Archive for the ‘Pathway of Blessing’ Category


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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slide2Over the last few weeks we have been discovering the value of Honor in finding God’s path for our life, in growing in faith, in seeing the Power of God in a real intimate way, and in realizing our full reward here on earth! God has been dealing with me in learning to honor our political leaders. I have been praying for our National as well as Local leaders. I have been asking God to build honor for them in my heart. In honoring my social authorities, I have been seeking to honor Jesus Christ and seeking how He would pastor our church. God brought a Debate coach into mind that I had failed to honor in high School. I had always honored and respected him until we got political. We got into a big shouting match during a class and I walked out, in fact I think we both walked out. I never went back.

Well, God brought my forensics coach into my life this past week. I was able to thank her and honor her as I probably never really said so when I was in school. She is going to get Tom Cameron’s number for me so I can call him. I look forward to honoring him after I ask his forgiveness.

This is what the Pathway of Blessing series is all about. It is about seeking to know God’s ways and then walking in His path. God’s path is a path of blessing. God’s path is a path of earthly rewards. But God’s pathway is found only as we honor those authorities and leaders God has placed in our life.

This discourse we are going to look at the Value of Honoring our Mother and Father. In looking at honoring our Mother and Father, we will discover some amazing truth about the promises of God. We will also learn a bit about drama queens or kings and why this growing phenomenon will prevent many people from finding God’s Pathway of Blessing.

“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.” Ephesians 6:2-3

honor-father-and-motherHonor for our parents is not a recommendation, it is a commandment. Keeping God’s commandments is evidence of our love for Jesus Christ. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

We also see: “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it”. 2 John 1:6

With God, it is all about obedience to His word: “ keeping the commandments of God is what matters” 1 Corinthians 7:19 (NKJV)

result-of-born-again-lifeIf you habitually ignore the commandments of God, perhaps you have never had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit. God says: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

If the Holy Spirit isn’t producing “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control, then you need to honest with yourself and say I’ve never been born again. The Spirit of Jesus Christ doesn’t live in me. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn 2:4) If you know Jesus in a real intimate way, you will have a heart drive to follow Him.

Let’s review what HONOR is:

Honor: to value, to esteem, to respect, to treat favorably, to have high regard for. If we view our parents through the eyes of honor we will communicate with them in respect and love. Honor is displayed in deed, word and even thought. But all true honor originates in your heart.

dishonor-of-parentsSo if a young or old person speak in a flippant, careless or irreverent way on a regular basis toward their parents or grand parents, they are displaying outwardly their lack of true honor for their parents. Jesus told us: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. (Matt 12:34)

You can display dishonor by your behavior, by the tone of your voice, rolling eyes, disgusted look, dragging your feet to carry out a request, complaining and so forth. I’ve mentioned before a time when I was 12 that I have never forgotten. My mom had said something I didn’t want to hear and I looked at my friend and did this: (crazy sign). My mom saw me out of the corner of her eye and she slapped me so hard I thought my head would pop off. She said don’t you ever disrespect your father like that again.

I learned to respect my parents, but I’m well aware that: Dishonoring our parents has become a normal way of life in America.

dishonor-of-parents-is-funnyWe have gone from “Father Knows Bes”t to Homer “Doh” Simpson! Or Psycho Dad Al Bundy. It is funny to make fun of your parents. It gets big laughs from the viewing audience, from the kids at school. It is expected. “Well Jim, that’s part of growing up. It’s ok to make fun of your parents” But God doesn’t think it is very funny.

“ ‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Deuteronomy 27:16 (ESV)

cursed-are-those-who-dishonor-parentsDo you understand how strong a word “cursed” is? It is the word awrar, and it means to bind, hem in with obstacles, render powerless. The serpent was cursed, when he caused Eve to sin. Does your life feel as if you meet one road block after another? Do you have sins that you feel powerless to overcome, they have you bound up? Perhaps you have dishonored your parents. You may expect that God only curses murderers, thieves, sexual perverts, yet God said more than once that the one who dishonors his father or mother is cursed. To dishonor your mom or dad means to treat them as common, ordinary, or menial. At worst it means to treat them shamefully, even humiliate them.

