Posts Tagged ‘Reward’


show-me-your-gloryMoses longed with all his heart to see the Glory of God. “Please, show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18). In our churches we sing “Glory to God in the highest”. We sing and pray “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth; (Ps 108:5) We want the World to see the glory of God, and to behold the glory of His Son Jesus Christ. We long for the day when “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Yet God has already shown us His glory. His glory is sitting next to you. You behold His glory when you watch your husband leave for work. You behold his glory when you thank your wife for a great meal. You behold his glory when you nursed your baby. At the same time you behold his glory when you listen to your husband yell at you for spending too much money. You behold his glory when your wife tells you for the millionth time to not leave the toilet roll empty. You behold the glory of God when your teenager breaks your heart by an unkind comment or look.

The truth is that we are meant to experience and reveal and manifest the glory of God through our family, through those people we share a roof with, be it a normal family, a blended family, or a messed up family.

If we see the family as God designed it and wants it to be, we will restore Honor in our homes. And in restoring honor to our homes, we will see immediate rewards, rewards that will reveal the Glory of God to a fallen and disillusioned world.

Peter revealed:

There is wonderful JOY ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These TRIALS will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR ON THE DAY WHEN JESUS CHRIST IS REVEALED to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:3-7 (NLT)

No one else will provide testing to your faith in the power of Christ than your spouse or your children. If you pass this test of Faith, you will see glory and Honor.

maid-of-honorMost Brides have a Maid of Honor who helps them with the wedding. Besides the planning and the help with getting dressed, she will also give a speech at the reception after the wedding. She will give a speech with catchy little sayings such as:

Marriage begins when you sink into his arms and ends up with your arms in his sink.

Before marriage a man will lay awake thinking about something you said, after marriage he’ll fall asleep before you have finished saying it.

If you’re clever you’ll always have the last word, BUT if you are clever you won’t use it!

When you are wrong admit it, when you’re right shut up!

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

victorian-weddingsActually the Maid of Honor tradition:

” is thought to have originated from Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits (believed to attend marriage ceremonies) by dressing in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married. It was thought that evil spirits caused marriages to fail.”

“Even as late as 19th century England, there was a belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, the bride and groom are frequently dressed in the same fashion as other members of the bridal party.”

You can have all the maid of honors you want. You can take every precaution to ward off evil spirits. But that is not what causes marriages to fail. The reasons marriages fail are myriad. But I know that if you keep one thing alive in your marriage, your marriage will never fail. I know if you keep one thing alive in your family, with your children, your family will never fall apart.

marriage-made-of-honorThat one thing is Honor. WE MUST HAVE A MARRIAGE OF HONOR. If we restore and treasure Honor in our family, for our spouse, for our children, God promises your marriage will never fail. He promises your children will be a Godly Inheritance.

What does honor look like in the daily life of a married couple? For starters, it means waking up in the morning and deciding that our spouse is the most valuable person on earth to us. It is deciding that we will look after our spouse’s needs before we worry about ours. Honoring our children means we see the value of caring for those God has given us to raise. Honoring our spouse and our children on a daily basis is all about priority.

peter-eyewitness-of-the-transfigurationPeter recounts the Transfiguration:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. (2Pe 1:16-18)

Christ was transfigured before Peter so that He could see his majesty. He could see the Honor and Glory that God bestowed on His son, even before He did what He came to the earth to do–redeem mankind. God held His son in the highest regard even before he saw the finished product.

how-do-you-value-your-familyWe need to see the value of honor in our homes. We need to see the Value that God places on our spouse and our children, and how Honoring them brings great reward.

When we date we learn to honor each other for what they offer us. Remember honor is placing value on something. Our future wife honors us because we are cute, good-natured, loving, will make a good provider. We honor our wife because of her beauty, the way she loves us, makes us feel. All of a sudden we are talking about the future and then talking about what it would be like to be married and before we know it we are making wedding plans.

It doesn’t take too long after we are married before we realize that the person we married may not have been everything we had thought they were. We discover this about them, that about them. They discover this about us, that about us. Soon you discover they can be selfish, they don’t always value your opinion, and in fact they don’t seem to value at all. Why do so many husbands and wives who were so much in love find themselves so much out of love.

Once this person was so valuable to you, now they are nothing but a liability, something to be discarded from your life. What happened?

Dear Positive Way, I feel my husband married me for my looks and someone for his children when he only sees fit. First five years I expressed the need of him and I committing at least one hour a week alone. I had heard responses like too busy, no money, no response, to even what do you want me to do drop everything for you response, you need friends, its not up to me to make you happy etc. He makes comments about my appearances. When first married I gained 5 pounds he expressed his disapproval of this to me and especially now I have gained 20 pounds since having a baby who is currently15 months. He says he has needs for an attractive wife and it is biblical for him to have these needs. He has seen me cry over his comments about my weight and me feeling I’m not good enough to him. He has even seen me cry numerous times over this. He has full custody and do not see there mother maybe talk to her twice a year. The last 7 years my spouse corrects me in front of the boy all the time and doesn’t allow me to be a parent to him. To the point 3 years ago I was trying to correct my step-son and he yelled at me and said I’m calling Dad and your going to be in trouble. My step-son was 4when I met him and now is 12. He shows no respect to females mostly of the time especially me and school teachers. My spouse doesn’t correct so much with the stepdaughter who now is 18. I feel 98% of the time my spouse has never supported me as the other parent. I feel the nanny in the house except I pay half of the bills and my spouse sleeps with the nanny but the nanny has no say or position to say or want anything in her house. How do I really now my spouse’s true motives or does he even love me or care? My self-image, and esteem is shot. signed, noesteemleft, age 34

How do you restore honor to a home? How do you restore the value of our spouse and our children?

Our wife, our husband, even our children can lose their value to us because our focus is on the wrong thing. We need to discover God’s Way (Teach me thy way O Lord and I will walk in your path)

1. Husbands – Honor Your Wife

husbands-honor-your-wifeSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him… (Gen 1:27)

A. Man Is Created To Bear Fruit – Life

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28)

B.The Abundant Life –Parallels between Abiding and Cleaving

1. Not Good for Man to be alone

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18)

2. Man leaves and cleaves to reproduce Life

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen 2:23-24)

3. To Join with Christ, we must leave the world and cleave to Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (Joh 15:4) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8 (NKJV)

4. Christ’s Life is in the Church, so is Man’s Life in his Wife.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Eph 5:25-30)

5. Honor our Wives with Abundant Life in View.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1Pe 3:7)

  1. Grace of Life
  2. Power in Prayer

  • If you want eternal life, you believe in Christ as your Savior.
  • If you want an abundant life, a fruitful life, you die to self and then abide in Christ.

You become one with Jesus Christ.
You live a Galations 2:20 life.
Christ lives his Life through you!

wives-key-to-the-abundant-lifeNow Jesus said in John 15:7-8: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Jesus said you will ask what you want and it shall be done for you. But what did 1 Peter 3:7 say? Peter told us men to honor our wives so that our prayers are not hindered.

What he is saying is your ability to abide in Christ, your power in prayer is nullified if you do not honor your wife. Your wife and the way you honor her is key to abiding in Christ! It is Key to having power in your prayer life. And when you abide in Christ and you have prayer power, GOD IS GLORIFIED!

Do you want to see the glory of God? Do you want to have prayers that are answered? DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE ABUNDANT SATISFYING LIFE? THEN HONOR YOUR WIFE!

  • But she doesn’t make my breakfast. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t iron my shirts. Honor Your Wife
  • But she doesn’t….
  • But she….

I DON”T CARE WHAT SHE DOES TO YOU OR DOESN’T DO FOR YOU. HONOR YOUR WIFE. IF YOU DO NOT HONOR YOUR WIFE YOU ARE NOT ABIDING IN CHRIST, YOU ARE WALKING IN THE FLESH YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE HINDERED, AND YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE GRACE OF LIFE IN CHRIST!

6. Honor is a Decision, Just as Abiding is a Decision

Every day you say: “I’m going to show my wife that she is extremely valuable to me.”

Honor is a decision. It is the simple decision to place high value, worth, and importance on your wife, to view her as a priceless gift. Love involves putting that decision into action. Honor is a gift we give to our wives. It isn’t purchased by their actions or contingent on our emotions. You’re giving them distinction whether or not they like it, want it, or deserve it. It’s a conferring distinction, much like an honorary degree. You give honor to your wife simply because she is the way you can abide in Jesus and bring glory to God. You will discover that honoring your wife gives legs to the words “I love you.” It puts LOVE into action.

luvrYou must make a decision to be a LUVR:

LUVR (Lover): With her opinions, concerns and expectations, you decide to

  • Listen,
  • Understand,
  • Value, and
  • Resolve any arguments with win-win solutions.

Honor does not involve the belief that your opinions, concerns and desires are somehow superior to your partner’s. Conveying a superior attitude is the biggest killer of marriage and produces the most frustration, hurt, and fear within marriage.

Honor is a “lifting up,” a holding up of your wife with reverence. Honor is permanent, unmovable and forever. Honor is the most important skill you can master; it is even more important than being able to communicate. If honor is non-existent in one partner, there is a high probability that the marriage is over. But if only a spark of respect or adoration remains, the spark can be turned into a flame in a few days.

EIGHT COW WIFE

eight-cow-wifeJohnny Lingo was a young man who lived on the island of Nurabandi, not far from the island Kiniwata in the South Pacific. Johnny was one of the brightest, strongest, and richest men in the islands, but people shook their heads and smiled about a business deal he had made with a man on Kiniwata.

It was customary among the people of these islands for a man to buy his wife from her father, with the price being paid in cows. Two or three cows would buy an average wife, and four or five would fetch a highly satisfactory one. Yet for some reason, Johnny had paid the unheard-of price of eight cows for a wife, Sarita, who was unattractive by any standards. As one fellow explained, “It would be kindness to call her plain. She was skinny. She walked with her shoulders hunched and her head ducked. She was scared of her own shadow.” Why did Johnny Lingo pay eight cows, especially for such a woman? Everyone figured Sarita’s father, Sam Karoo, had taken young Johnny for a ride, and that’s why the islanders smiled whenever they discussed the deal.

Patricia McGerr finally met Johnny for herself and got the chance to ask about his eight-cow purchase of Sarita. She had assumed he had done it for his own vanity and reputation—at least until she saw Sarita. “She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen,” McGerr wrote. “The lift of her shoulders, the tilt of her chin, the sparkle of her eyes all spelled a pride to which no one could deny her the right.” Sarita was not the plain girl McGerr had expected, and the explanation lay with Johnny Lingo.

“Do you ever think,” he said, “what it must mean to a woman to know that her husband settled on the lowest price for which she can be bought? And then later, when the women talk, they boast of what their husbands paid for them. One says four cows, another maybe six. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happen to my Sarita.”

“Then you did this just to make your wife happy?” McGerr asked.

