I believe that at one time or another, we've all been rebels, and refused to submit to authority. But there comes a time in a persons LIFE that we must choose for ourselves, "Whom we will serve!"
And the book of Joshua reiterates our need to do so.
So consider this admonition that was given to children of Israel, through Joshua 24:15-17."
It reads like this: And if it seems evil to you to serve The LORD, choose for this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your father served which are on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.
But as for me and my house, we will serve The LORD.
[The people made a wise decision, and gave this response]: So the people answered and said: "Far be it from us that we should forsake The LORD to serve other gods; for The LORD our GOD is HE Who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, Who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the ways that we went and among all the people through which we passed.
[With that said; I ask you this; "if you were being spoken of in a crowd of people; "Do you believe that anyone would recognize that it was you being mentioned?"
And if so," would it be for something positive?"
I ask this, because I read a story of a certain cattle rancher named "Maverick" who refused to brand his cattle."
When neighboring ranchers came along side a calf without a brand, they called it a “Maverick,” because they knew that it belonged to him.
The word entered the English language and came to refer to a person who refuses to conform to the norm." Right!
A person who refuses to do things the way that everybody else does them. Other names have become words that describe a person’s character and behavior also: "Judas and Benedict," both mean “traitor.” Einstein is used to describe a "genius," while a Solomon is a wise man."
Few names will ever become part of a language, but our names can signify who we are, and Whose GLORY, we live for."
Thus, Solomon said in Proverbs 10:7-8, “The memory of the "RIGHTEOUS" is Blessed,
but the name of the wicked will rot." The wise in heart will recieve commands,
But a prating fool will fall.
And in that same book, Proverbs 10:9 tells us that he who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.”
[And so, Brethren,
When we think of someone we know and admire, the words we associate with that person’s name are usually the character traits we would like to have in ourselves." Character traits? Like what?"
Well, things like HONESTY, GENEROSITY, LOVE, and KINDNESS, are often at the top of the list."
Especially "KINDNESS," because our LORD assures us, through Proverbs 19:22 that KINDNESS is what's desired in a man, and that a poor man is better than a liar.
[And we see great KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, HONESTY, and LOVE, in our LORD JESUS CHRIST; Who being rich, became poor; so that we who are "poor," would become rich, by sharing HIS finished work of The Cross, for the remission of sins, with others."
For HE calls us The LIGHT of the world, so that we might shine The LIGHT of The GOSPEL into the lives of those who are in darkness, and in the shadow of death."
For HE sends us to preach about HIS finished work of The Cross. Because not willing that any should perish, desires for everyone to embrace HIM, as our BOSS."
In GOD'S WISDOM, HE has chosen through the foolishness of the message preached, to "SAVE" those who Believe!"
And of this, 1st Corrinthians 1:21 makes it abundantly clear, by saying: For since, in the WISDOM Of GOD, the world through wisdom did not know GOD, it pleased GOD through the foolishness of the message preached to SAVE those who Believe."
To "SAVE" those, who what?" Believe, Beloved!"
To SAVE those, who Believe!"
And it's because we Believe, that we speak!"
For if we didn't Believe, how could we speak of our LORD'S death on The Cross, HIS burial, and RESURRECTION on the third day, that took our sins away? How?"
So it's fair to say, that those who don't GLORIFY The NAME above all names, and do," what our LORD sends us to do. Are simply ashamed of HIM, and disregard HIS WORD and instruction, that sends us out as sheep among wolves, to preach HIS GOSPEL.
Yet, because of their disregard, Mark 8:35-38 has this to say:
For whoever desires to SAVE his LIFE will lose it, but whoever loses his LIFE for MY sake and The GOSPEL'S will SAVE it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
For whoever is ashamed of ME and MY WORDS in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him The Son of Man also will be ashamed when HE comes in The GLORY of HIS FATHER with the Holy Angels."