Kingdom Come: Honor

Honor – to fix a value upon

To honor something simply means that we greatly value it.
We are called by God to honor others.
Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Philippians 2:3-5
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
We are not called to honor those who have earned our honor.  We are not called to honor those with good reputations and morals.  We are not called to honor those who live and act respectably.  We are not called to honor our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  No, there are absolutely no qualifiers or filters applied by God.  We are simply called to honor everyone; valuing all others above ourselves just as Jesus did.
Honor is required by God from cover to cover of His word.  Not only to honor Him, but also to honor others.  Will we always receive it in return?  Absolutely not!
Matthew 13:53-58
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Honor and faith are directly related.  It very frequently requires my faith to bestow honor on another.  It very frequently requires us to be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see in a person in order to honor them.  It requires us to see them as God does.  He saw them as so valuable that He gave His one and only son.  Jesus saw them as so valuable as to give His perfect, sinless life for them.  How then can we dishonor them and think poorly of them and believe that we are in right standing and agreement with God?
We often hear that Jesus could not perform many miracles in Nazareth because of their lack of faith in Him.  However, if we take a second look at this scripture, we find that their lack of faith resulted in a lack of honor.  Due to the lack of value that they placed upon Jesus, He could not perform many miracles.  They saw Jesus as the carpenter’s son and valued Him no more than His other brothers and sisters.  Because they dishonored Jesus and saw Him not as their Messiah, but as their fellow hometown boy, he could not perform many miracles.  Faith and honor are directly related!
Jesus gave us this awesome teaching to illustrate what honor looks and acts like:
Luke 14:7-14
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Honor takes the least in the eyes of the world and bestows upon them great value opening for them a path of opportunity to be transformed.  Honor unlocks the blessings of heaven into our lives as we humble ourselves and value others higher than ourselves.  Honor is the chosen act that unlocks a rich reward in Heaven as Jesus says on that day, “What you did for the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)  Honor is a choice and one that always requires a sacrifice and faith on our part.  Honor breaks a spirit of pride and religion in our lives.  Honor is true ministry and true religion that our Heavenly Father is pleased with.  Honor serves others.
Honor is the conduit through which the pure and flawless, the all-powerful love of God flows through our lives.  Honor is what will enable us to shine with the light of Christ in the contrast of this darkening world.
Honor is what David chose to bestow upon Saul though he had many reasons to withhold it.  Honor is what David chose to bestow upon Mephibosheth as he treated him as one of his sons instead of his enemy.
Honor is what enabled Jesus to kneel down to wash the feet of His disciples, ask His Heavenly Father to forgive those who spit on Him and insulted Him while on the cross, speak to the Samaritan woman, heal the lepers, offer salvation to the tax collectors, offer forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery, reach out to heal the dirty cripple, and to endure the cross with joy.
Honor is not something that we demand of others or ever believe that we are worthy of.  We choose to honor God and all other people.  Any honor that is ever given to us is immediately passed directly along to Jesus.  We, like John the Baptist, must humble and lessen ourselves so that Jesus may be honored.
John 3:26-30
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, Jesus (that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan) – the one you testified about – look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
Tonight, let’s honor Jesus.  As we leave this place, may we choose to live like Jesus, choosing to bestow honor to others and valuing them always greater than ourselves.