“I wanted Sarita to be happy, yes. But I wanted more than that. This is true. Many things can change a woman. Things that happen inside, things that happen outside. But the thing that matters most is what she thinks about herself. In Kiniwata, Sarita believed she was worth nothing. Now she knows she is worth more than any other woman in the islands.”

“Then you wanted …”

“I wanted to marry Sarita. I loved her and no other woman.”

“But …”

“But,” he finished softly, “I wanted an eight-cow wife.”

Because Johnny Lingo considered Sarita to be worth eight cows, she began to see and present herself as an eight-cow woman. Before Johnny entered her life, Sarita was a shy, plain island girl. After he placed incredible value upon her, she was transformed into a confident, attractive woman who knew she was worth far more than any other island woman.

The above story was based partially on an article found in Reader’s Digest (February, 1988 ). The original work was copyrighted by Patricia McGerr in 1965.

2. Wives – Honor Your Husband

wives-honor-your-husbandA. God Defines An “Excellent” WIFE As One Who Fears The Lord

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Pro 31:29-31)

1. Fear of the Lord Leads to Honor for Your Husband

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph 5:31-33)

Respect is “phobeo” – fear. Fear (reverence) of God and His design for your life. God made woman to be a help meet for her husband. Husband and wife are to be one just as a Christian is to be one with Christ. Just as Christ is our protection from this evil world, your husband is protection for his wife. Just as Christ is the guide for our life, a wife must realize that she will she God’s direction and glory as she honors her husband.

2. God Values a Wife Who Honors Her Husband

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 1 Pet 3:1-6 NLT

B.Your Abiding in Christ is dependent upon your honoring your husband.

For in honoring your husband, you are demonstrating your reverence for God as well as your trust in Him. That is why you don’t give in to hysterical fears.

  • What if he does this…
  • What if he doesn’t do this….

1 Corinthians 7:16 says that our great duty is to promote the salvation of our spouse. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NLT) What good is it to enjoy marriage now and then go to hell together? If you let your spouse be damned, where is your love? Both should inquire into each other’s spiritual state, and use the means appointed to improve it.

Wives, you should learn the value of speaking as “apples of gold”

apples-of-gold“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”Proverbs 25:11

A Are my words APPROPRIATE? “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23

P Are my words PLEASANT? “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

P Are my words PURE? “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life…” Proverbs 10:11

L A re my words LOVELY? “And all bare him [Jesus] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth….” Luke 4:22

E Are my words ENCOURAGING? “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25

S Are my words SOFT? “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

3. Parent’s – Honor Your Children

Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)

honor-your-childrenChildren are a “Nachalah”, a precious possession. God promised his children in the wilderness that if “the children of Israel would obey the voice of the Lord, and keep His covenant, then He would promise them that, “ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine”. The word for “peculiar treasure” is the Hebrew “cegullah” and it is akin to the previous word “nachalah”. It too also means a possession or property with the added meaning of being a special treasure or a jewel.”

Honor simply means deciding to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. It’s like what Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (NIV).

As with genuine love, honor is one of the greatest gifts we can provide. In fact, honor is genuine love in action. To honor a person involves choosing to highly value him or her even before we put love into action. In many cases, love often begins to flow once we’ve decided to honor that person. The opposite of honor is dishonor, which is almost certain to make anger develop in a child or teenager’s heart.

What is dishonor? The essence of dishonor is when who you are (your feelings, opinions, thoughts, beliefs, etc.) is devalued by another.

  • When do we, in everyday family experience, tend to treat our children like that?
  • When he has just asked the same question for the thousandth time
  • When they leaves her “stuff” out at night, expecting us to clean up
  • When they selectively forgets what he’s been told
  • When she brings home a boy who wears an earring and a leather jacket
  • When he screams at us, claiming that “you just don’t understand!”
  • When she goes out on a date dressed in risqué clothes

Anger, unjust criticism, unhealthy comparisons, favoritism, inconsistency, jealousy, selfishness, envy, disrespect, belittling comments, negative beliefs, and a host of other weapons are “justified” as valid to use against people we consider to be of little value. Here’s something everyone ought to write on a card and read every day: The lower the value we attach to people, the easier we can “justify” dishonoring them with our words or treating them with disrespect. The 5,000 adults we surveyed reported that one of the least-popular things they received from their parents was criticism. As youngsters, many of these teens showed little or no evidence of the problems they face as adolescents today. And often, as we began to look into their history, we found that their parents had had no idea they were failing to honor their teens. “It could never happen to my teenager!” some might say. Let’s look, however, at some of the problems young people often face because, in part, their parents never understood the tragic impact of their dishonoring actions. Some of the devastating things that can grow out of dishonor, either in the teen years or later in life, are:

  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • chronic lying
  • procrastination
  • extreme pride and self-centeredness (narcissism)
  • workaholism and the need to achieve more and more
  • vicious emotional ups and downs
  • repeated absences from church and school
  • extreme submission
  • unhealthy legalism
  • severe withdrawal from society
  • sexual difficulties in marriage
  • lower academic achievement
  • feelings of loss of control
  • stress-related heart problems
  • homosexuality
  • deep feelings of loneliness
  • suicidal thinking and attempts
  • poor marital mate selection
  • clinical depression
  • poor decision making
  • lowered career achievement
  • a pattern of outbursts of anger
  • low energy in accomplishing school or work tasks
  • extreme self-criticism
  • gravitation toward cults and fringe religious groups
  • unrealistic expectations of self and others
  • eating disorders

Parents don’t want to see their teenagers experience such problems. Yet without realizing it, some parents lead their children down these very paths.

The key to avoiding such things in our teens’ lives is to honor them, especially as children. To make them feel valuable, loved, and accepted, we must decide to increase honor and help lower their anger. Even if you’ve unknowingly been in the habit of dishonoring your teen, you can choose today to stop the devastating effects of dishonor—even reverse them—by giving your teen the gift of honor. And when you learn how to communicate in tangible ways to your adolescent that he or she is deeply loved and highly valued, it goes a long way toward combating future problems.

restore-honor-to-familyGod said that your children are His special treasure. He desires them as His inheritance. When you honor them as God’s special treasure, you show them whose they are. They will grow up giving their heart to Him, for they are His.

So how do we honor our wife, our husband, our children? The following are the four faces of honor: (From Gary Smalley)

1. Give Meaningful Touch

2. Picture a Special Future Together

3. Have an Active Commitment

4. Express High Value

These four elements are what make honor possible for a family. They are the driving force to healthier, more exciting families. If we do not have honor, then we cannot have a satisfying life, and abundant life, a Godly Heritage with Children growing up knowing they are God’s Treasured Possession.

The Testimony of Johnny Ferrier

im-thirdThe following is an account of a day Johnny Ferrier had been preparing for all his life. The story was originally featured in The Denver Post in the late 1950s.

Out of the sun, packed in a diamond formation and flying as one that day, the Minute Men dove at nearly the speed of sound toward a tiny emerald patch on Ohio’s unwrinkled crazy quilt below. It was a little after nine on the morning of June 7, 1958, and the target of the Air National Guard’s jet precision team was the famed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just outside Dayton.

On the ground, thousands of faces looked upward as Colonel Walt Williams, leader of the Denver-based Sabrejet team, gauged the high-speed pullout. For the Minute Men pilots—Colonel Walt Williams, Captain Bob Cherry, Lieutenant Bob Odle, Captain John Ferrier, and Major Win Coomer—the maneuver was routine, for they had given their show hundreds of times before millions of people.

Low across the fresh, green grass the jet team streaked, far ahead of the noise of the planes’ own screaming engines. Judging his pull-up, Colonel Williams pressed the microphone button on top of his throttle: “Smoke on . . . now!” The diamond of planes pulled straight up into the turquoise sky, a bush tail of white smoke pluming out behind. The crowd gasped as the four ships suddenly split apart, rolling to the four points of the compass and leaving a beautiful, smoky fleur-de-lis inscribed on the heavens. This was the Minute Men’s famed “flower burst” maneuver. For a minute the crowd relaxed, gazing at the tranquil beauty of the huge, white flower that had grown from the lush Ohio grasslands to fill the great bowl of sky.

Out on the end of his arm of the flower, Colonel Williams turned his Sabre hard, cut off the smoke trail, and dropped the nose of his F-86 to pick up speed for the low-altitude crossover maneuver. Then, glancing back over his shoulder, he froze in terror. Far across the sky to the east, John Ferrier’s plane was rolling. He was in trouble. And his plane was headed right for the small town of Fairborn, on the edge of Patterson Field. In a moment, the lovely morning had turned to horror. Everyone saw; everyone understood. One of the planes was out of control.

Steering his jet in the direction of the crippled plane to race after it, Williams radioed urgently, “Bail out, John! Get out of there!” Johnny still had plenty of time and room to eject safely. Twice more Williams issued the command: “Bail out, Johnny! Bail out!”

Each time, Williams was answered only by a blip of smoke.

He understood immediately. John Ferrier couldn’t reach the mike button on the throttle because both hands were tugging on a control stick locked in full-throw right. But the smoke button was on the stick, so he was answering the only way he could—squeezing it to tell Walt he thought he could keep his plane under enough control to avoid crashing into the houses of Fairborn.

Suddenly, a terrible explosion shook the earth. Then came a haunting silence. Walt Williams continued to call through the radio, “Johnny? Are you there? Captain? Answer me!”

No response.

Captain John T. Ferrier’s Sabrejet had hit the ground midway between four houses, in a backyard garden. It was the only place where he could have crashed without killing people. The explosion had knocked a woman and several children to the ground, but no one had been hurt—with the exception of Johnny Ferrier. He had been killed instantly.

Major Win Coomer, who had flown with Ferrier for years, both in the Air National Guard and on United Airlines and had served a combat tour with him in Korea, was the first Minute Man to land. He raced to the crash scene, hoping to find his friend alive.

Instead, he found a neighborhood in shock from the awful thing that had happened. But then Coomer realized that the people felt no resentment as is ordinarily the case when a peaceful community is torn by a crash. A steady stream of people began coming to him as he stood in his flying suit beside the smoking, gaping hole in the ground where his best friend had just died.

“A bunch of us were standing together, watching the show,” an elderly man with tears in his eyes told Coomer. “When the pilot started to roll, he was headed straight for us. For a second, we looked right at each other. Then he pulled up right over us and put it in there.” And in deep humility, the old man whispered, “This man died for us.”1

It had been a bold and courageous last act. But it was not an act alien to the nature of John Ferrier. He had been awarded one of the nation’s highest medals for risking his life “beyond the call of duty” in Korea. And although he hadn’t known it, he’d been preparing for this tragic day for years by practicing this most important principle: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

A few days after Johnny’s death, his wife, Tulie, wrote the founder of Kanakuk Kamp, Coach Bill Lantz, this letter:

Coach, I went through my husband’s billfold last night and found the old worn card which he always carried—”I’M THIRD.” He told me once he got it from you. He said that you stressed it at one of your camp sermons. Johnny may have had faults, though they were few and minor, but he followed that creed to the very end. God is first, the other fellow second, and “I’m third.” Not just on June 7, 1958, but long before that—certainly as long as I’ve known him. I’m going to carry that same card with me from now on and see if it won’t serve as a reminder. I shouldn’t need it, but I’m sure I do as I have many more faults than Johnny.

