Pastor’s Desk May 25th

Scripture Passage:  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”   “A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.”  The Message

Dear Friends,

     What is in a name?  In Bible days everything.  Careful attention was paid to the naming of a child.  Often the name related to a family member. At other times it related to a circumstance or a projected hope or desire for the child’s future.  Patty and I were both named for our fathers’.  Our children were all named for family members and certain situations we were experiencing at the time.  It seems today people try to come up with names no one has ever heard of before, or something so outlandish it makes no sense at all.  A name always ends up being personally tied to our identity and reputation.  So it is important that we guard and protect it as a cherished treasure.

     The Bible says it is more important to have a good name than to have money in the bank.  Whereas money is coveted by the secular world, it is the character and integrity of a good name that wields the greatest influence.  Anyone can have money, but not everyone has a good name.  Wealth obtained through ill-gotten means often turns into more of a curse than a blessing.  A good name gained by godly living and personal integrity surpasses any monetary gain and makes a person immensely wealthy.  A true Christian does not have to have money, but they most certainly must have a good name.  Without that good name, all the works and good deeds we accomplish are in vain. 

     As a teacher of young children one of the things I stressed was the importance of a good name.  Even as a young child, we begin to develop a reputation that follows us throughout our life.  When your name is spoken it produces a feeling of joy and respect or of dread and disdain.  The difference comes out of the response the name strikes in our memory.  So it is never too early to start teaching our children and grandchildren the importance of integrity and character.  Another thing I have a pet peeve about is a person’s signature.  A person’s name is so important and valuable that great care and time should be spent when writing it.  It should be so clear and concise that anyone could read it without any problem.  A good illustration of this was John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence.  He wrote it large enough and clear enough that King George would recognize it at first glance.  This is how we get the phrase, “Put your John Hancock on it.” 

     It is not so much how you begin as how you finish your race that will determine what your name will be remembered for.  Many foolish actions and decisions have been forgiven and forgotten through the transforming power of the Gospel.  The ultimate recognition comes from knowing that the God of Heaven, and Jesus Himself, knows your name and holds it in high esteem.  He not only knows it, he has it written in the palm of His hand.  For that reason, look up and hold your head high for you have a good name in Christ Jesus our Lord.  You can take that to the bank.

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny