When it comes to missions and ministry there are essentially two world-views. One has man’s needs at the center. The other, God’s name.
God works for our good. I don’t deny that (Rom. 8:28). But our good is not the ultimate or primary reason He works for us. His glory is. In the language of scripture, it’s for his name’s sake. This is the theological basis of salvation, ministry, and missions.
1 Samuel 12:22
For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
for your name’s sake!
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
But you, O God my Lord,
deal on my behalf for your name’s sake;
because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Isaiah 48:9, 11
For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off. . . .
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.
Though our iniquities testify against us,
act, O LORD, for your name’s sake;
for our backslidings are many;
we have sinned against you.
Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
do not dishonor your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.
But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.
But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.
And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.
Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive.
O Lord, pay attention and act.
Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.
. . . and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.
through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.
1 John 2:12
I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
3 John 1:7
For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.
God is good. And He works on my behalf for my good. But I am not at the center of His universe. He is. And that makes me very, very happy. He is the center of mine.
In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. (Isaiah 26:8)