Consequences of Dishonor

Noah became a farmer after the flood. One day he drank some fermented wine and got drunk, took off all his clothes and passed out in his tent. We can only speculate why he did this, or if he did it on other occassions. What happened next is what we need to take note of. His son Ham, went into the tent, saw his dad naked, and went outside and told his brothers. We don’t know exactly what Ham said but I imagine it was something like this: “Hey guys, you are not gonna believe this, Dad is a drunk as a skunk and naked as a jaybird! You gotta see this!”

they-honored-noahHowever, Shem and Japeth showed honor to their drunken father and grabbed a garment, held it up and walked backward into the tent, covering their dad without looking at him. They did not want to see the shame of their father. When Noah wole up the next morning, he realized what happened and said:

“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” Genesis 9:25

This prophetic word from Noah, the only statement of Noah recorded in the Bible, was played out for several generations. cursed-by-canaanThe Canaanites, the descendants of Ham, were cursed and eventually overtaken by the Children of Israel at God’s command. Ham dishonored his father and brought a curse upon his descendants. Noah’s behavior brought no such curse. In fact, Hebrews 11:7 says that

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)

noah-was-righteous1Ham is not mentioned in Hebrews 11.

Noah’s moral failure became a test of honor for his three sons; it revealed their true heart. Note: Ham was accurate in his report. His father was drunk and naked, yet Ham was wrong in principle. You could certainly justify his reaction. He was being truthful. Yet the principle of Honor and Kingdom authority says he was wrong. Have you passed God’s Test of Honor for your Life?

Dishonor Grows Over Time

jacob-loved-rachelDishonor for parents is like a disease. If left untreated it grows over time. Case in point: Most of you are familiar with the story of Jacob, how he was tricked into marrying Leah and finally got Rachel after working 14 years for her. Well, what you may not remember is that Rachel and Leah had an ongoing feud over who Jacob loved more. Leah kept having babies. In spite of the babies, Jacob loved Rachel, but Rachel was barren. Leah felt unloved, even though she was the one bearing Jacob all the children. She thought that her children would cause Jacob to love her.

leah-and-rachel1“The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.”

Rachel devised a plan to get back at her sister. She let her handmaid Bilhah bear children for her.

And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali. Genesis 30:7-8 (NKJV)

Reuben, being the firstborn, grew up with all this strife. He had to have felt for his mother, and resented the way his dad loved Rachel more than Leah.

He got personally involved one time. He went out into the fields and found some juicy mandrakes. He brought them in for his Mom. Rachel saw her eating these juicy delicious mandrakes, and desired to have some. So Leah made a bargain with Rachel. “I’ll have Reuben get you some mandrakes if I get Jacob for the night”

The fact that Leah had to pay to have Jacob sleep with her meant that most nights he spent with Rachel. Evidently Reuben had a dishonor for Jacob that grew and grew the more he saw him neglect his mom. Finally, when Rachel died in childbirth, Reuben committed the ultimate dishonor to his father, he slept with Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah. Jacob didn’t do anything at that time, but when it came time for Jacob to die, he gave Reuben’s birthright to Joseph’s two sons. Reuben is not even listed in the genealogical records as Jacob’s firstborn son.

The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son. 1 Chronicles 5:1 (NLT)

Jacob’s actions were wrong, in that he neglected Leah for Rachel. Reuben saw his father accurately. However, the bitterness he had in his heart poisoned his whole outlook on life. He let go of the honor a child naturally has for his parent and embraced an attitude of resentment that fostered dishonor. It grew to the point where he could justify his behavior toward his dad. He lost his birthright. Hannah honored Eli and received her full reward. Reuben dishonored Jacob and lost his reward.

wrong-behavior-not-affect

Don’t Allow Someone Else’s Wrong Behavior to Affect You

Moses: Moses had one of the hardest jobs you can imagine. He had to herd Three Million Drama Kings and Queens across a desolate desert.

