The Name

"A good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have a common bond. The Lord is the maker of them all." Proverbs 22:1-2

Elections seem to be coming around earlier and staying on the scene longer than ever before. Names of potential candidates for national office are being offered up and torn down with regularity and intensity. From the right and the left, critics search for a kernel of "truth" that can be turned into a salacious sound bite or a scandalous series of articles. The whole process is mind-numbing, and it sheds more heat than light on the search for the best candidate. It is no small wonder that the electorate is left wondering if anyone's name is above reproach, or if any candidate is really who they say they are. Looks can indeed be deceiving, and all that glitters is not gold.

"A good name is to be desired more than great wealth." This should remind Christ followers that they would do well to invest in God's value system. This piece of advice comes directly from the lips of a man who had unlimited access to God's wisdom and had virtually limitless supplies of the world's gold and silver reserves. King Solomon had a net worth then, that would make Trump's treasure look now, like chump change. Still, after looking at his balance sheet, the wisest man in the world assessed a good name as a greater commodity than gold or silver. God has never changed the price tag He placed on character.

Current economic woes have spiked gold prices, and its value is at an all time high. It is nearing $2,000 an ounce. and shows no signs of weakening. It has become a reliable hedge against the falling dollar andthe roller-coaster rides of the unstable stock markets of the world. Over the centuries, gold has retained its value because it does not tarnish or rust away, when tested by the ravages of time. For as long as man has desired wealth, gold has been a valued portion of his portfolio. Men have sold their character, their country, and their children to get it and to keep it. As beautiful as gold is, the pursuit of it has not always provided a pretty picture. It indeed brings out the good, the bad and the ugly in the character of man.

God values a good name. When people come to the end of themselves, they do so because they have lost confidence in their own self-worth. They only turn to their Maker for correction, direction and protection, after they have reached spiritual bankruptcy. Rich and poor are in need of the same guidance and good name that only their Maker can provide. Each must recognize their true condition of need, before they are willing to take hold of this priceless gift from God. His good name cannot be purchased, it must be received. His favor cannot be bartered for or nor can one bid for it on the open market. His name is offered to those who are weary of their self-made status, and desire for their Maker to adopt them as one of His children.

God provides access to His Presence through prayer. His children are invited to enter into an audience with their Maker, not by making a name for themselves, but by invoking the name of His Son, Jesus. God values prayer, and the name of Jesus. The Wise look at these two commodities the way The Fool looks at silver and gold. The Wise pursue God. The Fool pursues gold. The Wise desire God. The Fool desires gold. The Wise accesses God, by invoking the name of Jesus, and receives favor from His Father. The Fool assesses gold. By investing in the price of it, he draws his sense of self-worth from it.

Self-made people rarely turn to their Maker for correction, direction and protection. Unless their value system proves to be unreliable and their treasure has been taken away from them, they place very little value on what God holds dear. The loss of their money often leads to the loss of power and prestige. In the world's system, this results in a collapse of their status and a devaluation of their "good name." They discover the harsh reality of the consequences of having what was once trusted become rusted. There is truth in the warning I once saw on a sign over a vendor's counter, " 'In God We Trust,' but everyone else better have cash."

God's currency does not come printed with the phrase, "In God We Trust." God loves His Son, Jesus, and God places great value in prayer. It is the currency of Heaven. God seated Jesus at His right hand to intercede for His children. Anyone who desires the favor of God will never try to devalue what He treasures the most. God offers His good name to His children, and grants access to His Presence through the name of His Son, Jesus. The Wise have learned,

"Your net worth is based on what money can't buy and what death can't take away." Adrian Rogers

Invest in God's value system. Make prayer a priority in your portfolio. You can't lose. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!