The principle by which Johnny Ferrier lived and died is also the greatest lesson you can instill in your family.

At the heart of making others feel valuable, loved, and accepted is a decision to honor them, even above ourselves. If we restore honor to our families, God’s Glory will be evidenced in our lives and in our children’s lives.

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gods-profit-principle-2Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the proving of things unseen. By Faith we are able to see God creating the World by simply speaking it into existence. Able saw an invisible God and offered to him a more excellent sacrifice. Enoch saw an invisible God that was so real that he lived his entire life just to please this invisible God. As a result Enoch never tasted death.faith-is-the-substantiating

Now if you want to please God you must have faith such that you can see Him who is invisible. And if you are going to know God in a close and intimate way like Able and Enoch, you must believe first, that God, our Creator God, REALLY IS and second, that God rewards those who diligently seek to know Him!

Do YOU See God? Do you see Him every day? Is it your HOPE to know God in an intimate way, a daily substantiating, with daily evidence of His presence and power in your life? Of course you do! Then you need FAITH! Faith is the FOUNDATIONAL Component of HOPE! If we can’t see the possibility of the thing we are hoping for, we lose all hope. How do we increase our faith?

I believe our faith is increased when we learn to honor our social authorities. Here is the Biblical Key:

Let as many bondservants (doulos) as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:1-5 (NKJV)

includes-bosses-coachesYou are thinking, this verse applies to slaves! Not Me! No, this verse applies to every employee, every student, every soldier, every athlete with a coach, every person that has someone telling them what to do. Masters includes our employers, bosses, teachers, coaches and so forth.

  • Let as many as are employees under hire count their employers or bosses or managers worthy of all honor.
  • Let as many as are students under education count their teachers worthy of all honor.

Ephesians sheds further light on this:

Bondservants (Doulos), be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 (NKJV)

Paul wants us to understand and realize that we are actually slaves of Christ. When we honor our boss, our teacher, our coach, we are really honoring Jesus Christ! When we do, we will grow in FAITH! The phrase from the above verse, “doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” says the following that we need to pay attention to:

  • Obedience is required to see the will of God.
  • This obedience requires a heart change and heart dependence upon God
  • This is enthusiastic obedience, because you are doing it unto our Lord.
  • This Obedience is rewarded by God.

AX045648Put another way by the New Living Translation: “As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:7 (NLT)

Give extraordinary affection to the Lord by giving extraordinary service to your boss, your coach, your teacher. Paul paints this picture clearer in the relationship between husband and wife. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3. The word affection is the same word used of how we are to serve our masters and therby serve our Lord. We are to serve withthe passion of “goodwill” toward our Lord. We are to render affection with enthusiasm, from our heart. This is really needed in marriages. No one enjoys a heartless, dull passionless marriage. To have this passion and enthusiasm for service we must realize:

We Are Servants of Jesus Christ.

nnoah_and_his_sons_building_the_arkwe-are-servants-of-christWhat does being a SLAVE of Jesus have to do with honoring my SOCIAL AUTHORITIES? More importantly, how will this allow me to SEE GOD in a real and personal and everyday way? Let’s continue our personalization of Hebrew 11 for more insights into the role of faith, honoring social authorities and seeing and knowing Him who is invisible.

  • If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to quit your job and start building this huge boat because a big rain is coming, it takes faith to see Him and believe he is real. The reward of doing your job with enthusiasm is enjoying life when all those around you are drowning.
  • If an invisible voice from heaven tells you to leave your home and family and move to a desolate, foreign country, it takes faith to see Him and believe He is real. The reward is a heritage of Salvation and blessing for a people more numerous than the stars.
  • If that same invisible voice tells you to take your only boy whom you waited almost 100 years before having, and lay him on an altar and stab him with a knife, it takes a great deal of faith to actually lift that knife over your boy and plunge it into his heart. The reward is eternal life because your faith has been counted as righteousness.
  • It takes a great deal of faith to spend your life looking for an invisible city with eternal foundations, designed and built by this same invisible God. (Hebrews 11:10)
  • If a bush becomes engulfed in flames and this invisible God starts talking to you, and He tells you to back to a country you fled from because you were wanted for murder, it takes faith to go back and face the mightiest ruler on earth and tell him to let your people go!
  • When this same invisible God tells you to walk straight into the sea to escape this mighty ruler, it takes faith to believe He can part the waters and dry up the ground.

Hebrews continues to list people who all saw this invisible God, saw him in a real, intimate, personal way. They heard Him speak, they heard Him direct their lives, and they responded with heartfelt obedience. To them this invisible God was real, personal, powerful and worth following, even if it meant leaving home, moving to a strange country, sacrificing your children, sacrificing your own life. NOW, is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your boss as if he was this invisible God?

  • If your boss told you to go out and build a huge ark, would you do it?
  • Is this invisible God real enough to you that you would honor your teacher as if she was this invisible God?
  • If your teacher told you to go tell the principal to dismiss school and let the student’s go home, would you do it?

jim-has-had-many-jobsI have had many jobs in my life, as I’m sure you can also attest to. I have been a door to door salesman selling goods made by the blind, a casual laborer loading trucks for a trucking company, a parts counter, an o-ring installer, a dishwasher, a waiter, a bouncer in a college cafeteria, a janitor at Sears, a salesman, a General Manager working for my Dad, then a company President, General Manager for others, then started my own company, but even as Company President I went out striping parking lots with my family, finally am doing the greatest job in the world, ministering the Word of God.

I have gained some valuable insights from dealing with social authorities. Insights that have increased my spiritual understanding of the ways of God. Insights that are so important in understanding how honoring your boss or any social authority can increase your faith in God!

As I see it, in learning to Honor Social Authorities, in learning to Honor Jesus Christ, you have three choices:

you-can-be-a-slave1. You Can Be A Slave. (Doulos)

You can do only as you are told. You do only so much because your primary motivation is your self. What you can get or not get by doing just enough to stay under the radar. You don’t want to get beat, you don’t want to get in trouble. So you have to look busy, just not too busy. There are different levels of slaves. God indicates this when he cursed the son of Noah: “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” Genesis 9:25 (NIV)

I have to admit I did not enjoy being a janitor. I saw it as a temporary job, and did only enough to get a passing grade. I was only doing it for myself. I was like Onesimus.

I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. Philemon 1:10-13 (NKJV)

onesimusOnesimus had run away from his master because he had stolen some things. Paul says he was unprofitable. But something happened to make him profitable. He discovered Jesus Christ. Was he still a slave, yes. Did he have to answer for what he did, yes. But in the mean time he discovered the value of seeing that as a Slave, he could serve Jesus Christ. Paul said he was now ministering to him in his chains. You can function as a slave at work or school, you can just get by and have an ok life. Some people work only to play. They just want money to be able to do what they want. They just want an education just so their parents will get off their back. This “slave” mentality is evident everywhere you look in society. It can either be because you have been beaten down before, or a boss has stabbed you in the back before, or a teacher has ignored this or that. So you lowered your expectations, you retreated and now do only what you have to.

If we are to advance beyond simply being a “slave” in our Christian walk, and grow in our faith to see Him who is invisible, we must understand “God’s Profit Principal”gods-profit-principle

God’s Profit Principle

Realize this, you are at best an unprofitable servant if you only do what you have to for your social authorities, in fact anyone over you.

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” Luke 17:5-10 (NKJV)

If you are going to increase your faith, you must move beyond being a slave and doing only what you have to toward your authorities, and especially God! But remember, as Christians we should never lose sight of the value of those “menial tasks”.

MENIAL TASKS

Jesus performed menial tasks as a true slaveWe must realize that Jesus set the example for all Christians to do menial taks. Jesus came into this world as a slave, surrendering all his rights so that he might become as one of us. However, as a slave, he gave us an example, that we should always do our best. That we are never too good to do even menial tasks.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:12-15 (NKJV)

If you only do as you think you are required, at best you are only an unprofitable servant. You are only overhead, an expense item. We need to be like Jesus, willing to do anything and everything to honor our authorities. We need to be like Onesimus, and move to the next stage and become an enthusiastic servant unto Jesus Christ himself.

A Profitable Servant2. You Can Be A Profitable Servant. (diakonos)

Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 (NKJV)

JOSEPH went from slave to profitable servant

Joseph had more than one opportunity to really mess up his life by not growing in faith. To become profitable requires faith. As Joseph certainly demonstrated. At every phase of Joseph’s life he demonstrated that two undeniable beliefs:

  1. Joseph the Profitable ServantOverwhelming belief that God Is
  2. Overwhelming belief that God rewards those who diligently seek him.

Joseph, no matter what pit he was in, what dungeon he was forced to live in, what gruel he was forced to live on, believed with all his heart that God was there with him, and that it was worth his while to please God with all his heart.

Joseph could have got made at his brothers, mad at God, started being rebellious to his captors, they would have killed or maimed him and that would have been the end of the story. Or he could have stolen from Potiphar, taken his wife, served only his interests, and that would have been the rest of the story. At many points in his life he could have made a decision that would have put himself first and ruined the entire Bible. But he didn’t. As a result of having a heart that sought the success of his Jailer, his master Potiphar, his King Pharaoh, he became the most powerful man in the most powerful kingdom on earth. God rewarded Joseph because Joseph was a profitable servant toward his authorities. He always did more than was required of him.

Jesus had the same attitude:“… The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

If anyone serves (diakonos) Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant (diakonos) will be also. If anyone serves (diakonos) Me, him My Father will honor. John 12:26 (NKJV)

Apply your heart to becoming a profitable servant

are-you-a-profitable-servantYou want God to Honor you? Honor your boss. Honor your teacher. Honor your coach. Don’t just do enough to get by. Do more! Your hearts desire is that in serving your authority, you are serving Jesus Christ. If you want to be a profitable servant to your boss, work not for yourself, but work to make him successful. If you want to be a profitable athlete or student, let your coach know you want to do whatever he needs to make him successful as a coach. Same with your teacher. Your servant’s heart will be contagious. There may be a student you can influence, another team member you can push to greatness. By honoring your social authorities, you will learn to see Him who is Invisible. Your faith in God and His power in your everyday life will grow. Once your faith starts to grow, and you discover the value of becoming a profitable servant, you will go to the next step.

3. You Can Be A Friend Of God

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Isaiah 41:8 (KJV)

be-a-friend-of-godJacob, son of Isaac was called a servant of God. Jacob had suffered most of his life because he was selfish, focused on what he could get out of life. He had been an unprofitable servant because of his selfish ways.

Finally at Bethel, he discovered the secret of becoming a profitable servant. Dying to what you want and desiring only what God wants. After wrestling with the angel all night, the Angel crippled Jacob, giving him a constant reminder that his strength was not sufficient. If he was to become Israel, he would do so in and through Jehovah’s strength.