What is a “Drama Queen or King”?

no-drama-queens1

People (mostly girls – but boys play their part) who like to blow everything

totally out of proportion because they either :

a) Want to seek attention

b) Have some emotional dysfunction and it’s their duty to make life harder for everyone around them

c) Just simple can’t get over it. (Urban Dictionary)

“The term “drama queen,” or less frequently, “drama king” is usually applied to someone who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents. A drama queen often views the world in absolutes, and only has two settings on her emotional control button; zero and ten. Psychologists might describe a drama queen or king as a neurotic personality with histrionic tendencies, meaning they tend to become needlessly dramatic whenever order is disrupted.

In literature, the character Scarlett O’Hara from Margaret Mitchel’s “Gone with the Wind” would be considered a drama queen by today’s standards. A drama queen is notoriously self-centered and self-absorbed, often viewing friends and relatives as lesser beings assigned to take care of her personal needs. A drama queen’s worst enemy is solitude, so she tends to be very outgoing and sociable, although many of her friendships tend to remain at surface level. Others who have experienced the drama queen’s sudden outbursts in the past may have a feeling of walking on egg shells around her, not wanting to be the person who delivers upsetting news or offends the drama queen in any way.”

spoiled-bratsWhen I was growing up we didn’t call people “Drama Queen’s”. We called them spoiled brats. If I acted like a spoiled brat my Dad would take the board of education and deal directly with my seat of knowledge. Now I don’t mean to make fun of what happened to the Hebrew Children, but Moses must have felt like he was dealing with a bunch of spoiled brats. Or “Drama Queens” in modern language. Because of their fear about going into the Promised Land, He was forced to wander in the desert for 40 years. For 40 years he had to babysit all those Drama Queens.

They were always complaining about this about that. The slightest thing would get them going. Nothing was ever good enough for them. God would do something to stop their complaining, part the red sea, drown Pharoah and his army, make manna fall from heaven, send quails, make a pillar of fire, but nothing God did ever satisfied them. They went from one big drama to another. Moses left them for just a few days and you would have thought the whole world was coming to an end. The made a golden calf and startted having a worship orgy around their new “god”.

You will never learn to honor your parents if you are a drama queen or king. Because life is all about God and what He wants you to do. And he wants you to get over yourself and realize you must learn to honor your parents, honor your teachers, honor those authorities in your life if you are going to grow in your trust of Him!

moses-was-angry-at-drama-queensYou could tell Moses was starting to crack even then because when he came down from the mountain, he saw what was going on and he threw the tablets of stone down, breaking them in pieces. Another time they were complaining because there was no fresh spring water. All the bottles of Evian were gone and they simply knew they would all die of thirst. So God told Moses to speak to a rock and then water would gush out of it. But at this point, Moses was so fed up with these “Drama Queens” that he gathered them together and said:

“Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out.

Now Moses let their bad behavior affect his good judgment. He struck the rock twice. God told him:

Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” Numbers 20:12

Psalms 106 explains what happened:

They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips. Psalms 106:32-33

We cannot blame our wrong behavior on the bad behavior of others.

blame-gameReuben’s father was not honorable toward his mother, but that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward his father. God says to honor your father and mother, regardless of how good or bad they are in our eyes. Or how honorable of dishonorable their behavior is. Jacob had a terrible unloving attitude toward Reuben’s mother. But that did not justify Reuben’s dishonorable attitude and behavior toward Jacob. Noah did a terribly stupid thing, but that did not justify Ham’s disrespect toward his father.

I know most of you are thinking “What about when they…?” There may be times when you have to take a stand. But you never take a stand against your parents unless it is from aplace of Honor and Rspect. While you are to honor them, you may decide that to obey would be contrary to God. It could be asking you to lie to a teacher, or something much worse, involving some kind of abuse. Respectfully you must decline and make them aware that you mean no disrespect, but you will not violate God’s law in such and such. You may have to get your civil authorities involved if the situation of abuse or drugs is destroying your life. Many teenagers disobey their parents in the name of Jesus, when there is an underlying attitude of disrespect and even rebellion. Disobedience in the name of God is only powerful if it is done from a deep seated sense of respect and honor for your parents.

