January 17, 2022
When you think about “honor” is it something you seek to give or is it something you seek to get? Our understanding and belief of honor will shape our actions and words in all circumstances and in every relationship. So, it’s important for us to know that the world wants us to seek to get honor, while God wants us to seek to give honor. Let’s look at a few differences before we dive into today’s message from the Apostle Paul, because honor is at the core of his lesson for us, and we must seek to give it all of the time.
It is getting clearer to see that our world lacks a sense of true honor. Just the dialogue that is exchanged through technology, each and every day, is completely dishonoring. We see evil is repaid with evil, there is a great deal of unrest, and much pride stands in the way of real love. Our culture demands to be honored, yet most people who live for the world cannot clearly define honor; it is most often conditionally or personally defined. Those of the world will always make it about themselves, or there will most certainly be a condition attached. That is the reason the world seeks to divide and isolate. The world wants us to think about ourselves…it’s all about “self-care, self-love, self-help, self-improvement, etc.”, and anyone who doesn’t think like you must be set behind a boundary. Friends, when we are only thinking about ourselves, we begin to believe that we deserve to be honored. That isn’t what Jesus did or taught.
Jesus came to honor the Father, and it is in that place of honor and glory (kabod) that He selflessly gave His life for us. He calls us to honor and love Father the same, and then to honor and love one another as He loves us. To give honor and to live honorably, we need God’s wisdom and Truth to guide us daily. He calls us to give honor by loving each other with genuine affection, and by taking delight in honoring each other. In this place, with God’s wisdom guiding us, we can be patient with each other, we can pray for one another, we can bless those who persecute us, and we can live in harmony…all while seeking to give honor to the Father and to ALL of His Creation.
Romans 12:9-18 (NLT)
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[a] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[b] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for setting the example of how we are to honor the Father and one another. Help us to seek for moments, each day, to genuinely love one another. Please forgive us when we allow our pride to get in the way of honoring others. Help us to make it more about You and other, and less about ourselves. Grow us up quickly, Lord Jesus. I ask all of this in Your Precious and Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant