Home > Death, Resurrection > “A Good Name” – Ecclesiastes 7:1-5

“A Good Name” – Ecclesiastes 7:1-5

Life Is A Vapor

Today started out eerily similar to another January morning in 2012.  I received a text informing me that one of my elders at the Northwest church of Christ, Jim Manos, was at the hospital and not doing well at all.  All morning as I spoke with his wife and fellow saints at the hospital I couldn’t help but reflect on all of those I look up to within the Lord’s church.  So it is with these three things on my heart that I post this article I wrote three years ago.  First, I want to honor a man named Lloyd Atherton whom was a fellow preacher and a man whom I respected very much.  Secondly, to honor Jim Manos, who has since this morning fallen asleep in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:6, 18, 20).    Thirdly, to remind each of us that our earthly life truly is “just a vapor” (James 4:14) and because of that we better be living for God instead for ourselves.  Wherever you live and whatever the circumstance, I hope this article will help encourage you to keep the faith and fight the good fight in Christ Jesus our Lord!

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

January 2012

This week with the physical passing of our brother in Christ Lloyd P. Atherton I feel it is appropriate to both honor him as well as make time for self reflection.  This week 3 Biblical themes have been unshakeable from my mind.  The first comes from Ecclesiastes 7:1, A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth (NASB).  The words sister Atherton shared with me this week boldly speak to Lloyd’s character as she commented, “he was such a good man to me.”  Unfortunately, too many people pass from this body without living in such a way that one could dare to say they had “a good name.”  Ecclesiastes reminds us that all the earthly “stuff” one may gain in this life is seen as nothing in the sight of God compared to “a good name.”  Are we living in such a way that others around us and more importantly God would say we are deserving of “a good name?”  Let us honor our brother Lloyd by following in his footsteps and living for Christ.  Let us also reflect and correct any lifestyles that are becoming millstones (Matthew 18:6) in our walk with Christ.

The second Scripture that comes to my mind this week is Romans 10:11-1514How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’”  As brother Steinly stated Wednesday evening, as Christians we are daily fighting a battle against the evil one.  There are only two ways we can continue to fight and win.  First, study and use God’s word as our exclusive guide for battle against the flesh.  Second, continue to fight the battle linked together side by side engaged in warfare (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 6:12).  With the passing of one of our fellow soldiers in Christ first we honor him.  We honor him by not allowing any holes in the battle line to stay un-mended.  We must fight for Christ!  We must pick up where saints before us laid down so that our souls remain pleasing to God as well as the next generation of souls who are to come.  We also reflect upon Romans 10:11-15 and ask ourselves are we ready to “bring good news?”  Lloyd certainly fulfilled his role for God by bringing the Gospel to the lost.  I pray that all of us will consider how we can fulfill the role of a preacher or a teacher of God’s saving words so that no one around us can say “they have not heard.”

The Third Scripture that resonates with me is Revelation 14:13.  “… Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ Yes, says the Spirit, ‘so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”  Family and friends are right to come to the “house of mourning” (Ecc. 7:2) to grieve the physical loss of a loved one.  But as Christians I pray time will give way to the joy and hope that the faithful are promised.  Let us honor Lloyd by allowing God’s eternal word to lift our spirits.  “Their deeds follow with them” certainly reminds us that his Godly lifestyle will not go without reward.  Though we mourn our loss let us remember as long as “we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6).  Let us also reflect on our lives and ask ourselves, who am I living for – the body or the Lord?

2 Timothy 2:11, “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him”.  The best way we can honor our brethren in Christ is to make it our goal to continue to hold to these truths and pass on Christ to the next generation.  Finally I ask, will you stand with this body of Christ and continue to honor all of the saints before us by “fighting the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12) and making sure you have “a good name?”  I pray through Christ you will!

Categories: Death, Resurrection
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