Believe me, they know the difference.

I have known youth directors who encouraged their youth to disobey their parents and come to youth meeting when the parents have grounded them. But what the yout pastor doesn’t realize is that dis-respect and disobedience is probably the reason they were grounded in the first place. Having them disobey to come to church is going to drive a wedge further into the relationship.

TWO FOLD REWARD

two-fold-rewardEphesians 6 said that there are TWO rewards when we honor our mom and dad. First, that things would go well with you. You will experience success in life the way God values success, peace, joy, love, self control. Your path will be clear. Second, you can live a long life.

You may be saying, “But I know someone who honored his parents and … Why didn’t this promise apply to them?”

The Power of Praying the Promises of God

Who found a wife for Isaac?pray-gods-promises

Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’–let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”Genesis 24:12-14 (NKJV)

God brought Rebekah forward that day. Isaac was promised many descendants because he was the son of Abraham. But Rebekah was barren. What was God up to? What about the Promise? Isaac had to pray the promise. “Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived”. Genesis 25:21 (NKJV)

Spiritual Truth: We Must DECLARE It!

must-declare-gods-wordSimply because God has given us a promise in His Word does not mean it has become OUR promise. We must claim it for our own! Scripture says God’s Word is established in Heaven, but Jesus says we must pray that God’s WIll is established on Earth as it is in Heaven! Our prayers are the Track that our powerful God moves upon!

  • Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. (Ps 119:89 )
  • Teach us to Pray: “Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
  • By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. (2 Cor 13:1)
  • You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you. (Job 22:26)
  • Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (James 4:2,3)
  • Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matt 18:18-19)
  • I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

You don’t have to chose death, it is already working. But You DO Have to Chose Life

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Prov 18:21)

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Lamentations 3:37 (ESV)

prayer-lays-the-trackThis command is the word “(t)sawa”. It pictures the enjoining of one with another in order to carry out a charge. It also pictures says that the one giving the command provides the power and the means to accomplish the charge.

God has placed His Commands in this BOOK. They are the Commands that will bring Life. He is looking for people to join with him and declaring those commands and promises, and thereby seeing them come to pass. Thee is this giant Locomotive loaded with all kinds of power and provisions, and we are the track upon which this Locomotive travels. We speak it, We pray it and God does it, when we enjoin ourselves with Him!

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Have you honored your mother and father? It is never too late. If they have passed on, you can repent before God and honor them in your hearts.

Have you claimed the promise of a “well” and long life? Go ahead, provide the track for God’s Power. Speak it and it will be so, for God has commanded it!


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?


jason-bourne

Jason Bourne is my kind of hero. He is a man with an awful past, a trained assassin who has lost his memory. I like him because he is like a maniacal energizer bunny, he just keeps on killing and killing. He can kill a man with a bic pen, he can kill a man just by singing “Makes me feel like a woman”. In the Bourne movies, he is after the men who made him what he is, and they are out to kill him. It is but another movie showing how corrupt our government is, and it’s subtle message is to trust no one!

reagan-government-helpRonald Reagan said the most terrifying words in the English language “I’m from the Government & I’m here to help you”. Indeed many in America regard the Federal Government, in fact any government, with scorn and contempt. I confess that my attitude has been wrong on several occasions. But God has issued the Scourne Ultimatum to Christians. (I made the spelling like Bourne)

SCORN: lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike. Similar to contempt. To show scorn for the court is to be held in contempt.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalms 1:1 (KJV)

The Scourne Ultimatum applies to Being Blessed. If you want to have God’s Blessing in your life You must not sit with those who scorn God’s Ways. If we as a Church want God’s blessings on our efforts to grow and reach out and serve, we must not be Scorning God’s Ways nor God’s Government.

Part of the Scourne Ultimatum is that not only do you miss out on God’s Blessing and Power, but you also lose God’s ability to keep you from temptation. Those that scorn authorities reserve special judgment for themselves:

then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 2 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)

god-over-beltonWell, you say, God isn’t governing Belton (or your city, your country…)! Oh, Yes He Is!

