Psalm 109:21 But you, O Sovereign Lord,
deal well with me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
David was so thoroughly identified as one who followed Yahweh that he could ask the Lord for things not for his own sake but so that the name of the Lord would be honored. Christians are theoretically in that position, but for far too many of us our relationship with God is a relatively minor part of our lives: a convenience or even an afterthought. We need to consider what it means to claim the name of Christ as a Christian. There is an attractive humility in the old Spiritual, Go Tell It on the Mountain, where it says, “And if I am a Christian, I am the least of all.” We are not to draw back from calling ourselves Christians, but we need to put real thought into what that means, and live accordingly. Of course, we can’t do it right in our own strength and goodness, but if that is the honest desire of our heart, God will do it in and through us by His Spirit.
This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone. Born in a missionary household, I’ve been associated with the name of Christ all my life. I wish I could say I’ve always brought honor to that name! By God’s grace He has kept me from major scandals and/or disasters, but that hasn’t been because of my own goodness. At this point I am perhaps as thoroughly associated with the name of Jesus as anyone in this city, which should be powerful motivation to bring honor to that name. In my recent hospitalization I shared freely that I was a pastor, and I sought to be kind and appreciative toward those who were taking care of me. When believers visited me, I know that our interactions were observed by the other men in my room, and I think the impression was attractive. I am to remember the words that are attributed to Francis of Assisi: “Preach constantly. When necessary, use words.” I am to so live that all who know me will desire to know my Lord themselves, for their salvation and His glory.
Father, thank You for the privilege of bearing the name of Your Son. May I be a Christian indeed, living always as Your agent, Your representative, to do Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!