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Honoring God

To honor God means to respect, esteem and exalt Him highly above all else.

The degree of honor we bestow on God depends wholly on His position and place in our hearts and our minds.

The test of how much we truly honor God will be revealed through our attitudes, affections and actions.

Our attitudes include:
  - Do we regard Him as God?
  - Do we respect or fear Him?
  - Do we have holy reverence for Him?

Our affections include:
  - admiration
  - adoration
  - awe

Our actions include:
  - praise
  - worship
  - trust
  - submission
  - obedience

Honoring God is giving to Him what is due to His name - our regard, respect, reverence, admiration, adoration, awe, praise, worship, trust, submission and obedience.

Honoring God is praising and worshipping Him through all our attitudes, affections, and actions in all the days of our life, both inside and outside our church walls.

Matthew 22:37-38
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and great commandment.

Through the first and greatest commandment, Jesus revealed to us what it means to truly honor God. Beyond all the Christian activities, programs, events, rituals and ceremonies, Jesus commanded us to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds. In honoring God, He desired us to do likewise. With all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds.

Matthew 15:8-9
8 "‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.

9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ "

Not desiring lip services and sweet nothings, Jesus admonished us not to be like the hypocrites who honored God with the words of their mouths but their hearts were far away from Him.

Philippians 2:5-11
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is highly exalted, and He deserves our highest honor. Why? Simply because of who He is and what He has done. He is our Creator, Sustainer, Saviour, Redeemer, Lord and King. Everything we have belongs to Him. Every breath we breathe comes from Him. In Him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). All things were created by Him and for His glory.

Revelation 4:11
You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;

For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”

The Lord is worthy of all honor because of who He is!

Psalm 47:7
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.

Exodus 6:3
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.

Isaiah 6:3
And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

Isaiah 40:28
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

However all of us have failed to honor God the way He desires.

Romans 1:20-25
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Instead of honoring the Creator, we choose to honor the created. This ungodly honor originates in our hearts when we begin to place more value and importance on something or someone rather than God. We collect and hold certain items or idols in our hearts with higher esteem than God. We overlook and neglect God by spending more time and placing more emphasis on those things or human idols that we highly value and treasure.

In the Old Testament, there was a high priest whose two sons were evil priests who didn’t love and honor the Lord. The sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were doing wickedly before the Lord. They were hoarding for themselves all the prime cuts of meat from the sacrifices that the people offered, and having sexual relations with the women who served at the entrance of the sanctuary.

Eli was aware of their evil ways and behaviors. But he just rebuked them lightly without stopping them. Thus, God said that Eli had honored his sons more than the Lord. As a result, Eli and his family were eventually punished.

1 Samuel 2:22-36
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress.
25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them.
26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.
27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?
29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
32 And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever.
33 But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.
34 Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them.
35 Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.
36 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, “Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread.”’”

Similarly, this same problem exists in many churches today. We have dishonored God by offering to Him sacrifices that are unholy, blemished, defiled, unacceptable and unreasonable. Our services and ministries for Him are tainted with defects, substandards and deceitful ways. Ironically, we dare not offer such defective and substandard things to our earthly kings, presidents, governors, leaders or bosses. Where is our honor and reverence for God?

Malachi 1:6-14
6 “A son honors his father,
And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts

To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
7 “You offer defiled food on My altar,
But say,
‘In what way have we defiled You?’
By saying,
The table of the Lord is contemptible.’
8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
Is it not evil?
And when you offer the lame and sick,
Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor!
Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.
9 “But now entreat God’s favor,
That He may be gracious to us.
While this is being done by your hands,
Will He accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.
10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors,
So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?
I have no pleasure in you,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;

For My name shall be great among the nations,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
12 “But you profane it,

In that you say,
‘The table of the Lord is defiled;
And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’
13 You also say,
‘Oh, what a weariness!’
And you sneer at it,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick;
Thus you bring an offering!
Should I accept this from your hand?”
Says the Lord.

14 “But cursed be the deceiver
Who has in his flock a male,

And takes a vow,
But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—
For I am a great King,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“And My name is to be feared among the nations.

Our sins violate and bring dishonor to the name of God. We show dishonor to God through our disobedience, disrespect and disregard. The nation of Israel was a Biblical example of disobedience that brought dishonor to His holy name. Because of their disobedience, they were exiled and scattered among the nations.

Ezekiel 36:19-32
19 So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.
20 When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’
21 But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.
23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.
30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.
32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

In the past, we too were spiritually dead because of our disobedience and sins. At that time, we followed and chased after worldly things and ways. We obeyed the spiritual powers who control the people who disobey God. All of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural and sinful conditions, we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God's wrath and punishment. But God's mercy is so abundant, and His love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience, He brought us to life with Christ. Thanks be to God that He sent His Only Begotten Son!

Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has made the way for us to be reconciled to Himself.

Romans 5:10
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

The Bible told us that we cannot honor our Father in heaven unless we honor His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 5:22-23
22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

How do we honor Jesus? Firstly, we must receive Him as our Savior and Lord. As we do so through faith in Jesus Christ, God removes the shame and dishonor which our sins deserve, and He also bestows upon us with the honor and holiness of the righteous life in Christ.

Secondly, God gives us His Holy Spirit to indwell in us and empower us to live for His glory and honor.

John 14:15-18
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

When we delight in the Lord, seek and remember Him in everything we do, and make godly choices that truly reflect the rightful place He has in our hearts, we give Him the greatest honor. And by His Holy Spirit, we can and we must.

Romans 12:1-2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

When we do so, therein is a blessing:

1 Samuel 2:30
Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.'

Remember Abraham; the man who honored God more than his son Isaac.


Written on: 31 October 2017