For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations. Psalms 22:28 (KJV)

God is even governing Cass County. He is governing Peculiar, Cleveland, Raymore. God has ordained our civil government, our civil authority.

God’s Directive for Christians is found in Romans 13: 3-7

For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, because they are God’s servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God’s servants and carry out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey the authorities—not just because of God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. 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. Romans 13:3-7 (TEV)

Our civil authorities are the ministers of God. The word used is δικονς. The same word we get ‘deacon’ from. Civil Authorities are God’s deacons. We are to give honor and respect to ALL Civil authorities, not just some of them. They are all deacons of God!

burris-confirmedThe impeachment trial for the Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is over. He is out of office. While still Governor he appointed a replacement for now President Barack Obama. The Congress at first said they would never approve the person he appointed. They changed their mind and approved now Senator Burris. Why? You can speculate about why, but they did the honorable thing. They honored the office of Governor that Mr Blagojevich held. He may be a dishonorable person, he was even impeached, but while he was in office, the citizens of Illinois, the United States Senate honored the office that he represented.

Civil Authorities are ordained by God. They are His servants, His deacons. If you give your heart to God and allow His truth to guide your life, then every time you see a policeman, firefighter, councilman, mayor, state legislator, governor, judge, congressman, senator, or any other person in a branch of government, you should find respect and honor welling up in your heart. This is the fear of the Lord residing in your heart. That fear leads you to honor God and those authorities He has ordained. The way most of us encounter civil authority is by those flashing lights in our rear view mirror.

77-impalaI remember driving to Springfield one time near 1980 or 81. We were going to Branson for a little family vacation. We were in a 1978 or 79 Chevy Impala. Big back seat. We had at least four kids then. The baby was up front but the three boys were in the back. It was late at night, the kids were asleep, and one was laying in the back under the window, two were sprawled in the back seat. You looked in our car and it was all kids.

Well, I got caught speeding. The officer came to the window and said his usual, I said I’m sorry that I was speeding and I thanked him for doing his job. He goes back and then comes back. He said. The fine for this ticket would have been 75 or 80 dollars, but I’m just gonna give you a warning. You take that money and spend it on your kids.

I thanked him, and drove away thanking God for His mercy.

Now I have had not so kind encounters with policemen. And I am sure you have too. They have a tough job. You cannot watch TV without seeing and hearing people dishonor policemen, and government officials.

Why should churches and Christians have a good reputation with the city?

1. Honor for Civil Authority is God Directed

Furthermore, he (church leaders) must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7 (AMP)

We bring offense to the Gospel by not having a good reputation. The early church in Jerusalem:

but the people (outside the church) held them in high regard and praised and made much of them. Acts 5:13 (AMP)

westboro-protestsWhen we fail to pro-actively honor our civil authorities, we hinder the advancement of the gospel. Our civil authorities are the gatekeepers of our community. If we want those doors open wide to our efforts to preach the Gospel, we must honor the gatekeepers. We must ask ourselves if the Gospel of Christ is aided by protests and controversy. Certainly the actions of Rev. Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church harm the cause of Christ. They consider themselves to be Biblical, but they frame their action in hatred instead of the Grace of God. God says to honor our authorities so that we may live peaceably with all men.

An unbeliever in early Rome wrote: “They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time, they surpass the laws by their lives. (Letter to Diognetus, chapter 5)

Do we compromise the Gospel to honor and reach civil authorities? Definitely Not!

  • John the Baptist was beheaded because he warned Herod of the lawlessness of sleeping with his brother’s wife.
  • The Apostles, Peter and John, respectfully decline to refrain from preaching Jesus Christ, becasue they decided it was more important to obey God rather than man.

And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20 (NKJV)

Our attitude of Honor is so important in showing our authorities to fear God.

national-prayer-centerPastor Ken Wilde is the Senior Pastor of Capital Christian Center in Boise, Idaho. 22 Weeks out of the year he spends in Washington DC praying for the leaders of our Country. Ken founded the National Prayer Center is an inter-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to activating, mobilizing and inspiring Christians across America to become involved in the Biblical mandate to pray for our leaders and for national revival in order to heal our land., with over 2000 attendees. The Center is open to members of Congress and their staffs for times of prayer, devotion and spiritual encouragement.

