A man was known in his community because of his wisdom and intelligence. He met often with the other elders of the community and had a place of honour because of his contributions in advice and suggestions. He was proud of his standing, and did everything to maintain his integrity.
Moreover his children were known and his wife was honoured by all.
One day he called his wife and demanded to know where she brought one of their sons from. This sparked off a heated argument between the man and his wife, with the man insisting that the boy was not like him.
In looks, stature, complexion and character, the boy was his exact replica. So what was the issue? What could make a wise man behave so irrational? The boy failed an examination! He felt ashamed that his son would fail a major examination, and did not know how to defend it. He felt his ego had been punctured, making him disappointingly angry.
But why was he angry? He was guarding something: his good name.
In the military, training is given, with all its rigors and harshness, to mould the individual to fit and suit the image of the Force; thereby preserving its good name.
In school, children are taught in many ways and with various methods. Children who fail consecutively are asked to go; expelled. Why? The school has a name to protect.
Even in Church! Church? Yes. When an erring member refuses admonitions and warnings, and persists in breaking rules and commands, he gets excommunicated! Why? The name!
“A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1
A good name is of greater value and should be chosen than silver and gold! No wealth of this world can compare to a good name!
“A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” – Ecclesiastes 7:1
Ointment here talks of anointing. Just like wealth, anointing cannot compare to a good name! A person could be so anointed, if he does not have a good name, his anointing is polluted and counterfeit!
Samson was so anointed his birth was foretold. His reputation and anointing went before him but because he had no GOOD name, it was only a matter of time before he was brought down.
To be entrusted or conferred with the name of the military, a father, school or Church, you have to be patterned or trained to fit the mould (characteristics and pattern) of that name. Before full responsibility is given you in a work place, you have to be trained to fit into the company’s ways and policies.
Earthly fathers have been known to disown children and ask them not to use the family name because of the shame of their conduct. They want to preserve the family’s good name, the integrity built over the years. Such steps are usually consequences for not conforming with the characteristics of the family.
To carry the name of our heavenly Father, you would have to be trained or discipled. Worldly characteristics would have to be washed or cleansed from you.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” – John 15:3
That’s one reason we go to Church and are given the written word; that we might do away with the ways of the world and learn the ways of heaven.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:29
Learning to be like Jesus is taking up the characteristics of God and being conformed to His Kingdom. This makes us sons.
Only sons carry the name of the family, servants don’t. God watches over and guards His name so jealously, that was why He warned Moses in Exodus 23, about his angel on whom He placed His name. He does not trust His name to just about anybody. And he that nameth the name of the Lord must depart from iniquity!
It is an awesome thing to carry the name of the Lord. That name goes with power, authority, favour, provisions: doors open to the one that carries His name, he is welcomed and celebrated, divine health and sound mind are companions of such a one. That was what Abraham received after God tried him. He swore by Himself to bless Abraham. It was His very name He put on the Patriarch!
The reason you are going through what you are going through is because God loves you, and has chosen to put His name on you.
“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” – Hebrews 12:6
God has not just chosen you but is preparing you to be called a son, not a child, so you might have the honour of carrying His name.
He has put you where you are, that you would be “chosen from the fire of affliction”!
Stop giving honour to the devil; he may be God’s instrument, but God is in charge. God rules in the affairs of men!
“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is He whom the father chasteneth not?” – Hebrew 12:7
Know that you are a son! For God to bring out the best in you for His Name’s sake He has to “form and fashion” you to meet His specification or standard.
As a son you do not run but remain and endure hardness like a good soldier! Grit your teeth, toughen you body and “count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations”!
Beloved, it may not be pleasant but God wants you to endure! It will soon pass! Be patient for as surely as the sun rises and morning comes, the season of tears will pass and a new season of joy shall come!
Stand firm and let the name of the Lord be glorified.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are before,” (Philippians 3:13)
When the great Apostle Paul said the above, he was still under training.
The great Revivalist Elijah who shut up the heavens for three and half years, underwent further training at the brook Cherith and at Zarephat before the mount Carmel experience.
Whatever the Lord is taking you through now is training for something ahead. Elijah pulled upon the Brook and Zarepath trainings to stand victorious at Carmel. You will need the experience, for all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28)
It may be through the valley of the shadow of death, or high up on the mountain of success, He is not only with you, His grace is also with you and will sufficiently see you through!
So even as you are doing the work of the Lord, you are still undergoing training! Don’t be weary of studying.
Rather, “Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).
The word “bond” means a force that ties together; a uniting force, something that brings two things and makes them as one.
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3).
We are not permitted to operate alone (Gen. 2:18). We need others, in our homes, community and Church.
Despite our differences the Church family, the Holy Spirit has bonded us together.
We are not working to create the bond but like Adam to “keep” or “tend” it. It is already there.
Paul calls us to give every diligence; make every effort; do our best to maintain this “bond of peace”.
HOW DO WE MAINTAIN THIS BOND?
Whether in our homes, community or Church, we need to be:
Do not pride yourself over others or run them down, no matter who you are, what you have, where you have been or what you have attained in life.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3).
Yes, you may be better than others, don’t flaunt it!
Do not judge people by outward reasons. There must be a reason why people do what they do! They certainly wouldn’t set out to hurt or offend you. Do not be harsh to them simply because they do not see things your way. Again you need to know we are all prone to making mistakes; even you! Give room for others to make mistakes. That way you’ll not be hard on them.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
There is some light, something good in people, look for this light and shut your eyes to their mistakes (darkness). Jesus endured Judas this way. People may call your attention to the short-comings of others, remember, no one is perfect and no one is good!
An understanding of the above will help you endure with others, patiently as they work on themselves. In overlooking their faults, the capacity to forgive grows in you.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him, I say not to thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Your capacity to forgive grows when you learn to be patient with people.
Maintaining the bond of the Spirit will not be complete without speaking encouraging words to others. Rather than castigate, criticize and condemn, unity is maintained when we speak soft and positive words of encouragement.
“Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
“Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” (Isaiah 3:10).
In maintaining the bond of the Spirit, do not allow any corrupt word proceed from your mouth but words that would build and edify.
Remember, your duty and mine is to maintain this bond. Let’s think less about ourselves and do all within our power to keep this bond.
You are blessed!
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