Psalm 34:1-3 (NLT)
I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
While attending my grandmother’s funeral many years ago, people who came to offer condolences to our family would share fond memories of her with us. After a sweet service honoring her legacy, we were surrounded by her friends and co-workers. Each one began to share how much my Gram loved Jesus and how she showed it with her life. Church members shared her faithfulness in serving. Co-workers told of her many god-like encounters with patients as she was a nurse. Friends talked about how Jesus had changed her life testifying of her life in Christ. It was my grandmother who led me to Jesus Christ. However, she was not always a Christian and came to know the Lord long after raising her family. It is ironic that she was in fact not elated with the news of my impending arrival to unwed kids. Yet she was the one who prayed for my soul, took me to church and Sunday school, and met me at the altar when I gave my heart to Jesus. Her fame in this life when she entered Eternity was Jesus Christ. He was the One who she boasted up. His Name she exalted in life. If I said her name, Mary Norris Coleman Almond, it may mean nothing to you not even ringing a bell. But I believe she is famous to God because of her humility in life.
Abraham was made famous because of his righteousness and faith in God. His Name is etched in the Old and New Testament based solely on these two things that despite all odds made him the father of many nations. Abraham was not a mighty warrior like David, or even a wise king such as Solomon. He did not part the waters like Moses leading the Israelites to freedom. He did not do anything historical or notorious, yet Abraham was a friend of God living by righteous faith and in the end – He was destined to be famous! I will praise the Lord at all times! I will constantly speak His Praises! Abraham exalted God in his life above his own endeavors. He boasted in the Power and Promises of God over the problems and potential of his own humanity. Abraham believed in the Word of the Lord and His Authority to make it come to pass and lived life that way. Abraham received His Promise. He prospered in life. He did it by telling of the Lord’s Greatness and exalting His Great Name.
Exodus 9:13-16 (NLT)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”
Let’s look at the big picture for just a minute rather than the light and momentary problems that some may be facing! God is Sovereign. What does this mean? He is the supreme authority and power in the Universe. It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not…He is the Great I Am! Allow that to sink in for a minute. In His Power and Authority, God has created a divine plan for your life. It is a good plan with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) He is waiting for you to seek Him wholeheartedly to have this plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:13) In His Authority and Power, God decided to allow you to choose between life and death or blessing and cursing. (Deuteronomy 30:19) His Son, Jesus Christ died to set you free from sin allowing you to choose between these two options. (Romans 8:1-2) God told Pharaoh plainly through Moses that if I wanted to wipe you out, it was well within my reach but that He chose to grant them grace and not wipe them off the face of the earth forever. He did this to show His Power and spread His Glory and Fame across the earth! Human nature exalts itself above the Knowledge of God but in no way exempts His Power and Authority over our life. To choose sin over salvation is to choose death over life. But God gave us His Grace through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ so we could choose differently and prosper in God’s Plan for our life once more. It is a choice to bring honor, glory and fame to God’s Great Name but it does not empower the Lord but rather allows His Power to make it to you!
I Kings 3:10-14 (NLT)
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
As Christians, we often miss the bottom line of God’s Promises. They are reserved for those who are called by His Name and have accepted His Identity as Children of God. Such people will follow the Lord, obey His Word and live by His Commandments as a member of His Household…right? We want every promise of God but do not want to keep our promise to the Lord. Solomon asked for wisdom to honor God in leadership of His People. Such humility blessed the Lord’s Heart so He not only granted Solomon wisdom but added riches and fame. Why? Because Solomon promised to honor God. Read ahead in the Old Testament and you will discover that King Solomon lost his way and sought other gods. He had it all but had nothing in the end. Only God can satisfy your heart and soul because He is your Creator. He placed Eternity in your heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Nothing less will make you complete or content. To whom much is given much is required. (Luke 12:48)
Ezekiel 16:14-17 (NLT)
“Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty”, says the Sovereign LORD. “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me!”
The Body of Christ has forgotten who we are and our plight on this earth. With the rise and fall of ministries almost daily, it is clear that the Body of Christ like Jerusalem in this passage has forgotten what the Lord has done. Dying in our sin, believers have been washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ and renewed by the Word of God coming to life cultivated by His Spirit. What we have become is not the result of anything that we have done but everything that the Lord is doing in us and through us. What used to be a humble institution of sinners saved by grace has become a showcase of hypocrites who look down on those who resemble their past. Hoarding the riches of God’s Grace and coveting the fame that should be God’s Glory – we choose to be exalted. We seek the Lord’s Hand never caring much for His Heart. We don’t want His Love, Grace and Mercy but rather His Storehouse in Heaven, yet steal away that which belongs to Him never paying a tithe or offering but requesting prosperity in the form of a check. These words may seem harsh and convicting I am sure because they cut to my heart as I examine my motives in relationship to God. We have been lifted up to draw all men to Jesus. Can any of your friends tell that you are a Christian other than those who attend church with you? Do your co-workers know you love Jesus making His Name great in your commitment, integrity and attitude? Does your family live in the peace that comes from the Presence of God accompanied by His Spirit that fills your home? See our job is not to be famous for what we do, but to make His Name famous for what He is doing in and through us! We must return to our humble beginnings. Remove our face from our achievements and give glory and honor where it is due! Look what the Lord has done!