In Isaiah we also see that while Jacob was called servant, Abraham was called “my friend” by God. Why? I believe Abraham was called My Friend because only Abraham had learned to really trust God no matter what. Abraham had a deep-seated fear that began in his early days in Ur of the Chaldees. While he was willing to leave home and follow God, while he went beyond what was expected and gave Lot the better land, went after the Kings to get his brother back, bargained with God to try to save Sodom, even made sacrifice to Melchisedek and refused spoil from the King of Sodom; Abraham had a deep down fear. He was afraid that his beautiful wife Sarah would be taken from him, and he would be killed. He really doubted God’s ability to protect him. So before they even left Ur, he had Sarah swear that if anyone asked if they were married, she was to lie and say she was his sister.

“And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”‘ Genesis 20:13 (NIV)

This happened once in Egypt, and then again in Philistia with Abimelech. The last time, God confronted Abraham through Abimelech, and Abraham repented of his deep-seated distrust of God. Genesis 20 says that “Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.” Genesis 20:17-18 (NIV) He didn’t need to pray for himself. God had already seen the change in his heart. Within weeks, Sarah conceived. This total trust that Abraham had for God was revealed a few years later when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac.

abraham-trusted-god1Abraham did not hesitate, he knew that God was his friend, and would never do anything to harm him. He knew that God would raise Isaac from the dead.

If you want to become a friend of God, you must go from simply doing more than is required. You must do all that is required.

You must trust God with everything in your life. You must be willing to sacrifice everything you own, hope to own, hope to accomplish, everything upon God’s altar. This means your job, your salary, your advancement at work, your standing in school, at sports, whatever you want. You are willing to place it on the altar. If you are going to increase in faith, if you are going to become a profitable servant, if you are going to learn to honor your social authorities, you must give your all to Jesus Christ.

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants (doulos), for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-15 (NKJV)

Each one of us can become an intimate friend of Jesus Christ. We simply must be willing to do whatever He tells us. He has given us His heart. He has revealed his word to us. A friend will listen, will learn and obey.

  • Not because you have to
  • Not because you want some reward.

But because you love him with your all your heart, your soul, your mind and with all your strength.

SO, why should I honor my social authorities?

  • so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

In other words, when we fail to honor our social authorities, it results in disrespect for the name and character of Jehovah God. It even results in people ignoring and then despising God. Christians should be the hardest working employees, students, athletes. Regardless of your abilities, whatever we do, do it heartily, as if Jesus Christ was right there, watching. Sure, there are a thousand excuses for doing less than that. Your boss is a so and so, the teacher is so and so, the coach is so and so. Do you want to grow in faith? Do you want to see Him who is invisible? Learn to see Him in the face of those bosses and those teachers that you don’t like. Don’t give unbeliever’s another chance to say you Christians are all alike. You’re all lazy, dishonest, so and sos. When we fail to honor our social authorities, even when they are harsh, we give them a reason to blaspheme God!

We Discredit the Very Thing We Preach

  • Our Actions Speak louder than our words.
  • With our children, our grandchildren.
  • Christians should work harder than any other employee
  • They should be honest and trustworthy
  • They should never argue, complain or talk back.

The Greatest Test You will ever face as a Christian is how you respond when you are treated like a lowly servant.

DAVID GREEN

A 20-year-old man was given a chance to be an assistant manager of a TG&Y store in Oklahoma. The manager took one look at him and reacted with the thought, “Why would they send a young kid like this out here?” Trying to break him, the manager sent him down to the storage room, which was in utter chaos. Undaunted, the young man organized the fixtures and supplies in bins. Within a couple of weeks the storage room was transformed. Instead of giving any recognition or approval, the manager’s only response was, “Ya know, we’re not slave drivers around here. It’s okay for you to take a break.”

Young David Green spent 13 years advancing in the TG&Y organization. Then “In 1970 … there was a little craze about taking some small canvases and paintings, a group of small frames, to put on a wall,” he says. “We saw the opportunity to start manufacturing these frames. We borrowed $600 from the bank and started making them in our garage.” This young man’s servant’s heart and diligent work paved the way for his present work as the founder and CEO of one of the nation’s largest privately owned retail chains. David Green’s story is an amazing account of God’s blessing on a spirit of serving. In 2008 he was listed by Forbes as one of the 400 richest men in America.

God wants each one of us to become mighty in our faith. He wants each one of us to see Him and how much He is at work in our everyday lives. He wants us to know the power of His grace. He wants us to see His power behind our bosses our teachers our coaches.

Complain Complain

look-to-the-crossThe Hebrew Children were complaining about life in the desert. They wanted this they wanted that. People were turning away from God, they were blaspheming God. That is when God told Moses to place a brazen serpent on a cross. All who looked upon the cross in faith would be healed. Have you been complaining about work, about school about this and that. Have you been slacking in your love for God. Have you been causing others to stumble by you poor attitude. You need to look at the Cross this morning. You need to have your heart and eyes opened to the reality of God and His power. You need your eyes of Faith restored.

WE WERE ALL SLAVES OF SIN

Everyone of us started life as a slave, a slave to sin and to Satan. The price on our heads was greater than any of us could ever hope to pay. Jesus Christ, our creator God became clothed in this flesh and through His obedience to the horrible cross, paid the price on our heads in full. He wnet down to the devil’s slave market and through the price of our freedom through the gates of Hell. All that is required is for you to open your eyes and by faith believe that what the Bible says Jesus did is true. Jesus redeemed your from the deadly chain of sin dragging you down to Hell. He broke that chain and by faith you are free. You are free to become a slave of Jesus.will-heavens-door-be-open-to-you

But praise God, Jesus doesn’t want to hold you down. He doesn’t want you to plod along in life with no Joy no passion No LIFE! He shows you that it is possible to have an abundant life in Him.If you see Him in your life and in every authority you face, if you serve as unto Him, He will reward you with blessing after blessing. You will discover the joy and power of becoming a profitable servant. But even more than that. Our great Savior calls you to become His friend. By learning to give your entire life to Him, and obey Him in all you do, you will be the abiding branch, the dearest friend fo the greatest friend you can ever have. Jesus Christ himself.

Are You Living By God’s Profit Principle? Will Heaven’s Door be open to You when You Die? Is Heaven’s Door of Honor and Blessing open to you while you Live?


authorityhonorrewardHonor is a lost thing in America. Everyone is in love with themselves, they seek their own. We have entered an age of skepticism. There is even a new term for it: “Snark”, a combination of snide and remark. A snark is “biting, cruel humor or wit, commonly used to verbally attack someone or something.” Snark is a way of life in political commentary, news reports, editorial writings. We have made “dis-honor” funny and even trendy! God revealed to me in a dream (nightmare actually) that this age of “snarkism” is the fault of that great American show ‘Leave it to Beaver’.eddie-haskell

Most of you are thinking…didn’t Beaver honor his parents and Miss Landers? Yes, he did. But in episode #six America was introduced to a guy we know as Eddie Haskell. Eddie Haskell was the original “Snark”. He made dishonor funny. He made disrespect OK and even cool. The disappearance of Honor and respect for authority began in 1957 with the introduction of Eddie Haskell. It has been downhill ever since. Here are some examples of Eddie-isms:

Eddie Haskell: Wally, if your dumb brother tags along, I’m gonna…

Oh, good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver. I was just telling Wallace how pleasant it would be for Theodore to accompany us to the movies. -”Leave It to Beaver” (1957)

Eddie Haskell: Gee, your kitchen always looks so clean.

June Cleaver: Why, thank you, Eddie.

Eddie Haskell: My mother says it looks as though you never do any work in here. -”Leave It to Beaver” (1957)

full-reward1I pray that we will rediscover the value of Honor in our lives, in finding God’s Pathway of Blessing. In order to restore Honor to our lives, we need to remember that God’s ways are so much higher than ours, but they are so much better. If we experience and know God’s ways, if we submit to following God’s ways, God promises to show us His Pathway of Blessing. God promises to Reward our lives with His Rewards. Consider again what John wrote: Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. (2 John 1:8)

I’m not talking about heavenly rewards. I’m talking of the rewards of our Life in Jesus Christ! Jesus came to give us an abundant standard of living! There is meant to be rewards for following Jesus! We’ve lost sight of the Power of the Path of Following Jesus! When the apostles preached the doctrine of Jesus, people were changed, lives were energized, rewards were poured out upon the people. It was powerful to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That Power affected their work, their home life, their marriage, their possessions, their way of living. it also affected their outlook toward struggles, toward persecutions, toward thieves, towards personal losses. Why did followers of Christ subject their lives to such drastic changes, changes that effected every aspect of their life? Because of the REWARDS!

God’s Way is a Pathway of Blessing, it is a Pathway of Prospering.

The Honor Principal

  • Honor: “to value, see as weighty and precious”
  • To honor a person in authority means to regard them in your heart as well as in your actions with respect and even reverence.
  • Webster’s “to revere, respect, to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to”
  • Submission to authority is an aspect of true honor.

False Honor

To say we honor authority and not submit and obey it is to deceive ourselves. Jesus said “Why do you call me Lord and do not the things I say?” The Roman Centurion was a man who submitted to authority. It was a part of his being, it was in his heart. As a result he honored Jesus, knowing that Jesus had greater authority. Somehow he knew that Jesus had authority over all things, even sickness and disease. He honored Jesus, and believed in Jesus authority to speak and command the servant to be healed. As a result, the Centurion received a full reward!

Four Divisions of Authority

Christ established his Kingdom when He was here on earth. It is not yet visible, but it is here, in our hearts. The powers for this Kingdom are Heart powers. Your ability to see the Kingdom of God depends upon your heart responses to this world we live in.

Let every soul be subject to the (higher) governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Rom 13:1,2)

  • This is a Command: “every soul”;
  • This is a Promise with a Condition: God promises us that no authority exists without His approval and appointment. NONE. Since this is true, He assures us that if we do not honor the authorities, we resist the ordinances of God, and we will bring judgment on ourselves.

Who are the “governing authorities”?

humanauthoritychisel1You could say this verse only relates to governmental authorities, yet I believe that it is much broader than that, and I believe the Scriptures will back me up. In considering our relationship with governing authorities, we can find Four distinct divisions of delegated authority that effect our lives: Civil, Social, Family & Church.

Years ago I used to draw this little drawing which Bill Gothard taught in his seminars. This little drawing irritated more people. He told the story of a teenager and his parents. This teenager was resentful of their rules and rebelled. The pressure of his mom and dad increased until he finally had enough. He left home and joined the army! Guess what, the hammer and chisel got bigger. But what irritated so many people was associating the hammer with the man and the chisel with the woman.People considered it a statement that it’s ok for a man to beat on a woman etc. That wasn’t the point. The point was that God is behind authority, and he uses authority to shape our lives, to produce that beautiful jewel that He sees for each of us.

