Archive for the ‘Reward’ 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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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!