John 12:26-32 (NLT)
Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
Jesus Christ came to earth in human form to experience the weaknesses of man so that He could overcome them all and He did just that. But being one with God, He saw the Cross before it happened and made the commitment to still follow through. How very difficult in His Humanity and Majesty that must have been? The excruciating pain and suffering challenged His Flesh. The insult to His Identity as Son of God must have anguished His Majesty. Yet, He still endured the Cross for the salvation of all mankind. As believers, we are faced with challenges to our faith and trust in the Lord every day compliments of the enemy. We must make the commitment to live for the Glory of God and make His Name Famous to have all that God has promised. To do the Will of God for His Glory is to make His Name Famous. It is not a comfortable position in the reality of this world living for a Kingdom that we have never seen but such a life glorifies God and exalts His Holy Name. It is a declaration of faith and righteousness based solely on His Greatness!
Luke 18:9-14 (NLT)
Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Religious people do not magnify the Glory of God but rather the man. God will not prosper anything or anyone that is exalts anything or anyone other than His Great Name. (Genesis 11:4-8) You can forget about it. If you have to tell people that you are a Christian or you live a righteous life, then you have missed the mark. Your life should reflect your commitment to Jesus Christ in ways that do not require words. Humility is absolutely essential. Unless God exalts you, it is pride and arrogance that you are standing on and soon you will fall. (Proverbs 16:18) Don’t look to other people for what the Lord has promised you including favor, fame and glory. God will life you up when the time is right and His Plan fully complete. Anything less is compromise and less than God’s Best. His Best is reserved for those who give their life to make His Name famous. Those are the people that He will lift up and prosper in life. Is that you? Do you want to be the one who makes the Lord’s Name Famous? Do you want to be a history maker? There is no such thing as shameless plugs and selfish promotions here. It is all about laying your life down for Jesus Christ and allowing Him to lift you up!
John 3:13-17 (NLT)
“No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
Jesus offered His Life as a sacrifice to be lifted up to draw all men to Him. He is our Example. As believers, we are to exalt the Name of Jesus with every facet and dimension of our life. It is not like a job or profession that you work eight or ten hours a day leaving it at the office traveling home you forget about it until the next day. No, a commitment to Jesus Christ is a lifestyle of worship and sacrifice of praise in everything we do every second of the day in every single breath that we take. It is a change in identity so that now we are identified as God’s Children. There is no greater name than Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:3-5) We are to bring His Name to the earth and create the same atmosphere as Heaven in our life. (Matthew 6:9-10) Jesus Christ demonstrated Power and Authority through His Obedience to God. (John 8:28-29) We must do the same. Jesus received honor because of His Work on the Cross. (Acts 2:32-34) God will honor us to when we point to the Cross of Jesus Christ and a life honoring the Sacrifice of His Son – Jesus!
So you want to be a famous person…
Matthew 16:24-25 (NLT)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Make a solid commitment to Jesus Christ and honor it. No more walking in the middle of the road, sitting on the fence or hiding in the gray areas of life, but step out of the darkness into the Light. (Matthew 5:14)
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT)
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Become a true reflection of Jesus Christ. Clean up your act. Stop trying to be all things to all people and focus on becoming more like Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God living on the inside of you will work with what you are willing to surrender to Him to change you into the Glorious Image God created you to be. You must reflect the Glory of God and remain true to your relationship with Jesus.
John 15:12-14 (NLT)
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
To love others including the unlovable demonstrates reliance and expectation in God alone. You can love freely without risk if your hope and trust is in the Lord because He satisfies your soul every longing and provides all that you need. Love each other as Jesus loves you. This will take a lifetime to achieve for most of us.
John 10:17 (NLT) “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.”
To live a sacrificed life – the kind of existence that is acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2) requires total faith and trust in the Lord. It requires all of you! You can do so only when you believe completely with confident hope that God will lift you up!
Psalm 107:31-32 (NLT)
Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.
You must live this way publicly! Make God famous today! Be faithful, trusting and righteous, the Lord will lift you up as you exalt His Great Name!
Palm 118:27-28 (NLT)
The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!