Whether you don’t like authority or think you are justified in disobeying authorities for whatever reason; Jesus gives us a choice, and that choice is stated in Matt 10. We can chose to honor the people God brings into our lives, whether you consider them and authority or not, and the way you honor them WILL determine the reward you have in life.

Matthew 10:40-42 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

In Matthew 10, Jesus spoke of three levels of people we encounter, prophet, righteous man, and little ones. The way we honor them determines our reward in this Kingdom of God. The Bible gives specific guidelines for each authority, but many counsels of God’s Word cross the borders and extend to all the areas of delegated authority.

Let me say one thing: I have learned the hard way that my number one problem in life is honoring authority. Most of the hard but but fruitful lessons of my life have grown from my encounters with authority.tompkinspaving

One thing I learned from my 15 years in asphalt and concrete, many of the guys who worked for me, and I had all kinds of guys, had some kind of problem with authority. I think that was why God put us together, so I could learn the value of honoring authority. No matter what the situation of the guys who worked for me, I came to respect them. But it always pained me to see certain guys having the same problems over and over again because they resented and even rebelled from authority.

I will lay it out plain and simple for you. The Bible says “Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft (divination)”

For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23 (ESV)

rebellion-sin-of-witchcraftRebellion (merî) is a word derived from (marah) bitterness. Truly rebellious people are hurt people, they are bitter people. Rebellion is the visible manifestation of their hard hearts.

When you get bitter over confrontations with authority, when you allow that bitterness to harden your heart, when you allow that hardness to manifest itself in visible rebellion, you might as well get the black witches hat on and start hopping around on a broom. You might as well start gazing into a crystal ball. It’s time to start looking for eye of newt and toads and a cauldron. Start reading the “horror scope”, holding seances, start calling on the devil. Rebellion is the sin of witches, divination, those that seek after the devil. When you rebel you are opening yourself to Satanic influence.

So whether you agree or disagree, God uses authority in our life, he has established authority in our lives.

Civil Authorities:

While Jesus spoke of a Prophet, which could also refer to church authority, this truth extends to civil authorities. Paul makes this plain as we continue in Romans 13:6. I like The English Version for its understandability:  “That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfill their duties. Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honor for them all.” Civil authorities are appointed by God and are working for Him. In honoring them we honor Him who appointed them; God in turn will honor us. It’s the Honor Principle.

Social Authorities:

“Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.” 1 Tim 6:1. We might understand this better if we said: Let all employees under hire count their bosses or managers worthy of all honor. Let all students under education count their teachers worthy of honor. It would be the same for athletes and coaches or any other relationship that involves submitting one to another.

Family Authority:

Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” This is a promise with a condition. The promise of wellness and long life requires you to honor your mother and father. And might I add, your father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Church Authority

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NLT) “Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.”

The Kingdom

You may not see it, but we live in the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is just that, a Kingdom. There is order according to God’s rules. There are delegated authorities. American Christians have a hard time understanding the Kingdom of God because we have such a democratic mind-set.

We are trying to understand Kingdom principles with a democratic mind-set. This Kingdom is not a democracy. If we bring our democratic values into God’s kingdom, we will not relate properly to His authority and so we will be without the protection of His authority and will miss out on His rewards.

We disregard authority in our culture. We question authority. This is the age of “SNARK”. This is the fruit of “Eddie Haskell”. Why else do you think there is such a spiritual and moral decline in America?

With loss of authority comes loss of honor.

All legitimate authority is from God, and is given for protection, provision and peace.

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18:36 (NKJV)

We are to walk by faith, we are to see by faith. We see and live in God’s Kingdom by FAITH. We follow God’s Word and Christ’s Commands because we realize we live in a SECRET INVISIBLE but ALL POWERFUL KINGDOM! There are REWARDS to all those who live according to Christ’s Commands!

All who name the name of Christ should have respect and honor for authority. Jesus says we will know His believers by their fruits. John the Baptist said you must bring forth fruits of repentance. So called Christian sects that teach civil disobedience are an affront to God’s Kingdom principles. To deny authority is to deny the God who established that authority. God in Romans 13:1 says that authorities that exist are appointed by God. You may think they are elected, but God casts the final ballot. Appointed means to assign, ordain or set. There is no “by chance”, there is no surprise to God when there is a coup or a new dictator assuming power.

Many Evangelical Christians were not pleased with the election of Barack Obama. Worries about Supreme Court justices, abortion, crime concerned us. God in His purpose caused Obama to be elected. Whatever happens will be for God’s purpose. We are commanded to pray for Obama and to honor Him. In so doing we will live peaceable lives. In so doing we will honor God and enjoy the rewards of His Kingdom. Now this does not mean that abortion will stop, and righteousness will prevail. In many countries there is persecution that is going on and God says He has established all authorities.

There are two kinds of persecution

Self-Inflicted: For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? If tomorrow you see flashing blue and red lights in your rear view mirror after speeding through a school zone, don’t blame the devil. Why-because this is one reason God has set up authorities- to punish evil doers. Obey authority and you will have no problems. 1 Peter 2:20a (ESV)

For Righteousness Sake: There is persecution that happens even though you did nothing wrong. 1 Peter 2:20b But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. There may be times when you have to follow convictions that honor God and His word. This is going on throughout the world as we speak. Christians are suffering death and torture because of their public faith in Christ. Or perhaps you face a milder form of persecution. If you work in a non-Christian environment, and are persecuted in some way, God says you are blessed when you endure it. When you are mistreated and continue to be a good employee, a good student, civilian, church member, this is honor at its highest.

There is no excuse for behavior that is against what Jesus commands. If you suffer for disobedience when you are wrong and against Scripture, that is not true persecution. There may be persecution when you chose to obey God rather than men. But that obedience must me in accordance with God’s structure of authority. Only the fear and reverence for God in our hearts would allow us to continue to treat as valuable those who have mistreated us. Even Jesus honored a corrupt civil and religious authority. He reubuked but he never rebelled. Even when they were beating and crucifying Him, he honored them by saying “Father forgive them”.

in-his-stepsMany Christians have the attitude that “I am free in Christ, I am to obey God alone, I don’t have to put up with this! I’m out of here!

And so we get rid of teachers, spouses, pastors, youth leaders. I know parents that have moved their children out of one teachers class just so they can get a better teacher. I have been in churches where the pastor was dishonored and trampled upon for no godly reason, I have seen youth pastors vilified by parents because of some oversight toward their teenager, I have seen marriages crumble and fall apart because one or both simply can’t stand the other person anymore. Paul wrote in Galations 5:13 “For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh”. We are called as Christians to regard and react to unfair treatment correctly. Listen to what Peter goes on to say in verse 21: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.”

What was Jesus example? He was punished by authorities for doing wrong when all He did was right. Yet He still honored their authority!

What About Ungodly Authorities and when they mistreat us?

ungodly-authoritiesI know that in each of your minds a picture has popped up. That picture is someone in your past, an authority that God had in your life-it could be a boss, a manager, a pastor, a ex-spouse, a government agent that you thought was the biggest jerk in the world and there was no way in HECK that you would ever honor them. Why they did so and so…They treated you like dirt and there was nothing that you did wrong. It is true, many authorities are mean, tyrannical and unjust jerks. The Bible is full of them in fact.

But God’s Word tells us that all authority is of God, but it does not say all authority is godly. God’s Word reveals that He has put ungodly men in authority:

Pharoah:

Ex 9:16 “I have raised you up”. Paul confirmed it in Romans 9:17 “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Nebuchadnezzar:

“Behold I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, MY SERVANT, and will set his throne: (Jer 43:10)

King Saul:

“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night”. 1 Samuel 15:11

David, the only person called in the Bible “a man after God’s heart” was placed under Saul’s authority. Saul treated David with kindness and favor in the beginning.

Saul Tries to Kill David

king-saulOnce Saul perceived David to be a threat to his throne, Saul became violent with jealousy. He made it his personal mission to destroy David. For the next 14 years david was forced to live in caves, in the wilderness, even in a godless foreign land. From the ages of 16 or 17 until 30 or 31 David could not go home not even for a visit. He lived as a fugitive on the run.

Why would God do this to a young man after God’s own heart? A man who killed Goliath only for the honor of God’s name? How did David react? Did he conspire to launch a coup d’état to get rid of King Saul? No, David honored Saul.saul-tries-to-kill-david

You Say NO WAY! How could mighty David, who killed his 10,000 Honor a man who was out to kill him? Why, if he could kill Goliath with one stone, surely he could have killed King Saul. Yes he could have. In fact I Sam 24 details one situation:

After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’”. 1 Samuel 24:1-4 (NLT)

David Cut’s Off a Corner of Saul’s Robe

david-cuts-off-robeNow the men were pleading “King Saul is a maniac, he’s destroying Israel, he has murdered innocent families and priests. The prophet Samuel anointed you to be our King. God is for it. Now David, if you don’t kill Saul, he will certainly kill you. David was not convinced, but he did do something. He crept up to where Saul was and cut off a corner of his robe. He could use this to try to convince Saul that his heart was pure, because he could have killed the King, but chose not to. But even after doing this, his conscience was bothered. He knew that he had dishonored the King.

“The Lord knows I shouldn’t have done that to my lord the king,” he said to his men. “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, 1 Samuel 24:5-7 (NLT)

Saul left the cave and went to his 3000 men. As he did, David called out to him:

“Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me. “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. 1 Samuel 24:9-12 (NLT)

david-holds-up-robeDavid honored Saul. He even called him “my father”. Saul was amazed at the goodness of David. He even started crying. And He said: “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil“. 1 Samuel 24:16-17 (NLT)

Did Saul leave David Alone?

Unfortunately, David would be tested one more time. After David had done the honorable thing, bring Saul to tears, Saul once more proved the kind of man he was. After hearing a report that David was hiding in the hills of Hakilah, Saul took 3000 of his elite killer forces and went to hunt David down in the wilderness of Ziph. David had to realize the truth, Saul was nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer. Even the most forgiving man would have become enraged! “This is how you treat those who honor you” Why you no good….You will really pay for this! His chance came, because David heard that Saul and his army were camped on a hill near Hakilah. The Lord had put the entire army into a deep sleep. David asked for a volunteer to go with him into Saul’s camp. Abishai stepped forward. He was the bloodthirsty brother of Joab. They found Saul in a deep sleep surrounded byhis closest body guards. Saul’s spear was stuck in the ground right next to where he lay in a deep sleep.

Abishai whispered to David: “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!”. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”

david-takes-spearI can see David hesitate. I can just see him thinking how this could be God bringing a deep sleep on Saul. This could be a sign from God that it was ok to take Saul out. After all he was a horrible man. He was a man who did not deserve to be honored. Saul had done all sorts of horrible things to David. He had even taken his wife and given her to another man. (I Sam 25:44) He took all of David’s possessions. I can hear Abishai saying “What’s going on David? Why are you not giving me the command to slay this monster?” Still no answer. “David, don’t you remember how you were anointed by Samuel to be the next King? He murdered 85 priests of Nob plus their wives and little babies in cold blood, just because they gave us bread to eat! David, give me the order and he’s toast! Why do you think God put his entire army into a deep sleep! God is giving you the go ahead!

