A good name

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Pr. 22:1

Yesterday was my son’s 8th birthday.  He did have a good day and by the end of the day, declared it “the best birthday ever!”  That’s a win!

He liked his presents, but more than all of that, he enjoyed the closeness we shared as I read him our traditional birthday book.  He hugged me over and over as we looked at his baby pictures and I answered his questions about when he was born.

It thrilled his heart that his sister worked really hard and enthusiastically to make him a special birthday cake just the way he wanted.  His heart was overjoyed when we surprised him by having his old friend show up at our celebration last night.

He appreciated the work we did on his decorations.  He enjoyed having his grandfather, uncle, family, and some friends there to celebrate with him.  He was just happy to be loved and favored.

He was grateful and thankful for all we did and gave, and he expressed his thanks to all.  Everyone was happy to celebrate with him because he is a such a great guy.  He is kind, generous, loving, sharing, encouraging, fun, and is a joy to be around.  In other words, he has a good name.

And that is what I want for him most of all.  As much as he was grateful for the “riches” he received, he was much more nourished and made to feel complete by the favor shown to him.  As much as I enjoyed giving him things, I feel much more proud of the fact that people enjoy being around him and that he is a kind person.

My prayer is that he continue on this path all his days and that he grow to truly know for a fact what ‘things’ are most important to be chosen in this life.

It’s a reminder we can all use from time to time.  Riches and things can be helpful, pretty, and can make us smile temporarily, but can all be taken away or destroyed.  At the end of the day, what really matters are those who love and care for us.  How we make others feel is what they remember about us.  We have to make sure we are choosing to give ourselves a good name by our actions towards others.

Thanks for being a great illustration for this important verse, my amazing son!  We are so proud of you.

Mom, aka jamie

 

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Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Pr. 17:3:  “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.”

In order to bring forth the precious metal to be brought forth, refiners of silver must separate silver from the dross.  It is a purification process that is necessary in order to melt away the impurities.  Likewise, goldsmiths must melt away the impurities to bring forth the beautiful and valuable gold.  Unpleasant as it is, these refining processes require fire to bring forth what is excellent.

There are times when we go through fire.  We are charred, scorched, and seared by trials in our lives.  When we go through these times when we are surrounded by flames, earthly dross is being separated from our own lives.  These are defining moments when impurities and sin melt away and what is left is a pure and precious soul that is useful for God.

 

1 Cor. 6:9-11a says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.”

The wonderful news:  “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Malachi reminds us that the Lord is like a refiner that will refine us that we may offer to Him an offering in righteousness.  If we allow God to test our hearts now, He can refine us and bring forth the valuable purity that is within us.  If we will truly surrender to His hand, He can devour the sin in our lives and use us for His good works.

The next time you’re in the hot spot and flames are all around, know that God can use that to bring forth the beauty within you and melt away all your impurities.  Also worth noting….if we go successfully make it through the fires on earth, not turning against God, we will be lifted up at judgment and will not have to suffer the 2nd death, which is an eternal fire.  Don’t try to cool off just yet.

A little singed,

jamie