Ken Wilde tells of meeting with a Congressman for the first time. He brought 15 intercessors from a local church along with their pastor. When they were allowed into his office, Ken could tell by the congressman’s body language that he wasn’t sure what they wanted.

He asked what he could do for them. Ken proceeded to tell him they did not want anything, but were only there to thank him for his service to his country and to pray for him.

He said this is a real gift for me. Every day it is an endless stream of people and groups coming in to his office to request money for this or that special interest. He pictures a digital readout on the wall that totals all the money requests each day. “But you have come to give me something today. That has never happened before.

The group prayed for the Congressman, and when they had finished, he asked them if they would pray for his staff as well. When they had finished, he looked at his watch and said, I just had an appointment cancellation, would you like to go over to the Capitol and have a look around? (A Congressman never does this-only interns and staffers.) He led them on a quick ½ hour tour of the Capitol.

Two weeks later Ken received a call from the local Pastor. He was quite frantic. The Congressman had called and told him he was going to come and visit his church with his wife.

Are we to bring the truth to our leaders?

nathan-to-davidWe must speak the truth, but speak it in love. Sometimes God will raise up servants to speak strong words to a civil leader.

  • Nathan to David
  • John the Baptist to Herod

What good does it do when we backbite against our leaders, when we disrespect and dishonor them. What we say in private God will shout from the rooftops on the day of judgment. Speak the truth in your hearts and you will have a heart burning with honor before our leaders. Otherwise your dishonor will poison your spirit and will be manifested before our leaders.

2. Honor for Civil Authority Restores the Fear of God.

scourne-ultimatum-2Peter illustrates the value of the “Scourne Ultimatum”:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Peter says “how can you fear God whom you cannot see, when your don’t honor the leader he has placed his authority upon that you do see?

In America we say: “You will have to earn my respect” The fear of God says: “I see the authority that God has placed upon you, therefore you already have my respect”. We are not to sit in the seat of the scornful, but we are to walk in the fear of the Lord.

  • Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. Psalms 33:8 (KJV)
  • Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. Deuteronomy 8:6 (NKJV)
  • The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. Proverbs 19:23 (NKJV)

Honoring our civil authorities opens up our community to the Power and Authority of God!

“and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 3:9-10 (NIV)

God uses the church to display to the hidden authorities of this world His manifild wisdom. In the unseen realm of God’s Kingdom, when the church honor’s God’s Civil authorities, it allows God to display His awesome Power. In so doing, the world, the governors know the Fear of the Lord! If we do not fear our authorities, we demonstrate no fear of the Lord, and our authorities will never fear the Lord. The church, Christians, are to be living testimonies of the Power of God!

Herod Agrippa came into power in 37AD.He helped the Emperor Claudius gain the throne after Caligula was murdered. As a reward he was given Judea nd Samaria. Now his kingdom was as large as his grandfather Herod the Great. Herod Agrippa (I) was the one who persecuted the early church. He killed James. He imprisoned Peter tot kill him. This is the King that Peter wrote we are to honor! The Christians continued to honor Agrippa, even though they feared him and endured horrible persecutions for their faith in Christ. In so doing, the Jews and Herod experienced first hand the “Fear of God”!

The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. Acts 12:22-24 (NLT)

God had his way with Herod! The people feared God!

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego honored the King but honored God first. In so doing the King saw the power of God, He feared the Power of God, and S,M, & A were promoted in the land. God’s influence was allowed to spread. The whole Country Feared God!

We see a modern day application of this principle in Nigeria:

nigeria-prayerNigeria is the most populated country in Africa, with over 140 million people. There is a strong Christian movement in Nigeria. The Christians there have a strong sense of honor for their civil authorities. There are monthly prayer meetings where 100’s of thousands of believers gather together to pray for the leaders of the country, and for righteousness to reign in their country.