Finally David said “No! Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!” 1 Samuel 26:1-11 (NLT)

Why did God put the army into a deep sleep? He wanted to see what was in David’s heart! He wanted to see if he was still a man after God’s heart or if he had become aman like Saul who took matters into his own hands. God wanted to see if David would honor Him by honoring his appointed authority over Israel-King Saul. This was a truly life-defining moment for David.

God gave David His Full Reward!

“I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him, With whom My hand shall be established; also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him. I will beat down his foes before his face, And plague those who hate him. But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him…I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.“ Psalms 89:20-24, 35-37

David saw beyond the cruelness of Saul and saw the authority given him by God. He Saw Him WHO IS INVISIBLE! David lived the Honor Principle.

break-chainsNow hopefully you have seen that God establishes authority. He gives us authorities that we are to honor. Now all authority is established by God, but their cruel behavior is not originated by God. That leader will give an account of his behavior, but we must give an account for our behavior. Are we willing to live in God’s Kingdom, where God is the authority, and our honoring our authorities brings a full reward from God? Or do we want to live in our own kingdom, man’s kingdom, where we do what is best for us, where we honor only those who have earned the right to be honored? What do you do if your authority is so harsh and insensitive that it is destroying your health, and affecting your walk with God? We will look at that next week.

What wicked King has God put in your life?

There is one wicked King you do not have to honor. Satan. Come to King Jesus, throw off the chain of Satan! Honoring Authority doesn’t enslave us, it frees us to let God Work! It frees us to enjoy God’s Full Reward!


tompkinsindustries1When I was at Tompkins Industries, we were trying to increase our walk-in traffic for our hydraulic hose repair business. We wanted more construction guys to come to us to get new hoses made when the OEM hose broke. It was around 1979 and I thought we could use a rewards punch card to generate repeat business. Not being very creative, I made it a simple reward, get 10 hoses made and get 20 bucks back. All of a sudden we started seeing more of the same guys. And they were bringing more hoses with them. We were having to give out some money too.

But a fellow worker, Dan Turnbull, had another idea. Obviously Dan was more in tune with the kind of guy who walks around with broken hydraulic hoses. Dan suggested we give Buck knives as a reward. Wow! We started to see a lot more guys. They had a whole assortment of Buck Knives they could choose from. Tompkins Industries still rewards loyal customers with Buck Knives. I have heard that they are one of the largest Buck Knife dealers in the country.

Rewards have an amazing impact on our lives. We encounter rewards on a daily basis. As a child our parents used rewards for our behavior. In school our teachers used rewards to get us to learn. In our jobs our employers use rewards to get us to work. (If you look at a paycheck as a reward). In marriage, unfortunately, husbands and wives use rewards to further their relationship. Rewards are all around us, ingrained into our thinking and actions.

rewardscardsWe have even been brain washed by credit card companies to spend money because we think we are rewarded when we do so. They call them Rewards Cards! When I was using my American Express Card for my business, at one time we accumulated over 500,000 awards points. You say boy Jim you must have been a good boy! No, you got that many points because you spent $500,000 dollars (some things got triple points). It took 4 or 5 years to accumulate that many points, but they were gone just like that. They like you to spend money, but what you get in return is so overpriced. It is better to save the money and then buy your own reward at a cheaper price. You save all around.

churchrewardsChurches have gotten into the reward thing too. They offer Starbucks Coffee bars, gymnasiums with complete health clubs. I would love to go to a church with such “perks” but is that why we should go to church? We have become such a reward oriented society that inner character takes a back seat to outer behavior. Cheating in High Schools and Colleges is an accepted fact because the rewards are so great! Character doesn’t matter, results do.

We all want God’s Blessings in our lives. We all want to be disease free, money in the bank, large house, multiple nice new cars, kids all loving and successful, grand kids healthy, smart and on a track for success. We want a Hollywood kind of life. We pray the prayer of Jabez and expect that to open our lives to riches untold.

God is very clear in His Word what He considers blessing. God is very clear what He considers a Reward. If we are to find the “Pathway of Blessing” we need to understand what Rewards are and how does God Reward us in our Christian walk! Does God reward us because we go to church? Does God reward us because we tithe 10 percent? What is the basis of Reward? What opens the “Pathway of Blessing” to us.

pathwayWe began our series with our foundational verse:

Psalms 25:4 Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.

If we are going to allow God to teach us His pathway of Blessing, we have to submit ourselves to His ways, which are higher than our ways. The Children in the Wilderness never learned the pathway that God had for them because they would not submit to knowing His ways.

We were introduced to the importance of Honor toward Jesus Christ in allowing Him to work in our lives, and to guide us into the Pathway of Blessing. This past week God gave me a fresh personalization of Proverbs 3:5,6, and I would like all of us to learn this.

I am not changing SCRIPTURE, but I am internalizing it, making it my own. John 3:16 is just a verse some crazy guy holds up at football games. But when it becomes your verse, it is life changing. It has the power to give you new life. When you realize that God loved me so very much that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to be born in the form of a man so that He could become sin fo me, and that if I believe that what Jesus did for me means that my sins are forever forgiven, that God now lives in me and because I have a new nature-God’s Nature I will have eternal Life with God-that is when John 3:16 packs power!

prov356Proverbs 3:5,6 takes on a totally new meaning when we personalize it this way:

I want our church, our people to understand the importance of Honor in discovering God’s Blessings and Rewards. If we are to do so, we can no longer depend and trust in our fleshly, finite understanding. God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are Higher than. We must ask God to open our hearts and minds to His ways and His words!

2 John 1:8 (NKJV) Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.

Are you receiving a Full Reward from Jesus? Do you know what you must do in order to even hope of receiving a full reward?

fullrewardsI’m not talking about heavenly rewards. I’m talking of the rewards of our Life in Jesus Christ! Jesus came to give us live and that abundantly! There is meant to be rewards for following Jesus! We’ve lost sight of the Power of the path of Jesus! When the apostles preached the doctrine of Jesus, people were changed, lives were energized, rewards were poured out upon the people. It was powerful to be a follower of Jeus Christ. That Power effected their work, their home life, their marriage, their possessions, their way of life. it also affected their outlook toward struggles, toward persecutions, toward thieves, towards personal losses. Why did followers of Christ subject their lives to such drastic changes, changes that effected every aspect of their life? Because of the REWARDS!

Yes, there will be rewards in heaven. We will have to appear before the bema seat and answer to God:bemaseat

But I believe Jesus taught us about earthly rewards! The Life of a Christian is to be a life of REWARD! Each ones rewards are different because God has a different path for each one of us. But there are REWARDS! And what you do determines if you lose those rewards or end up with partial rewards!

Am I preaching a Prosperity Gospel? Yes I am. If you do as I am going to teach you will prosper beyond your wildest imaginations. You will prosper the way God measures prosperity!

  • Deuteronomy 29:9 (NKJV) Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
  • Psalms 10:5 (NKJV) His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
  • Joshua 1:7 (NKJV) Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

God’s Pathway is a Pathway of Blessing, a Pathway of Prospering.

Consider Ruth:

ruthRuth 2:11-12 (NKJV) And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

Now Ruth chose to follow after he mother-in-law. It was a way of poverty, a way of ridicule, for she was a Moabitess. Boaz prayed that she would receive the full-reward because of the path she had travelled on. If you read the “rest of the story” you learn that God indeed gave her a full reward, for Boaz, a wealthy man, married her, and through their union, the Christ child came.

What did Ruth do that made God want to reward her? I’ll reveal that in a moment, but first, what is

“FULL REWARD” IN MAN’S EYES…

phariseesIn Matthew we find Jesus teaching about Pharisees. He mentions that because of what they did they had their “full reward”. Jesus lets us see the difference between man’s idea of full reward, and what God’s idea is. Matthew 6:1-6 (NIV) 1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Man’s idea of Reward is anything that is visible. It is success, praise of men, money, fast car-anything that is visible and smells of success. Jesus said God’s reward only comes upon the invisible, on that which we don’t see. Those hidden prayers, those secrete gifts, secret acts of compassion. Those are the things that God gives a full reward for. So if God rewards secret and hidden thoughts actions and attitudes, could his rewards be similar, perhaps even unseen by the world, or more importantly unnoticed by the world?

  • The world rewards the Flashy, the Confident, God rewards the humble of heart.
  • The world rewards the Rich, God rewards the poor widow who gave her last mite.

The Full Rewards of God cannot be purchased by money, they cannot be won by lottery, they cannot be given, for they come from God alone. They are that magnificent.

God’s Full Rewards: They touch our Innermost Being.

1. Reward of Peace: If one follows the pathway of God he will be rewarded with a deep peace that comes from abiding in the Prince of Peace. Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. Men have spent enormous sums of money to buy peace in their soul, but such peace is the reward of one who walks in the pathway that God has for Him.

2. Reward of Rest: One who walks in God’s Pathway “Shall not be afraid of evil tidings, His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord” (Ps 112:7) His heart will be free from the fear of evil. What better reward than a complete rest from worry, anxiety and a calm assurance that there is no fear on God’s Pathway.

3. Reward of Good: Another part of the believer’s great gain lies in the consciousness that all things are working together for his good. Nothing is, after all, able to injure us. Neither pains of body, nor sufferings of mind, nor losses in business, nor cruel blows of death, can work us real ill. Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV) Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

4. Reward of Joy Psalms 16:11 (NKJV) 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. The full reward of God is a life lived with the utmost of purpose, fulfillment and joy. No matter what the trials, the difficulties, the sickness, God gives us the full reward of His Joy regardless of circumstances. When you have sustained a trial which once would have crushed you, the victory is exceedingly sweet.

5. Reward of God’s Ear When you abide in Christ and walk in His Pathway, you have God’s ear when you call unto Him. Psalms 37:23-24 (NKJV) The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. If God is always holding your hand, He’s always going to be listening when you call!

What Did Ruth Do to earn a Full Reward? What Must each one of us do to earn a Full Reward?

Ruth Demonstrated the “Honor Principle”

honor-principle

Ruth honored Naomi. She also honored Naomi’s God! We Must Apply the Honor Principle to our daily lives. In the Book “Honor’s Reward, John Bevere details what he calls the “Honor Principle”. This Honor Principle is simply stated in I Samuel 2:30:in 1 Samuel 2:30: “Those who Honor me I will Honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”Eli was a High Priest, and worthy of Honor because of his office. His sons were causing disgrace to God, because of their debauchery and dishonoring of the office of Priest. So God said that Eli had lost his reward, in fact his family would be totally removed from serving as Priest. Eli and Eli’s family lost his reward.

Showing Honor is an essential Key in finding God’s Pathway of Blessing. Blessing in your personal and public life. Blessing that provides God’s Full Reward.

