WHAT'S IN YOUR NAME?
- Key Verse
- For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. (Romans 16:19)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Riding on the coattails of a good name, good behavior, or past success is not enough. Wherever we find ourselves today, we must always strive to be wise about what is good and innocent of evil.
What is associated with a name is important -- here are a few examples:
1. Abraham Lincoln -- Emancipation Proclamation, 16th president, known for great humility while wielding great power. Also one of the more believable and lifelike figures in the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.
2. Mother Teresa -- Humanitarian and advocate for the poor/helpless, devotion to serving orphans, National Prayer Breakfast keynote speech in 1994.
3. Apple -- computers and Steve Jobs, but most especially as a delicious fruit with a healthy balance of Vitamins A, C, and B6
In Romans 16, Paul references more than 20 people who were a part of the care and teaching of the church. These were people who "risked their own necks" (verse 4) for each other, worked hard for the Lord, and were "outstanding among the apostles" (verse 7). This is a group that will help others grow in their understanding of being "wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil" (verse 19), and it should encourage us to run harder after Christ.
This passage causes me to ask myself two things:
1. Am I living my life in a manner that helps my wife, children, family and others to draw closer to God?
2. When they think of my name, are they encouraged?
To be honest, it's sometimes easier for me to recall a great work of passion, success, or a "ministry thing" I did a year or more ago than to describe what I am doing today to honor the Lord with the life He's given me. Paul challenges us on this in verse 19. To paraphrase, he says: "Good work, and I rejoice in it. But don't get lazy!" Paul recognizes how fickle we can be in light of achievement, and it's something he first recognized in himself: "Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15, KJV)
God can make us new, restore our names, and reconcile us to Himself through Christ our Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). I pray for God's blessings on you today. Let's go be faithful!
Discussion Questions1. People are either "wind in your sails or anchors in your tails." Who do you spend the most time with?
2. Do you think people think of you as wind or an anchor?
3. How does your family's opinion of you at home compare with your co-workers' opinion at the office?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Romans 13-1 Corinthians 1 (June 11-15)
Read Romans 13:8-10.
• What is a debt?
• What does verse 8 say we should do with our debts?
• Why do you think we have a debt to love others?
• Who paid our debt by dying on the cross?
We can show how thankful we are for what Jesus has done for us by following His command to love our neighbors.
• Who is your neighbor (not just your "neighbors" who live near you)?
• What does it mean to "love your neighbor as yourself?"
Activity: Make a list of the ways that you take care of yourself. Think about everything from eating healthy foods, to wanting to be listened to, to memorizing Scripture to combat the enemy. Be exhaustive. Pick five of your "neighbors" and choose something for each of them from your list of how you love yourself and love them specifically in that way this week.