Abacha took over power from the caretaker government of Chief Ernest Shonekan, who was put into place by General Ibrahim Babangida after his annulment of the 12 June 1993 elections (won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola) caused a massive popular uproar.

In 1998 in one of those monthly prayer meetings, a well-known Nigerian pastor, Emmanuel Nuhu Kure had a vision in which he saw the clouds part and two huge angels appear with giant swords. God showed him Abacha’s days were now numbered, in fact he prophesied it would happen within three months.. There would be no escaping if he did not repent.

Word got to Abaca about the vision, and he a “peace offering to Kure, a huge sum of money., to hopefully turn the prophecy around. Pastor Kure said the Lord told him “Do not touch it lest his (ABACHA’s) leprosy come upon you. Pastor Kure refused the money and sent word back to repent and turn to the Lord God.

Three months later, during another large prayer meeting, another Pastor, Pastor Adeboye told the gathering to turn to the people around them and wish each other “Happy New Year”. Everyone was puzzled. Pastor Adeboye told them the yoke was broken and there would be dancing in the streets.

Within 24 hours of his proclamation, President Abacha died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

A BBC news report said that “Nigerians celebrated in the streets across the country at the news of his death.

Today the Harvest is truly Plentiful in Nigeria. God’s Power is truly evident:

nigeria-revivalCharisma Magazine, Jan. 30, 2009 — The counting of the completed Decision Cards from last week’s Gospel Crusade is 803,563. So many people heard the Gospel and decided to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The local churches follow them up immediately. “Gather up the fragments so that nothing be lost”, Jesus said. (John 6,12). NOTHING BE LOST! That is the will of God.

“The original Gospel comes with signs and wonders, and what we witnessed last week was absolutely glorious! Miracles upon miracles. Without the miraculous the Gospel would be an empty shell. But Jesus Christ is the same…TODAY. Miracles identify Him. If signs and wonders come from God alone, then we cannot be showmen. Christian services are not exhibitions of our religious stature. Christ gives us the victory that He won on the Cross. “From the fullness of his grace have we all received” – that is, “out of” his fullness we receive our supply. “We have this treasure (this power) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). That power flows out as it flows in, the overflowing of God through mortal lives. And this is what we witness.

This Gospel Crusade nearly did not happen because of lack of finance, but the God of Miracles performed another of His wonders and made it possible. A very big Thank You to those who helped us so spontaneously. Imagine if we would not have gone! We love you and pray for you.

More than 800,000 people made decisions for Christ during crusades evangelist Reinhard Bonnke hosted last week in Nigeria’s Delta State. Bonnke, founder of Florida-based Christ for All Nations (CFAN), said 85,000 people gathered the first night of the crusade, held in Isokoland Jan. 21-26. CFAN reported that on the final meeting some 425,000 people attended. Those who accepted Christ were directed to a local church for follow up. “The original gospel comes with signs and wonders, and what we witnessed last week was absolutely glorious. Miracles upon miracles,” Bonnke said in a ministry statement. “Without the miraculous the gospel would be an empty shell. But Jesus Christ is the same-today. Miracles identify Him.” Bonnke said there were numerous reports of the blind receiving sight and the lame walking. One man reported that he had been healed of HIV/AIDS.

3. Honor for Civil Authority is God Rewarding

When we honor a prophet, we receive a prophet’s reward. When we honor a civil authority, we receive a civil authorities award. What is that? It is the key to the community. They are the gatekeepers of our towns, cities, states and nations.

John Bevere in “Honor’s Reward” tells of a church in the Midwest that he used to preach at in the late 80’s. One particular church was about 150 and seemed very stagnant. He preached there three or four years in a row. He stopped going, but decided to go a few years later to a conference they were putting on. The letter of invitation indicated there would be over 800. He was curious, and decided to accept the invitation to speak. When he stepped into their new auditorium it was packed with 8-900 people. He said the presence of God was stronger than he had ever experienced before.

After the meeting, he was alone with the Pastor and asked “What Happened” You were stagnant for years. How did the church grow so quickly? I’ve only been gone three years.

