For His Name’s Sake
Sometimes I wonder why God forgives me again and again. I keep doing the same stupid things, but every time He forgives me. Just like the apostle Paul, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15. And then God forgives me. But why?
Scripture holds the answer. “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3. In Psalm 79, Asaph cries out to God:
Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
The Israelites sinned as well, turning away from God often. But He forgave them when they turned back to Him. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah regarding the reason for His mercy:
You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ear has not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:8-10.
We don’t deserve God’s mercy. He tells us how to live an abundant, wonderful, and joyful life, but we don’t always do what He says is right to have that life. But for the sake of His name, so that He might be glorified, He has mercy on us.
Through [Jesus] and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:5-6.
We are called to belong to Jesus for His name’s sake. What a blessing!
Linda, what you said is so true. What a great devotion! The passage below is taken from the 36th chapter of Ezekiel and is a favorite of mine.
21But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
If only my heart could know this as well as my head.
Check out the story in Mark 9:14-34 where Jesus heals the boy with an evil spirit. Jesus says, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” And the boy’s father replies, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” I think this boy’s father had the same trouble you are having. He believed with his head but had a hard time believing with his heart. But remember, God is good. If you ask him to help you overcome the unbelief in your heart, he will. In his time.
How do you really know when your forgiven for something you’ve said or done?
Janice, 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I know I’ve been forgiven because I trust and believe God when He says in His Word that He forgives me. In chapter 2 of 1 John, the apostle goes on to say, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” Ask for forgiveness, and God is pleased to forgive.