Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Living With Honor

Honor and respect are not very popular in these days of entitlement and selfishness.

1 Peter 2:13-17  For the Lord's sake, respect all human authority, whether the king as head of state,  14  or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.   

15  It is God's will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.  16  For you are free, yet you are God's slaves, so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.  17  Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.

1 Samuel 2:30  "But I will honor those who honor Me, and I will despise those who think lightly of Me."

Honor and respect are not very popular in these days of entitlement and selfishness, there are not very many people that are willing to deny themselves and live by a higher standard. There is a great need for authenticity and high moral vales in our country today.

It seems that the only time that honor is popular is when a con man is trying to benefit from lying about having a military award. The Supreme Court has even said that the right to free speech includes the right to lie about being a honored military vet.

Our government doesn't care so much about honor and valor but the Bible teaches us that we need to cooperate with God and value what he values, his agenda should be our agenda and we should be pleased to do his will. We should revere God and respect the standard that he has set for our daily lifestyle.
“The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice. In battle, and, in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no greater strength can take the place of the divine help which alone can sustain him.”  - General Douglas MacArthur
God made the ultimate sacrifice and in doing so he has given us the highest honor that we could ever have. The cross should be a reminder of the greatest act of honor that has ever been done, God showed us how to sacrifice, he showed us how to stand up for truth, justice and purity.

Honoring God? Make it real!

Isaiah 29:13-14  And so the Lord says, "These people say they are Mine. They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And their worship of Me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.  14 Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders. The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear."
History is full of people that pretended to honor God and the consequences for their insincerity are very high. In the Bible the nation of Israel shows us over and over again what it looks like when a nation doesn't honor God and live by the standards that he has set. Their false teachers and immoral government leaders took the people away from God and into ruin.

God gave us his commandments, he gave us an organized society with leaders to govern us and he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we can be members of society that live orderly, respectful and quiet lives.

Honor in the Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:9  Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.

Proverbs 18:12  Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.

Proverbs 20:3  Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.

Proverbs 21:21  Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Proverbs 22:4  True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.

Proverbs 26:1  Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

Proverbs 29:23  Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
Humility, avoiding a fight, fear the Lord and pursuing righteousness are the characteristics of a man that God will honor. I want to be found faithful, to live with authenticity, to live without compromise and serve others so that my Savior will say "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

That is the highest honor possible!