“John, I got so tired about my people complaining about paying their taxes and how wrong our civil leaders were, I had to do something about it. So I took it to prayer and God gave me an idea.” He went to city officials and asked about their greatest need. They shared with him that the fire department needed special equipment to enable the fire fighters to see through smoke.

thermal-imaging-cameraMost fire related deaths are due to smoke inhalation, rather than burning. The smoke is so thick that they cannot see someone even a few feet in front of them. Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) use infrared technology to help firefighters and rescue workers “see” through smoke, darkness, fog, dense vegetation, fire and walls to find people and fire sources. A common use for TICs is to quickly and easily locate a fire’s origin without causing unnecessary damage. Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) were new at that time and quite expensive. It was going to cost the city $25,000 and they did not have the budget for it.

The pastor preached the next Sunday from Romans 13. In love he corrected his congregation for complaining against city officials. He told the people they were God’s servants and that believers could not be blessed by dishonoring civil leaders and cutting corners on their taxes. Once the scriptural foundation was laid, he told of the cities need for the Thermal Imaging Device, and announced a special offering would be taken. It was a good way to honor those whom God had appointed.

The church responded by repenting of their attitude and giving a 25,000 dollar offering. The pastor called the mayor and asked if he could assemble some of the city leaders so the church could honor them with this check to buy the equipment. When the church people got to the meeting, they were surprised to see how many city officials and workers were present to receive this honor.

At the presentation, the pastor read from Romans 13 and shared how his church appreciated the city officials and workers, and they viewed them as ministers of God. He thanked them all. The city officials and firefighters were overwhelmed by the honor and generosity of the church. (We convey honor by money)

A year later the pastor held a new building dedication. Scores of city workers and officials attended. Many were saved and made the decision to attend the church. “That is what blew open the community to us.”

rick-warrenMany evangelical Christians criticized Rick Warren for catering to Obama and McCain when he had them to his church for his one on one interview. But Pastor Warren was only doing what Scriptures tell him to do, honor our leaders, pray for the President. And because he honored the men running for President, when the time came to invoke God’s blessing on our new President, Pastor Rick Warren received the honor. God unlocked the doors of our nation to a man who saw the value of honoring our civil leaders. Now some criticized his prayer, saying it wasn’t bold enough or whatever, but his prayer was before God almighty and was both honoring to our Creator and our new President. That was not the occasion to get on a soapbox and try to put the fear of God into our country.

But listen to how he closed the prayer:

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

He used the opportunity to honor the one who gave him life, Jesus Christ.

If we dishonor our civil leaders, if we address them like we are better than they, if we try to set them straight so to speak, we are dishonoring God, we are failing to fear God, and we close the door on any opportunity to further honor Jesus Christ.

Look at the life of Billy Graham:

billy-grahamFebruary 2005, Time magazine reported, “He has had the ear of Presidents for five decades, but except for his public disavowal of racial segregation, Billy Graham, 86, has stuck to soul saving and left the political proselytizing to others. He explained his self-imposed separation of church and state in the language of a Gospel preacher: ‘It’s not what I was called to do.’”

Billy Graham never took his eyes from the one who called him to preach, Jesus Christ. He was given the marvelous opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ at the highest levels of government. Former President George Bush said he owes his conversion to Jesus Christ to Billy Graham.

Are You Afraid of God? Are you afraid that one day you will have to face almighty God, Holy God, Righteous God? Are you not sure how you will fare in that meeting? When you revere God to the point of seeing your need for Jesus Christ, you will no longer need to be afraid of God.

satan_fallConcluding thought: When the disciples returned from their special mission to evangelize, they couldn’t wait to tell Jesus about the amazing power they experienced:

“Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (NLT)

Jesus said it was no big deal to have authority over demons. Likewise, we can say that it is no big deal to be a civil authority, even the President of the United States! After all, Jesus saw Satan being thrown out of heaven like lightning. He is no big deal! What is a BIG DEAL is to have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! When we honor our civil authorities it works to bring the Fear of God into our society. And wherever the Fear of the Lord is, there the Salvation of the Lord is. People will have their names written in the Book of Life! For that WE REJOICE!



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!