Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10, 2007

Shakespeare once wrote "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Yet our name carries a great deal of weight. It identifies us, it says a lot about us. Think about it, I can mention a name and you immediately will have a picture of this person in your mind and an opinion about them:

Billy Graham
Osama Bin Laden
President George Bush
Mickey Mouse
Abraham Lincoln
Ted Kazinsky
Scarlett O'Hara
When our children were growing up, one of the last things we would tell them each time they left home was "Remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are!" We tried to instill in them that they had a family name, their father's name, to uphold and not to tarnish. He is a fine, godly man...a man of integrity...and a man whose name is held in high regard by all who know him. They bear that name and should never do anything to bring dishonor or shame to it. When our son was a teenager, I ran across this poem. I felt it further exemplified that and since he would be carrying on the family name, I gave it to him:

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
So it's yours to use and cherish
For as long as you may live
If you lost the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced;
But a black mark on your name
Can never be erased
It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there
So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You'll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son.

Yes, guarding and honoring the family name was important, but even more was the fact that our children are believers and therefore, they also bear the name of Christ. They are children of the King! We wanted them to bear that name just as proudly and do nothing to bring dishonor to Christ.
We are too prone to get caught up in labels. We must have the right label on our clothing or the most sought after designer bag. I remember so well what a big deal that was to our son when he was in high school. He wanted the most expensive shirts out there and got very upset when I could not afford to buy them for him. He was horrified if you suggested buying ANYTHING from Walmart. He called it "Walmart Fall-aparts"! Now it is his # 1 store next to Bass Pro and the only label he cares about is Carhart or RealTree! Teens are constantly put down and criticized for not wearing the right label. They can be ostracized and become the object of ridicule for just such a thing. It makes it very hard for working parents, yet it is important that they teach their children that the most important name is not Gucci or is JESUS!!
If their identity is IN HIM, He will help them to realize that no matter what the label in your shirt says, you are royalty! You are heir to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You have a home waiting for you that rivals the grandest palace on earth! At HIS name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST is Lord! His name is all powerful! And as a believer we carry that name. We are Christians....which means "little Christ". And we need to teach that to our children and our grandchildren. We need to remind OURSELVES of it every day. A song we often sing says it well:
"Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder'
Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name
Jesus, in Your Name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today
Lord, give us strength to live for You
and glorify Your Name."
--Paul Baloche & Glenn Packiam
©2006 Integrity's Hosanna! Music Vertical Worship Songs

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