Daily Devotionals

Campfire Stories: Week 6 - Thursday

"Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 36:22-23

As a Sagebrush staff member, I am always especially conscientious when I am wearing my yellow lanyard that says "Sagebrush Church" out in public in places away from the church. You see, when I am at Starbucks, the mall, or any other place, I know that I represent the church, and I do not want anyone to have a negative impression of our church because of their interaction with me. More than I represent Sagebrush Church when I wear my yellow lanyard, I represent God. People will assume that I am a Christian when they see my association with Sagebrush. While I am conscientious when I wear my yellow lanyard bearing the name "Sagebrush Church," the truth is, I represent God and Sagebrush Church all the time, whether or not I wear my yellow lanyard.

As followers of Christ, we represent Him at all times. Based on our actions, we can either bring honor or shame to His name. God informed the Israelites that they represented Him to the rest of the world through Ezekiel's message in Ezekiel 36. He let the prophet and the Israelites know that He was going to save Israel, not for their sake, but for the sake of His reputation. Because of their sin, they had brought shame to His name. Yet, He was going to protect His name by eventually saving Israel, regardless of their sin.

When was the last time you considered the fact that your actions will bring honor or shame to God's name? The words we say, the way we spend our finances, the way we treat our coworkers, and even the way we drive will either bring honor or shame to His name. We get to choose whether we will act in such a way that honors God or not. As one who represents the Lord, commit today to honor Him with your life.

Moving Toward Action

In your journal or notes below, consider the fact that you represent God to others. Is your life bringing honor to God? Why or why not? If your life is bringing honor to God, how can you continue to do so? If not, how can you begin to honor God with your life?

Going Deeper

Read Genesis 32:22-32 (NLT)

During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

“What is your name?” the man asked.

He replied, “Jacob.”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”

“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.

“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)