1. Partial Reward

Jesus was not honored by the people who knew him, the people of Nazareth. In fact, Matthew says they were offended at Him. Mark records He was able to only heal a few people.

Mark 6:4-5 (ESV) 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.

honorprincipledeterminesrewards2. No-Reward Situation – Healing of the Paraplegic Luke 5:17-26

17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18 Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. 19 And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. 20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”–He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Surely one Pharisee needed healing. The Power of God was present to heal, but it did not heal any of the Pharisees. They were dishonoring Jesus in their hearts. They were amazed, but they received no reward. They received no reward because they failed to Honor the Son of God.

3. Full-Reward

fullrewardMatthew 8:5-13 (NKJV) 5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

This officer obeyed his commander. His men obeyed him. He was saying to Jesus that he had authority because he honored his country and his superiors by respecting their authority. So all I have to do is speak the word, and those under me respond immediately to my commands.

The Key phrase “I ALSO”. He knew that all Jesus had to do is speak a command, and the servant would be healed.

Jesus was blown away at this man’s faith. No one, not the Jews, the Pharisees had even come close to this man’s faith. This Gentile centurion had put it together- He saw the relationship between Honor and Authority. He received a Full Reward because he rendered honor and understood authority.

canaanite-womanIn Mark 7 another Gentile woman came to Jesus for help with her demon possessed daughter. She knew he had the power to heal her. When she asked, he ignored her. As he ignored her, she continued to beg until finally Jesus said that it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. Jesus called this woman a dog. Now if she had been an American woman, she would have gotten in his face and reamed him out.

But she did something amazing, she honored him, she honored his authority by simply saying, Yes Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs..

Jesus said, for this saying, the demons have gone from your daughter.

She received her full reward!

The Honor Principle: Do You Want to See Jesus?

Luke 13:34-35 (NKJV) 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and as

see-jesus

suredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “

You will never see Jesus until you learn to honor those that He sends. When we honor the messengers of Jesus, we honor Him.

Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in John 13: John 13:5-7 (ESV) Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

We all know the story. But after he did he said an amazing truth:

John 13:20 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

Jesus applies the Honor Principle in every aspect of our lives in Matthew 10: 40-42 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Let’s examines Jesus words and substitute the word Honor everywhere receives and gives is used:

“He who honors you honors Me, and he who honors Me honors Him who sent Me. 41 He who honors a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who honors a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever honors one of these little ones with only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

To find the Pathway of Blessing (Rewards), we need to see:

1. Our Honor of God & His Son enables us to see the pathway of blessing (and to receive Full Reward).

  • “Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths”

2. There is an Authority Structure in the Kingdom of God.

  • “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18)
  • “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)

We must honor those that Christ has ordained we honor: Christ; Prophets-Spiritual Authorities; Righteous man-Our Peers; Little Ones-Under our Care

3. When we Honor “Sent Ones” we walk the Pathway of Blessing (Full Reward)

a. When we honor those authorities over us, we receive a reward
b. When we honor those around us, we receive a reward
c. When we honor those under our care, we receive a reward.

When I was growing up I was taught to respect (honor) my parents, my teachers, elders, the Pastor, even the President. I believe we have lost the importance of honor in our country, in our society, in education, in our relationships, our marriages, and our churches.

Life is all about what we can get for ourselves. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. As a result we have lost sight of God’s pathway of Blessing. We have lost sight of what God considers “full rewards”. We are in pursuit of pleasure, fame and fortune and that is our reward, that is what we idolize, that is what we focus on.

God wants us to focus on His Son, Jesus Christ. And Jesus says we must learn to honor Him. We must learn to honor those authorities He has placed in our lives. We must learn to honor those He sends our way. When we discover the importance of honor, and commit to living lives that honor our Savior in everything we do, we will see and enjoy walking on God’s “Pathway of Blessing”. The way will be shining and clear. We will receive God’s “Full Reward”

One word of advice, to Honor others requires humility. It requires Faith to See the Power of God behind and because of the person you Honor. For as we obey God and Honor those He has placed in our path, then He will reward us with the Pathway of Blessing!

It is not a matter of Honoring someone only if we like them or respect them or think they agree with us. It is a matter of Obeying God because He commands us to Honor the authorities He has given us and those for whom we are responsible.

  • “he who receives whomever I send receives Me” – He who honors whomever I send, honors me!

Let me close with the story of a woman who desired very much to give her husband a child, especially a male child. They lived in a culture where the children you gave your husband showed your love for him, and showed your blessing by God. This particular man had another wife, and year after year she would give him a child.

This woman was at the end of her rope. Her husband assured her that he loved her, but she did not believe him. She couldn’t stand the bragging of the other wife. She felt disgraced every time she went to the store. She could her her friends whispering about her behind her back. Finally she had enough. She could take it no more. She went to church and fell on the floor before the communion table. She cried and cried and wept and wept. She cried out to God until she was so hoarse she could not even speak anymore. So she laid their and prayed and prayed. Her lips were moving, but their was no voice. She finally told God that if He gave her a baby boy, she would give him back to the Lord, to serve Him in church all the rest of his life.

Now at this point, in walks the old preacher. He sees her laying down on the floor, her lips are moving, but no words are being spoken. He concludes she is drunk. So he yells at her and says, Woman, we don’t allow drunks in church! You need to get rid of the wine and go home until you can sober up! Then you can come to church!

Now if this woman had been raised in America, she would have stood up and started yelling at the preacher. You insensitive jerk! I have been pouring my heart out to God, I really need His touch, and you want to kick me out of church? Do you see a wine bottle? How can you be a man of God and accuse me of being drunk? What kind of a pastor are you? I’m never coming back to this church again!

If Hannah had reacted this way, she never would have received God’s Blessing, His full reward of the baby Samuel. She would have gone home a bitter woman, and she would have died thinking that God doesn’t answer prayer. In fact, she probably would have concluded there really is no God.

Instead, Hanna honored this “Pastor” who actually was Eli the High Priest. She said “No My Lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I was pouring out my soul before the Lord. Regard not your handmaid as a wicked woman.” (I Sam 1:15-16 AMP)

She honored this man, even though he had wrongfully accused her. Why, He was her authority, he was the High Priest. Now was Eli a hannaGreat Priest? No. in fact God said “I have warned him continually that judgment is coming for his family, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. So I vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven. ( I Sam 3:13-14)

Hannah honored an evil, accusing Priest, because to do so was to honor God! And as a result of her humbling herself (as a handmaid) and honoring Eli, she went home and conceived a blessed baby boy, Samuel. She received her full reward. God showed her His pathway of Blessing.

  • Do you want to see God’s Pathway of Blessing?
  • Do you want God’s Full reward for your life?
  • Are you willing to humble yourself before Jesus Christ and dedicate your life to honoring Him and those He has sent into your life?

Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV) “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”

    1. Have you honored Jesus in your heart by repenting of your ways, your sins, and coming to Him as your Lord and Savior.
    2. Are you willing to lay aside the rules of man and enter into a living, daily relationship of honoring Jesus and those he sends into your life?
    3. Are you willing for God to teach you His pathway of Blessing?

value-of-honorEver since the age of 12 I have been nudged to seek after God. Verses like Isaiah 55:6-9 touched my heart:

“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I grew up with an awareness of a God whose thoughts were higher than my thoughts, and whose ways were higher than my ways. As I grew and became alive to God through the new birth in Jesus Christ, my desire to know this God increased. I read the Bible, not in a scholarly way, but with the illumination of my new teacher, the Holy Spirit. I read books by Watchman Nee, who had tremendous insight into the ways of God. I attended the Basic and Advanced Seminar taught by Bill Gothard. I saw tremendous insights into the ways of God from His teachings.

However, as I struggled in my early walk,  I realized that simply knowing the ways of God does not mean you are a Spiritual Christian. I had a tremendous head knowledge, but there was a huge void in my heart. After marriage, I continued to struggle in my Christian walk. I battled with enemies of pride, lust, greed, selfishness. I made many wrong choices. At one point in my life I remember thinking that I was a castaway like Paul mentioned in 1 Cor 9:27, that God had put me on the shelf and would no longer use me.

In my struggles with my walk with God, I would constantly turn to the Psalms. Here was a man (David) that I could relate to. His honesty with God encouraged me. I remember reading Psalms 25 and having my heart suddenly do somersaults.

Psalms 25:1-12 (KJV) 1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. 12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

I could go on for hours of how much this Psalm meant to me. Briefly, however, it meant that David struggled with his flesh and sins and enemies too. He got down, but out of the depths of despair, he held up his soul to Almighty God. He affirmed His trust in Him, and asked God to remove any shame from his life. Then he said something that I have meditated on for over twenty five years, and I still do not know the full depth of these verses, but such as I know I will try to explain.

He said “shew me your ways” or as some translations say, “make me to know your ways”. Then He said “teach me your paths.”

I had always thought David had got it backwards. I had wanted to learn the ways of God, but David said show me your ways. The Hebrew word for show means not just a head knowledge, but a knowledge gained by intimate, personal experience. David desired a personal, intimate knowledge of the way that God worked in his life. Way in the Hebrew means course, in a broad sense. It required a personal intimate relationship to know the course, the way God worked.

Then David prayed “teach me your paths”. Teach implies close attention to what is being taught. Path is the word for a literal, step by step path. David was telling God that if He would show David how God was working in every thing that was happening in his life, the rejection, the pursuit by enemies, the isolation of being on the run, then David would pay close attention to learn and see step by step the path that God was wanting Him to take.

God gave me a picture of a guy who was experiencing the hand of God in a very intimate way, and sometimes that hand left bruises, sometimes it was a gentle nudge, sometimes it was a slap on the rear, but David knew intimately what God was doing, and because he had this intimate knowledge of God’s way, he was learning which path to follow, which step to take, and it was a daily even hourly lesson.

All of a sudden I could look back at what God had done in my life, and realize that His ways were in everything that had happened. I thanked Him for His ways, I asked Him to show me what He was doing, I asked for forgiveness for my sins and failure to pay attention to what He was trying to do.

I asked Him to teach me His path, to teach me which way I was to go.

I am convinced with every fiber of my being, that if you desire first of all to know intimately the ways of God, He will show you. He will even take you through things that are painful and difficult to understand. But if you pay attention, you will know His way, and once you commit to knowing His way, then you can start learning the path He has for your life. It will be as if a giant searchlight has been turned on. You will see the steps pf God before you.

I believe that if you follow the path that God has for your life, it will be a path of Blessing. It may not be riches as the world counts blessings, but Blessing is experiencing the Presence of God. That is the True Pathway of Blessing.

It seems very rare when every aspect of our life seems blessed. Seems like there is always a struggle either in our job, our finances, our friendships, our family, our possessions. David found the Pathway of Blessing in every aspect of His Life. I believe, and based upon the life lessons God has made me to experience, that we can find the Pathway of Blessing in every situation we face. If you have never committed to knowing the ways of God, let me encourage you to do this. I must advise you that the ways of God cannot be understood until you experience them. But I will give you encouragement, if you look at the events of your life with this mindset, to know the ways of God, you will discover a Pathway of Blessing that you may never have seen before. It will be like these video games with secret passageways. When you commit to knowing the ways of God, you will have the key to seeing God’s pathway that He has only for you!

