Want to make a great name?

Genesis 12:1-4a
For Sunday, March 12, 2017
Second Sunday in Lent

Want to make a great name for yourself?  Surprise: it’s not about us.  Making a truly great name is all about aligning with God’s purpose.


Abraham and the Visitors at Mamre“, Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985), Musée du Message Biblique Marc-Chagall, Nice, France.

As Executive Director for Pinnacle Forum Wisconsin I’m constantly listening for what challenges high influence leaders face and how best to serve them.  One way I do this is by looking at what books leaders are reading.  The top three books on Amazon’s list for Management and Leadership are:

  • Gary Keller, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
  • Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World Class Performers
  • Jocelyn Glei, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

There is a common thread in these three titles.  How do we cut through all the distractions in order to find our purpose?   There is another book that has much to say about this:

  • God, The Bible

I searched for a web page to link to for God but apparently he doesn’t have one.  He is however reachable anytime via divine media at #Prayer.

There is one crucial difference though between the Bible’s focus on the focus of the books above.  While the books above focus on our success the Bible focuses on God’s success.  God’s ultimate purpose is to redeem us and our planet back to Himself.  He has already guaranteed this result by sacrificing his own Son Jesus on the cross for us.  He is now in the process of implementing what he has already guaranteed.

So, as we pursue our own success, will it be in line with God’s purpose, or across it?  We can either align with God’s will or get run over by the locomotive of his divine intention.   As my friend Mark Erdmann says, God is the ultimate business partner.  He’s never wrong and he never fails.   Abraham understood this and we know his name today as a result.

In this passage we see three steps for making a great name for ourselves within God’s purpose.    Our first step is to own the promise.  For Abraham to succeed he had to trust fully in the promise God gave to him.  This is exactly what he did: “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Rom. 4:3).  There were times in Abraham’s life where things looked bleak, especially when as a 70 year-old he had no heir.  Yet he succeeded in owning the promise, and those of us who believe are now here as his legacy.  Own the promise!

Our second step toward making a great name is to be a blessing.  “(I) will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).  The beautiful thing about Christian leadership is that it’s not a zero sum game.  The idea is not for one of us ultimately to succeed by besting the rest of us to grab the brass ring.  The idea is rather for all of us to succeed together.  Think about a goal you are currently trying to reach.  How could everyone win in the pursuit of it?

Our third step toward making a great name is to go.  God asked Abraham, “Leave everything you know and go to the land I will show you” (v. 1).  Abraham was willing to go where God led him.  Where is God leading us?  Are we willing to go there?

Connecting with God and his purpose will quickly turn down the volume of our distracted lives and give us the clarity we need to move forward with purpose.

Your turn:
What is your current favorite business book?  How is what you are learning there connected to the counsel the Bible provides?


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