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HONOR FOR HONOR


It is incumbent on all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to honor God. God has specifically stated “Those who honor Me, I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Samuel 2:30). Honor means to “recognize with high respect, admiration and distinction,” and our sovereign God is absolutely worthy of our honor. A person who is genuinely saved cannot live independent of the Lord by not honoring Him and in various ways. The apostle Paul writes as follows, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). Note: “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you.” Honoring God must come from within our hearts if it is genuine, meaningful, and acceptable to God.

John the "Revelator" presents for us the “heavenly scene” where the “living creatures” are worshiping the Eternal God, and he points out that God is worthy of glory and honor and power because He is the Creator of everything and by Him they exist. “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelations 4:10,11). Since God is worthy of our devotion and honor, what hinders us from rendering these to Him? Let us consider some ways in which we honor God.

We honor God by obedience to His Word. No Christian can ever hope to please God without obedience to His Word. King David declared, “I have stored up your word in my heart that I may not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). We need the scriptures for guidance and instruction along the spiritual pathway. Paul writes, “All scripture is breathe out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is inspired and infallible and is the book (unlike any other book) of divine instruction for guidance in a sin-defiled world. “The Bible is the final authority for our faith and what we believe, which God reveals to us through His holy Spirit” (Dr Charles Stanley). God expects us not just to read or hear His word, but it is most important to put in practice what His word testifies and teaches, so that we may be ”doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

We honor God by trusting Him at all times. God is the faithful, never-changing Sovereign, Almighty, and Most High God. He has also pledged His word; therefore, absolutely nothing can separate us from His love, mercy, and grace. Furthermore, after trusting Christ as Savior, we are made secure for time and all eternity. Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:31,33). In the Christian life there will always be challenges and people will always be against us, especially when we take a stand for the testimony of God. At times, these situations may result in sorrow and pain, but we cannot allow the circumstances to “derail” our faith in our sovereign God who will always be there for us. Hence, we can faithfully and completely trust Him with the guarantee that He will prevail and we will be victorious.

We honor God by confessing our sins. Every human being sins because “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23), however, God is merciful and forgiving and to receive His forgiveness, we must confess our sins to Him—not to a priest or Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Bible is very clear, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8,9). Our responsibility is to admit and confess our sins and God’s response is to “forgive and cleanse.” King Solomon writes, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper; but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Sins confessed means sins forgiven and cleansed. Heartfelt confession is always good for “spiritual health.”

We honor God with our hearts. There are those who seem to honor God only with their lips and not with their hearts. God is fully aware of this practice because He knows everything about us. Didn’t He create us? He knows our motives and intents of our hearts. Lip-service without heartfelt conviction will never honor God. It is not just reciting “creeds” but rather deeds that matter to God. “Therefore the Lord says, inasmuch as these people come near to me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me and their fear towards Me is taught by the commandment of men” (Isaiah 29:13). “God isn’t just unimpressed with passionless and dead devotion—He detests them. He has no interest in outward compliance devoid of inward desire to please Him. He wants us, not just our words, deeds, or possessions.” (Dr Charles Stanley). Appropriately stated. In rebuking the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, Jesus reiterated what God said to the prophet Isaiah, ”These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). As it was relevant in Isaiah’s day, so it is today, even more so.

May we fully recognize God’s sovereignty and holy principles, and gladly render to Him all we are and have. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). Are you a God honoring person?

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