The Pathway of Blessing Leads to Rewards

2 John 1:8 (NKJV) Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.

John was a very elderly man looking back on life when he wrote this. He was writing with the benefit of a life lived walking in the truth of Jesus teachings. He had what John Bevere calls a “Grandfather Anointing”. It is when the young children listen to Grandfather because he is wise.

This last holiday God convicted me over not doing more to bring Jesus Christ into our family gatherings. We had tons of great family times with the kids and grandchildren, but other than a few prayers, I did little to bring the reality of Jesus into our gatherings. So I am going to institute the Pathway of Blessing Moment with Grandfather. I am committing to sharing with my children and grandchildren a lesson from my life and God’s Word in which God revealed His path for my life. Hopefully I can write these down and give them to my family so that when I am gone they will have an encouragement to learn the pathway that God has for their life.

From John’s “Grandfather Anointing” we learn a couple of very important things that will frame our study of the Pathway of Blessing.

1. John is speaking with a sense of urgency when he says “Watch out”

2. Don’t take this matter lightly, but look after this diligently.

3. Don’t lose your FULL REWARD!

Some of you who grow plants can understand this vividly. Imagine planting acres of corn or wheat, and then fertilizing, watching the plants grow, seeing what looks to be an abundant harvest, only to have a hail storm or tornado or something else wipe out the crop. All that work down the drain. Or perhaps you area businessman, and have built a great business, but because of a few bad decisions, or maybe right decisions but at the wrong time, you lose your business. All that work down the drain. Many recently have watched their hard earned money go down the drain because of someone elses bad decision. Most of us have experienced the loss of our labor. We know how empty and discouraged it can make us feel.

John cries out to us to watch out, so you may receive a full reward!

  • God is a Rewarder of those who Diligently Seek Him (Heb 11:6)
  • In Keeping the Word of God there is Great Reward (Psalm 19:9-11)
  • I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me (Ps 57:2 AMP)

God loves to reward His children. He loves it when we seek Him and give Him our hearts. Now if it is possible to have a full reward, then it is also possible to have no reward or a less than full reward. Next week I intend to look at Rewards and how following the pathway of Blessing determines our rewards.

Scripture repeatedly tells us to FINISH WELL:

Matthew 10:22, 24:13-Those who endure to the end will be saved,

James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

Revelation 2:26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

endurance-runChristian Life is not a Sprint. It is an Endurance Run.

Life-Defining Moments

In the Bible we see people making Life-Defining decisions.

Consider Rehoboam:

rehoboamIn I Kings 12, we find a new King, Rehoboam, son of Solomon faced with a dilemma. Do I lower taxes as the people are requesting, or do I do something else to establish my throne. He listened to the advice of his father’s advisors, and they said to speak good words to the people and they would follow him forever. Then he listened to the words of his young friends whom he had hung around all his life-“His Posse”. They gave him different advice. So when the people came back after three days, Rehoboam told them: “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

This resulted in the destruction of the Kingdom his father had built, and 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel were permanently fragmented. One bad choice cost him dearly for the rest of his life.

Now this Life-Defining moment was not made then, it was made years earlier when young Rehoboam decided his friends and what they thought were more important that God or his dad. Rehoboam was one of these kids who rebelled against his dad and scorned what he said. When his life-defining moment came, he lacked the judgment to make the right decision.

Consider the Children of Israel

hebrew-childrenThe children of Israel were given every opportunity to develop a trust in the power of God to protect them and provide for them. They saw Him part the Red Sea, destroy the Egyptians, provide food and water, daily guidance. Yet they never developed that trust in an awesome God. Their lack of trust did not cause too many problems until there was one Life Defining Moment. God had them send in 12 men to spy out the land He was going to give them. Ten of the men came back and reported how impossible the situation looked. Two men said God could overcome any situation. The people whined and complained because they had never developed the discipline of trusting in the power of God. The result of their life-defining moment was wandering, death, and never entering into the rest of God’s Promised Land.

Consider What God Wants

what-god-wantsI went to a Bible College that believed if you obeyed the rules, you were a great Christian. But something in me said that was wrong. God showed me by sparing my life from a head-on collision with a tractor trailer rig, that it was more important to know His heart. To simply obey the rules did not bring joy to my heart. But when I obeyed because I knew His heart and what He was trying to teach me, it brought Joy. It brought meaning.

  • The young Rehoboam never caught the heart of his father Solomon, and so 10 tribes of Israel were lost.
  • The Children in the wilderness never caught the heart of Moses and so an entire generation of Israelites were lost.

If we as fathers and mothers do not learn to communicate this truth of the Pathway of God’s Blessing, we will lose an entire generation of children. We need to lead our children and grandchildren into catching the heart of God, and learning His path for our lives. As Solomon pleaded with his son Rehoboam, God also pleads with us:

Proverbs 23:26 (AMP) My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in my ways,

Early in my life I made a decision that the God of the Bible was my God and guide for my life. Whatever I struggled with I would seek to know the Power of God’s Word in order to walk in the right path.

What Disciplines are Guiding Your Life? How are you dealing with the struggles within your soul?

The Value of Honor

If we are going to see the Pathway of Blessing that God has for our live, we must learn the importance of Honor.

The Ugly Package Reveals God’s Way

john-9-blind-man-honors-jesusIn John 9 we find a man who was blind from birth. The disciples ask Jesus whether this man sinned or his parents sinned to cause his blindness. Jesus said neither, but this happened so that the works of God should be revealed in him. This happened so that he might see the pathway of Blessing that God wants him to walk in. Jesus then took some dirt and spit in it. He worked the dirt and made a clay that he was able to place over the man’s eyes. Then He said, go and wash in the pool of Siloam. Now why did Jesus do heal the man this way. Remember, we prayed to be shown the ways of God. God’s way is to use ugly things to bring Him glory. Sometimes he gives us ugly packages and tells us to carry them around. In fact God wants us to rejoice in our ugly package. When we start walking then God gives us light and this ugly package reveals the path He wants us to walk in.

When the blind man honored Jesus and accepted the dirty clay, and then went and washed his eyes, they were opened and he could see the path God wanted him to take. The Blind man HONORED Jesus Christ, even before He knew him to be the Messiah. This man was holding an ugly package, blindness. He was scoffed at, spit upon, ridiculed. His parents avoided him, because blindness was considered a curse. Along comes a man of compassion. The blind man honors him by allowing him to put mud on his eyes, and then HONORS his command. As a reward, his eyes are opened and he can see. Later, Jesus reveals himself to be the Son of God. He asks the man do you believe? He says Lord I Believe!

Jesus is before each one of us this morning. He wants us to see the ugly package that we are holding. Some of us are holding more than one ugly package. Jesus says, are you willing to let me touch your ugly package and let me show you what I can do? Are you willing to believe that I am the Son of God? Are you willing to see how much Blessing can come from this ugly package? ARE YOU WILLING TO HONOR ME!

You may be struggling with your faith this morning. You may be struggling financially, You may be struggling in your marriage, in a friendship. You know what ugly package you have. It may be obvious to the world, or you may have succeeded in hiding it. But Jesus knows the distress of your soul.

He wants you to Honor Him this morning. He want you to believe that he can use the ugliness in your life to show you His Pathway of Blessing. He wants to Reward your love for Him, your obedience to Him, Hour Honoring of Him.

One more illustration to underscore the truth that Honor is the foundation of learning the Pathway of Blessing that God has for your life. If you fail to Honor Jesus Christ, you will never see the Pathway of Blessing. You will never realize your FULL REWARD!

Mark 6: Neighbors Refuse to Honor Jesus

mark-6-no-honor-no-mighty-worksIn Mark 6, we see Jesus entering into his own country, the country of his upbringing, Nazareth. The people were astonished at His claims to be the Messiah, to be the fulfillment of Prophecy. They said, “isn’t this the carpenter, the Son of Mary” Why just last week he was fixing my chair. Someone else said, mu Johnny went to school with Jesus. He used to play in our back yard. Mark 6:3 said they were offended at Him.

And then we read in verse 5: “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”

Here was the Son of God, the creator of the World, and the people of Nazareth kept Him from doing any major miracles. They were restraining the Power of the Son of God! How did this happen? What were these people doing to restrain the Son of God? Jesus reveals what was restraining Him in verse 4: A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives and in his own house.” The thing which prevented the Blessing of Jesus was their failure to Honor Him as the miracle working Son of God!

Honor Defined

To Show Honor is to Give Value. To Honor someone we consider them valuable, precious, just like gold or a precious jewel. Other words to describe honor are appreciation, esteem, respect. To Show Dishonor is to show no respect, to give no value. To treat it as common, ordinary or menial. We Show Honor in our actions, our words and even our thoughts. All true Honor originates in our heart.

honor-in-heartThe Pharisees had more head knowledge of God’s Word than any other people, yet they failed to see Jesus as the Messiah. He did not “fit” their image of what the Messiah would look like. They were looking with their physical senses. In Luke 17:20-21 they even asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. Listen to His reply:

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Jesus told them the key to seeing the Kingdom of God was seeing with their heart, for indeed, it is inside us. That is why they never saw Jesus as the Messiah, for their hearts were far from God, tin fact they did not honor God in their hearts.

On the other hand, Simeon honored God in his heart, and was able to recognize the baby Jesus as the Messiah. In Luke 2:25-32 we read:

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Simeon saw with his heart that Jesus was the Messiah. He honored God’s instruction to him, that he would see the Messiah, and he waited till God’s chosen one was revealed to him.

Do You Want to walk in the Pathway of Blessing in 2009. Do you want God to take all the ugliness in your life and turn it into a Pathway of Blessing and Life?

Do You want Jesus to do great and Mighty things in your life?discoverpathwayofblessing

You Must do Three Things:

  1. Commit your life to paying attention to God and letting Him Show you first hand His Ways, even when they are ugly and unpleasant.
  2. Honor Jesus Christ with all your heart, your mind and your body.
  3. Look for God to Teach You His Path for your life, day by day, moment by moment

Demonstrate that Honor with times of Delighting in His Word and with times of Delighting in Conversation with Him.

  • Do You Desire God’s Blessing in Your Life this Year?
  • Do You want to see the path that God wants you to take?
  • Do you want to know first hand the mighty miracle power of Jesus Christ?

You Need to take the step of Honoring Him with all your life. You need to take every ugly thing in your life and give it to Him and say thank you Jesus. I know you can take the ugliness in my life and make it beautiful. I know you can make my path straight, you can give me renewed strength and love for you.

Will You Honor Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Will You Allow Him to Work Mighty Miracles in Your Life.

Will You Commit to Honoring Him in Your Family with Your Grandchildren?