bible names; John and Isaiah, but the third man was Jeff which is not the name of any Bible character. I told him he had a good name and he had a important role in keeping it that way. I affirmed the men in the value of their work and their diligence as they were making live animal traps. It's great to see young people with a strong work ethic.

"A good name is more desirable than great riches." Initially, as a very young believer, I assumed this meant it's good to have a name one liked. I've always liked my name since I am named after Stephen, a fearless Bible character.  My middle name is Clark, which was my Dad's middle name and I like that because I think of the explorers Lewis and Clark. But frankly there are certain names I am sure glad my parents didn't select for me.  I won't mention those names, since it might happen to be yours', and I sure wouldn't want to hurt your feelings!

But a "good name" in the text means a name that connotes a person of honorable character with a good reputation. For instance when we refer to a business that is known for its integrity, we often say "It has a good name." Having a good name is truly more desirous than great riches.

As in most things, it's harder to build than it is to destroy. Building a good reputation requires patience, effort, time, and other virtues, most of them included in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). Yet it can all come crashing down with one very bad choice (though the one single devastating choice generally follows to other poor choices).

A good name is developed over time, really a lifetime, and the true judgment of success will not be known until this life is over and we personally meet the Lord. Having a good name remains one of our most precious assets that we must carefully guard.

Consider your name. What do you suppose others think when they hear your name or read it in print? Does it represent a person who has a good name based upon integrity, truthfulness, and godly character? Let us strive to hear the highest commendation by the Judge of all character, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, Your name stands above all the rest, for it is only in Your name that we have power to combat the enemy as we come boldly to the throne of grace. May the way we live our lives bring blessing to our family, and glory to You, Jesus, Name above all other names. Amen.
Note for our newer readers from Brooksyne: Speaking of names, mine has always distinguished me from all the rest. Readers have written and asked about the pronunciation and origin as well. Brooksyne is pronounced Brook-seen'. I would be unable to count the number of times I've explained it and had to pronounce it since I was young enough to speak for myself. My father's name was Brooklyn and my folks were hoping for a baby boy, but surprise, I was a girl! Mom had to come up with some derivative and thus the name "Brooksyne" originated over 50 years ago. In the past twenty-five years or so the name "Brooke" has become popular and made my name a bit less distinct. I would have welcomed that as a child, but I've come to appreciate the distinctness of an original name. My prayer is that my life will always reflect that of a person with "a good name" (not just because it's unusual, but because I choose to live a life set apart for Christ.)

Church sign
How's this for an uplifting message on a church sign we passed yesterday east of Ephrata PA!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lord You Are More Precious Than Silver"  Video  

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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