Honor God by… | Honor
Monday— Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. 1 Timothy 1:17
Is it possible for human beings to bestow honor on the Lord God Almighty? Isn’t honor something God already possesses? Think of it this way: An orphanage honors its founder because his sacrifice rescued children who could never repay him. A transplant recipient honors her donor because that donor’s sacrifice saved her life. A fireman rushes into a burning building to rescue the teenager who was playing with matches. He pulls her to safety but inhales so much smoke his lungs are permanently damaged. When the media asks for interviews, who should be honored: the teen or the fireman?
We honor God by deferring all credit to Him. We gladly admit that He is the only One worthy of praise and honor because we can never repay Him. We don’t take for granted all He’s done as though we were partially responsible. Do we supply the health and energy needed to earn a paycheck? No, He did that. Do we control the weather that allowed our gardens to grow? Or infuse the atmosphere with the proper balance of gases so that we can inhale 20,000 times a day? No. He did it all. So honor means that we take time to recognize all He is and all He has done. We don’t have to. We are free agents who could curse and blaspheme all day long. But when we voluntarily thank, praise, glorify, and obey Him, we bring Him the greatest honor.
Final Thought: In what ways do you intentionally honor God?
Prayer: Lord, I want to be more intentional about showing you honor. I will use the freedom you gave me to choose praise instead of complaints, humility instead of pride, and obedience instead of sin. Help me remember. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Tuesday— As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:24
Worship leader states he is now an atheist. Former megachurch pastor renounces Christ. major denomination welcomes Lgbtq Pastor. More and more headlines like those bring grief to our souls as we watch people who once professed faith in Jesus defect to the enemy’s side. Imagine the mocking laughter in the spirit realm as Satan taunts, “Yeah, look at that, Adonai! I got another one.” We don’t have to imagine the mocking laughter in the earthly realm because the internet brings it into our living rooms. We know that scoffers and skeptics dishonor the LORD. Of course, the ungodly blaspheme continually, but that’s not who this verse is talking about. He’s talking about us. Those who claim to know Him.
How is God’s name blasphemed because of us? When we profess one thing but live another. When we claim the name of Christ but live like the devil’s kids. When our lifestyles and opinions reflect the world rather than the Bible. When we say things like, “I know what the Bible says, but I think…” Or “I love Jesus but…” What we are doing is elevating our own ideas above God’s and that dishonors Him. It’s the spiritual equivalent of handing over American tanks and helicopters to the Taliban. We’re giving Satan tools he can use to discredit Christianity and God. When we supply unbelievers with evidence that Christians are hypocrites, “that God stuff doesn’t work,” and “Jesus was just a moral teacher,” God’s name is blasphemed, not honored.
Final Thought: What choices are you making that might cause God’s name to be blasphemed among unbelievers?
Prayer: Father, conviction is strong in me right now. There are areas of my life that don’t conform to your word and I repent of them. I confess _______ and ask your forgiveness. May I do nothing that brings dishonor to your name. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— Jesus said, “…These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…” Matthew 15:8-9
“Jesus is my Lord!” declared Ralph to his live-in girlfriend. “I love to worship Jesus!” exclaimed Patty as she called her married lover. “I’ve always believed in Jesus,” stated Judd. “But I don’t have time to read the Bible or go to church. He understands.” Really? Why do we tack “God understands” on the end of a sentence meant to justify our sin? Did we get that idea from Jesus? The apostles? The Bible? A lot of religious people in Jesus’ day assumed that God understood their sin too, but Jesus called them hypocrites. Their words did not impress Him. Their good deeds did not fool Him. He went straight to the heart.
So we come right back with “God knows my heart,” which means no one can confront me about my sin. Yes, He does know our hearts because our actions indicate what’s really there. WE are the ones who don’t know our hearts. Satan convinces us that this makes sense: “I know stealing is wrong, but I only steal from big stores, not individuals. God understands.” OR listen to Alice: “I don’t believe in sex before marriage,” she says as she moves in with Pete. “But this works best for us so God understands. He knows my heart.” Alice doesn’t realize what a dangerous statement that is because God DOES know her heart. She doesn’t. She is fooling herself. Jesus says that when our actions dishonor the Lord, our hearts are far from Him.
Final Thought: Read Matthew 15:18-20. What is Jesus saying about our hearts?
Prayer: Father, I’ve hidden behind the excuse that “God knows my heart.” I was foolish. You DO know my heart better than I know myself. May my actions match what I declare with my lips. I want to honor you with both. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. John 5:23
Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? Are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses Christians? They all respect the Bible. They talk about God and Jesus just like we do, so aren’t we basically on the same page? That’s religion’s claim and it’s growing in popularity. But it’s an old lie with a new facelift. Instead of crashing the car, Satan simply adds water to the gasoline. It’s easier to eradicate Christianity by watering it down than by waging a frontal attack. So he convinces professing Christians that sincerity is all that matters and they become his best evangelists. After all, don’t all roads lead to the same place?
Jesus already answered those questions with a single statement (see above verse). If we don’t honor Jesus as Savior, Lord, and God, we do not know God. Period. Because Jesus IS God. To cancel His eternal nature is to distort the character of the God we profess. When we revere books written by men who declared messages contrary to the Bible, when we add or leave out words so the Bible says what we’ve decided it should say, we make Jesus less than He is and that dishonors the Father. Jesus is who He is. We don’t get to redefine Him. He said that He came to earth to show people what God is like. He paid for our forgiveness with His own blood. Because of that truth, God declares, “This is my Son. Listen to Him” (Luke 9:35).
Final Thought: If a person or a religion does not honor Jesus as God, they cannot come into the Father’s presence.
Prayer: Lord, I’ve wanted to believe that sincere religious people are worshiping you too. But you say your way is narrow and few find it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to find it. I worship Jesus, the only Son of God. In His name, amen.
Friday— Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. Malachi 3:16
Chaos threatens to drown us. Shouting voices. Angry voices. Protests. Riots. Lawsuits. The world is shaking its fist in God’s face and many who claim to know Him are doing the same thing: “If there is a God, then why…?” “If God is good, why did He…?” Dishonor has become the flavor of the week, arising from the arrogance of human creations who deny their Creator. But what about the quiet ones, the humble ones, those who fly under the radar, serving God and encouraging others to do so too? Does God hear us? What if He gets us mixed up with all those other voices? Malachi 3 says, “He’s got ya covered.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that God is not distracted? All those voices that traumatize us are like buzzing gnats to Him, annoying but not threatening. He keeps very good records when it comes to His kids. He hears every time we whisper to a discouraged friend, “Don’t give up. God has better ahead for you.” Every time we say in the face of devastating news, “God will bring good from this.” Every time we get up when we want to stay down, smile when we want to weep, or look up instead of give up, and we’re doing it to honor Him—He’s writing it in His memory book. When we honor His name to each other, worship Him together, and refuse to let a brother or sister slip through the cracks, He sees it, hears it, and writes it down.
Final Thought: “I will honor those who honor me, and…despise those who think lightly of me” (1 Samuel 2:30). Which are you?
Prayer: Father, thank you that you take notice of everything I do to honor you. None of it is wasted or forgotten. Thank you for being the kind of Father who is excited to reward us. Help me live with that future reward in mind. In Jesus’ name, amen.