11. The Sake of His Reputation: "for His name's sake" (verse 3c)
Why do parents get so much pride and joy out of their children and now I am finding out of our grandchildren? True I raised them, but they are the ones who are studying, working, succeeding and yes sometimes stumbling (of course that’s when they become Melissa’s kids!). And yet I enjoy their joys and am sad at their sorrows. It’s in the fine print or even the unwritten part of the contract, I suppose, of being a parent (wait! There’s a contract?!).
So it is and so much more in being a child of God. What I do as a sheep of my Shepherd reflects on His name and His reputation. True, He is holy and nothing I do adds to or takes away from His holiness. But how I obey is just as related to His name’s sake just in the same way that when our children do well, I feel honored and when they are not doing well, I feel burdened.
That’s why the Shepherd leads me on righteousness paths: For HIS name’s sake. For me, obedience restores my soul, but it is for His glory. “For… Your name’s sake lead me, and guide me” (Psalms 31:3). You see, God seeks a relationship and not a religion, but that relationship means that my actions relate to Him. Jesus used a sheep falling into a pit to show our relationship is more important than obeying God out of legalism.
Matt. 12:11-12 says, “11Then He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ ”
Religious works doesn’t save us. It is for His name’s sake that He saved us. His forgiveness is His mark on His sheep, signifying we are His. “For Your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity for it is great.” (Psalm 25:11 and Psalm 79:9). John wrote his first epistle to tell his friends that we are forgiven for the sake of His great name. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven, for His name’s sake.” (1 John 2:12).
If our salvation is for His name’s sake, what is the purpose of our good works? Also for His name’s sake! “For My name’s sake you have labored and not fainted.” (Revelation 2:3). In fact, just about everything God does, from answering our prayers (2 Chronicles 6:32) to even not forsaking us (1 Samuel 12:22), is for His glory, His reputation.
But watch this: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Do you see what He did there? We are called by His name. We are joint heirs with Christ. When Christ died, He included us in His last will and testament. That’s why we call it the New Testament. His Great Name is our inheritance.
Lord Jesus, lead me so that I may glorify You for Your name’s sake. In the NAME of JESUS CHRIST I pray. Amen