FOR HIS NAME SAKE
Mary A. Godfrey
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
The Lord leads us on journey’s we never thought we would be on. There are days when opportunities present themselves and we wonder for what reason they occurred. We sleep, we eat, we get dressed, we go out and we come in but for what reason. Some of us are purpose driven, some of us are cruising through life, and some of us wonder about this stage in life and why are we still alive.
We are never on one path at one time; we are always on many paths at the same time. The paths to destruction are wide and broad along the way. There are many distractions in life that will take your mind off of your salvation and stop you from behaving as though you are saved. But the path to everlasting life is narrow at the gate and straight along the path. To stay on the straight and narrow path that Christ has shown us is difficult for our flesh but not impossible.
I want to take a moment with the help of the Holy Spirit to show you why you should stay on the straight path to eternal life.
My topic today is FOR HIS NAME SAKE.
The scripture we will reference is Psalm 23:3.
Most of us have heard the 23rd Psalm preached and taught. Rev. Banks preached one Tuesday from this very topic. But I want to focus not on God as our Shepherd but “for His name’s sake.”
When the Lord put this topic in my spirit I must admit that I was a little confused. I have read these words in many scriptures but have wondered what does for His name’s sake really mean. And why does God lead me in paths of righteousness for His name sake.
What are these paths of righteousness that we need to be lead through?
First of all righteousness is following the divine and moral law of God. It means in spite of what the world says we still have to take a stand for the things of God.
1. He guides us in order to perform our duties. The only way to have a spirit of excellence is allow the Holy Spirit to direct our steps on the job, in the home, in the church, and even while we are out shopping.
2. His word penetrates our mind, soul, and spirit so even our thoughts will know when the Spirit is speaking. Scripture reads “try the spirits by the Spirit that dwells within you.” When decisions need to be made seek the Lord first and you will always receive the right answer.
3. His paths will always meet our needs whether physical or spiritual.
The paths of righteousness will never put us in a place where the Spirit of the Lord is not present.
Why does the Lord desire us to be on the right paths? It is for His name’s sake.
For His name’s sake simply means for the reputation of God.
How do you protect the reputation of God? Do you protect it like you do your virtue, your children, your spouse, your job, your parents, or your belongings? Some might be saying God does not need protection and you would be right He does not since He alone is all powerful, but how people view Him in light of our behavior may put Him in a position of not appearing to be worthy enough to be identified as Holy and worth giving up poor habits to follow Christ into eternity.
Moses asked the Lord at Mt. Sinai when the people made the image of the calf to worship not to kill His people. “What will the Egyptians say that you took these people out of Egypt to destroy them from the face of the earth?” Moses could have had a great nation from his own seed but he chose to intercede for the people and protect God’s reputation.
I want to use several scriptures for my points to justify why we want to protect the reputation and glory of God.
Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.
We should protect God’s reputation because when we are saved and others see us they should see the image of God. His image should always be the first thing people recognize when they meet us and when we open our mouth to speak. His image is without faults and turmoil; His image does not cause strife and does not gossip. We must present the character of the Lord by understanding that we are in His image.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
We should protect God’s reputation because He promised a redeemer to save us from our sins and draw us back to His heart and He kept His promise through Jesus the Christ. God is not like man that He lies so He is a promise keeper. When we make a promise in the Spirit of the Lord it should be fulfilled. Has God’s name been marred by your lies? Through Jesus’ death can you say you are a child of the King?
Isaiah 48:9 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise. I restrain it for you that I may not cut you off.”
We should protect God’s reputation because He did not turn His anger towards us when we were in and off the world all at the same time. He would rather have our praise than to allow us to die before our purpose is fulfilled. He would rather have us victorious than defeated; joyous instead of sad; living and have eternal life with Him instead of eternal death. He wants known lost. Are you praising God for keeping you?
1 John 2:12 “Your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake.”
We should protect God’s reputation because He became flesh in Jesus Christ and shed His blood so our sins would be forgiven. Who have you shed your blood for in order to save that person? I’m not talking about child birth thought it can be very difficult. Who would you die for in excruciating pain so that they might have a chance to live? The Lord is the giver of life and death. Protect His name so that you will have an abundant life and others will want to be saved also.
Jeremiah 14:7 “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD for your name’s sake; for our backsliding are many; we have sinned against you.”
We should protect God’s reputation because our sins are evident to the unsaved. We may be able to hide our sins from each other but the people we find ourselves in the company of that are not saved will recognize sinfulness quickly and then they don’t want to hear anything about Jesus from our mouth. The Lord is Holy and He keeps Holy Company would you like to be denied into heaven just as you denied Him on earth through your behavior. Thank God that Jesus intercedes even for the backslider in heaven.
I Samuel 12:22 “For the Lord will not forsake His people for His name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for Himself.”
We should protect God’s reputation because it pleased Him to make us. How many people have aborted babies around the world? It did not please some of them to bring a life into the world. But God was pleased to bring us into existence and then call us His children. He did not abort us when we became disobedient. God loved us so much that when we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior He wrote our name in the Lamb’s book of Life, He sealed us until the day of redemption, we all became one in Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit stands witness to our salvation.
Mark 10:29 “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or fathers, or mother, or wife, or children, or land for my sake, and the gospel.”
We should protect God’s reputation because no one has given up what is theirs for Christ sake or the gospel. Christ gave His life so we would be seen by God through His eyes instead of our sinfulness. What have you given up to spread the gospel? I have given up some of my time but my time and my life belongs to God anyway. We don’t have to give anything up since Jesus already gave up His life to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. We have to protect His investment by presenting Jesus as Holy and faultless.
There are missionaries and evangelist who truly suffer for the cause of the cross and are even imprisoned but how many of us who are going through can say our sufferings our for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. We may go through but we have not given up anything for Jesus.
The paths of righteousness are for His name sake and we should protect the reputation of the Lord because:
We are in His image.
He loves us and gave us Jesus as Savior of the world.
He held back His anger so instead of dying we are able to give Him praise.
He forgave our sins.
He intercedes on our behalf.
It pleased Him to make us His people.
Jesus gave up His life so the gospel would go forth and we would be seen as Holy through His eyes.
Is your life for His name sake or is it for your name alone?
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