Christian Fellowship 1997-08-20 - Uphold the Family Name

Ephesians 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children" (NASB)

Growing up one piece of wisdom my father seem to hammer into my head, was "Don't disgrace the family name." I grew up and still live in this small town where everyone knows everything about each family, whether true or not ; ). I remember his lessons on "Respect authority", "Don't be a smart-aleck", "Don't let your mother and me down", "Always treat others with respect", and so forth. What my father was really saying to me is "Don't embarrass our family by your behavior." This proved time and time again in my teen years to be a great motivator to keep me out of serious trouble. When the negative peer pressure came in the form of doing some unacceptable behavior, my father's words would ring in my head "Uphold the family name." I always wanted to hear his "welcome home" spoken to me in a proud manner.

When we accept Christ as Savior, we are born-again, we become children of God, we call him Father. Until we are born again into the family of believers, we do not know God as our Father. John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (NIV)

James 1:18 And it was a happy day for him when he gave us our new lives through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family. (LB)

God speaks of us as He spoke of Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:17 "and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (NASB)

The Father loves us as He loves His Son. As Jesus saids in John 17:23 "I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (NIV)

Are you upholding the family name as a child of God? Is your life exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

Romans 8:15 And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, Father.” (LB)

Jesus said in John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV)

Pretty simple when you think about it. Love God, love people. By doing this you will uphold the family name. I pray that at the end, as I stand before our Holy Father, I hear the words, "Well done David, my good and faithful servant, you upheld the family name. Welcome home."

Dear Father, Forgive us for letting you down, for missing the mark, for not bringing glory to you. Father, we thank you for allowing us to be your children through Jesus Christ. We want so much to uphold the family name. Give us the strength of Your Spirit and Your wisdom to be imitators of Christ Jesus. We pray that when we stand before you, we hear those precious words, "Well done, my child." In the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, Amen.