Message delivered by Matt Ross, Worship Pastor

As we gather as a church today, it’s no surprise to anyone that

things are not going well in our world. Of course, we know that

God is on the throne and he is never changing and always good,

but it is not helpful for us to turn a blind eye to the reality of the

world that we live in. COVID-19, racial tensions, and government

overreach are just at the top of a long list of problems we each

have to face every morning when we wake up. Again and again,

we have hope and faith in God, but again and again, we are

challenged with how we can practically live that out as Christians.

With so many problems on the table, I don’t presume to be able

to give all of the answers in the next 30 minutes, but I can give

you a huge one… The biblical principle of HONOR. As a staff

here at church, this is one of our core values. To “outdo one

another in showing honor” as it says in Romans 12:10. It is also

a value that has begun to vanish in our society and even amongst

Christians in recent years. The level of vitriol and belligerence is

at an all-time high when it comes to how people communicate in

a disagreement. And I believe that because of our lack of honor,

God is slowly removing his favor from us as a people. This one

thing could be the answer to many of our huge problems today!

Honor means to hold in high regard important. So first, I want to show

you how important honor is to God. I’m going to read a handful

of scriptures that speak about and even command honor.

1 Samuel 2:30 ESV

“but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who

honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly

esteemed.”

Romans 12: 10 ESV

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in

showing honor.”

Deuteronomy 5:16 ESV

“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God

commanded you, that your days may belong, and that it may go

well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 ESV

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double

honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching”

Proverbs 3:9 ESV

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your

produce;

1 Peter 2:17-19 ESV

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the

emperor.”

Honor is a huge deal to God! What happens when we obey by

honoring?

God is a rewarder.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please him,

for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists

and that he rewards those who seek him.

2 John 8 “ Watch out that you do not lose what we [ a ] have

worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

Again, the bible goes on and on about how God loves to reward

his children when they obey. You may ask, what kind of rewards

are we talking about here?

– It could be a very long list of things like miracles, breakthroughs,

provision, revival, etc. In summary, the reward is God’s will being

done in a way that is always greater than ours and in an unexpected

way.

So if God commands honor and rewards us when we do it, what happens if

we don’t? Let’s look to Jesus for the answer to that.

Mark 6: 1-6 “Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by

his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in

the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom

that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is

performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother

of James, Joseph,[ a ] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”

And they took offense at him.

4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own

town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any

miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6

He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

Their comments about Jesus were dishonoring and

therefore they missed out on the full reward of his

miracles.

If they were tempted to dishonor Jesus himself, how

much more are we going to be tempted to dishonor our

mortal leaders today?

Honor requires faith.

– Put yourself in their shoes, that really would have been hard to honor

the kid that was running around the neighborhood just a few years

ago. It’s a big jump from Jesus as a little kid to Jesus the Messiah. It

requires faith to honor in that situation.

– It requires faith to honor a bad leader too, but the Bible tells us

to do it.

– Dishonor our leaders and forfeit the full reward of God.

– We do actually possess the power to limit what God is

willing to do in our church by dishonoring him and his

messengers.

Teachers will be judged more strictly.

James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow

believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more

strictly.

To honor your leader is not to be naive in thinking that they’re going

to be perfect. They will absolutely fail at some point. But to honor is

to empathize with the fact that they carry a heavier burden than I do

and God will judge them according to their actions. His judgment

will be perfect and on time. In a way, God’s judgment and justice is

a reward for us staying out of the way.

To dishonor your leader is in effect passing your own judgment on

them. While we may feel justified in doing that, we are also putting

ourselves in God’s role as the judge. And we lose the reward of a far

greater and more just judgment from God by thinking that we know

better.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. 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. 13 Show them great respect and

wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with

each other.

David and Saul

I will not touch the Lord’s anointed.

If David would have taken it into his own hands, he would have

missed out on any lessons he needed to learn before becoming

king, on God’s reward as the new king, and God’s perfect

judgment on Saul.

I may or may not know better than the leader, but I definitely don’t know

better than god.

Practical steps to give honor.

Pray for God’s will to be done for that person trusting that it’s better

than your will.

Be proactive instead of reactive

Whatever we put into our heart will come out of our mouths. So

actively put thoughts of honor into our hearts.

This person carries a greater burden than I do and it is

difficult for me to know how that factors into their decision

making.

I’m grateful that they’re serving in a necessary role that is

oftentimes a thankless position.

I wouldn’t want to have to answer to God for this decision

so I’m grateful that they’re willing to on my behalf.

My prayer is that when they have to answer to God that it

will go well for them. I want this more than I want my own

desires to be done.

3:1 principal

If you have a complaint, see if you can find three positive

things about that person before you communicate the

complaint. This will result in one of two things.

Your complaint will be communicated with honor,

respect and love and increase the potential of it

being heard.

Your complaint will no longer seem necessary, thus

saving you time and your superior’s time.

Just to be clear…here are a few things to watch out

for.

– If your complaint has a swear word in it…it’s

dishonorable.

– If your complaint includes name-calling or hurtful

language……it’s dishonorable.

Not only do we need to give honor, but we need to be honorable

Whether you are a leader or a follower, people are watching

you. We all carry the name of Christ. Make every effort to be

honorable people. Let’s make it easy for people to honor us

instead of difficult. More people will say yes to God if we live

honorably.

So in summary, God commands us to honor and promises to reward us

when we do. As the church, let’s be shining light in our society. The world

has tried the dishonorable approach and look where that has gotten us.

How about we be the example for the world to look to as something

different, something that actually works. God’s way! Let’s stand together

and I want to lead us in prayer.