A Good Name

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Mark 14:3-9

I.         During Memorial Day, this country sets aside time to remember those who have died before us.

            A.        How do people remember those who have left this life? (Actual tombstones)

                        1.         Beneath this stone, a lump of clay, Lies stingy Jimmy Wyatt. Who died one morning just at ten And saved a dinner by it.

                        2.         Sir John Strange. Here lies an honest lawyer. And that is Strange.

                        3.         Here lies Barnard Lightfoot Who was accidentally killed in the 45th year of his age. This monument was erected by his grateful family.

                        4.         Beneath this silent stone is laid A noisy, antiquated maid, Who from her cradle talked to death, And never before was out of breath. Here lies, returned to clay Miss Arabella Young, Who on the eleventh day of May Began to hold her tongue.

            B.        Humorous. But how will people remember you when you’re gone?

                        1.         Stingy, honest, relieved you’re gone?

            C.        And even before your death, how do people remember you?

                        1.         Being dead, it is your reputation that speaks - Hebrews 11:4

II.        A good name is valuable

            A.        Proverbs 22:1 - In a choice between wealth and reputation, a good reputation is more valuable because with a good reputation you can also gain wealth.

                        1.         I would rather deal with someone I trust

            B.        Ecclesiastes 7:1 - A good name is better than expensive perfume. Perfume can make you smell good for a while, but a good reputation lasts even beyond death.

                        1.         Solomon smelled good, but not as good as his reputation - Song of Solomon 1:3

            C.        It is easy to think we have to do something big, something earth shattering to be remembered well.

                        1.         But consider the woman at Simon’s house - Mark 14:3-9

                                    a.         We aren’t even told her name, but her reputation lives on

                                    b.         It was a seemingly small thing she did, but was remembered

                        2.         Cornelius had a good reputation - Acts 10:22

III.       The reputation God gives

            A.        God told Abraham He would make his name great - Genesis 12:2

                        1.         And few, even thousands of years later don’t know about Abraham

            B.        God promised to give His followers a name that is never lost - Isaiah 56:5

            C.        Examples of some given in Hebrews 11:1-2, 39-40

                        1.         These men all had good names because of their faith, but God is providing something better.

                        2.         It can include us as well

            D.        Jesus established a better covenant - Hebrews 8:6

                        1.         By it a person can be saved forever - Hebrews 7:19

                        2.         Our names can be recorded in heaven - Hebrews 12:23

            E.        And we are marked as belonging to Christ - Revelation 3:12

            F.        Rejoice that God remembers us - Luke 10:20

IV.      We ought to protect that reputation - Romans 14:16

            A.        There will always be those who despise what is good - I Peter 4:4-5

            B.        But having everyone like us isn’t reason for doing evil - I Peter 3:15-17

                        1.         A reputation for doing good is what stands, not a reputation for doing what is popular

                        2.         Hang on to the truth - Proverbs 23:23-25

V.        May God find each of our passing precious in His sight - Psalms 116:15

            A.        And in this life have confidence - Hebrews 13:6

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