Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014 - Along the way ...

Lately I've been thinking a lot about honor.   Given the things God showed me last week on my way up the mountain, I have been wondering what it might look like to properly honor God?

It is clear that God certainly deserves honor.  In the Bible, Jesus, who was often dishonored while He walked this earth, is crowned with glory and honor.  (See I Timothy 1:17, 6:16; Hebrews 2:7-9; Revelation 4:9-11, 5:12-13, 7:12)   The Greek word for honor is "doxa" from which we get our word "doxology" = words of praise/glory/honor

But is honor only about what we say?  

Jesus quoted Isaiah 29:13 to the Pharisees in Mark 7:6, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."  So it seems that honor goes deeper than offering mere lip service.  Honor has to do with our hearts.

So what does it mean to honor God with your heart?

In the Bible, our "heart" is the center of our will, our very being.  Our "heart" is the motivation; it is why we do what we do.  So if our "hearts" are far from God, then what we say is meaningless.

So what does it mean to honor God with your heart?

I believe, beyond faith, it requires submission and obedience.  Honoring God is not something we do to gain His favor.   We gain God's favor through believing in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son; trusting that His righteousness is the only righteousness we have before God.   So honoring God is not about gaining or earning; honoring God is about responding to God's love offered in Jesus.

So what does it mean to honor God with your heart?

Having believed in Jesus, submission and obedience go hand in hand.  In I Corinthians 6:19-20, the apostle Paul says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body."  

Honoring God begins with recognizing that we have been redeemed!  Redeem means "to buy back"; to "purchase".  Jesus purchased us for God by offering Himself to God on our behalf.  Now all who believe in Jesus, belong to God.  On one hand, this is a good thing!  It means eternal security for all who believe!  On the other hand, it means we are no longer free to call our own shots.  We belong to God and He will have His way in us.  As we submit to His authority, we also seek to do what He wants us to do; i.e. obey.

So what will it look like for you to honor God this week?   Consider your life, your setting, your opportunities, your calling, and make a plan for how you will specifically honor God with your heart this week.  Then share your stories here!  Let's encourage one another as we journey together along the way ...

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