Showing posts with the label honor

A person of great privilege

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (Romans 5:1-2) We don't 'get right' with God - we are 'made right' with him. This work is accomplished by faith, never by our works. All that was needed to make us right with God was done by Christ Jesus. One of the things we may miss in this passage is this 'place of undeserved privilege' we each enjoy as a result of Christ's finished work on the cross. We might think a person of 'privilege' enjoys extreme wealth, social standing, and easy access to things they want or need. We wouldn't be far off with this definition, except for that part about 'social standing'. Being a Christian doesn't always elevate us to the top

Honor belongs to him

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings; honor the Lord for his glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2) Honor is something we give to another, but we should never seek it for ourselves. When it comes to God, we first recognize he is worthy of all honor, then we 'ascribe' it to him - we declare it in our minds, hearts, and even our actions. Unlike us humans, he actually deserves that honor! Unlike humans, his 'right' for honor never fades and it is not 'circumstantial'. In other words, he deserves it because he is always consistent, never changing, and divine through and through.  How or when do we honor God in our lives? I think it could begin the minute we begin to speak with him about anything at all. When we consider the words of prayer, are they filled with honor? Do we exalt his name and honor him with our words? Even our songs should bring honor to his name. This is why it

Life Hack #17: Recognize, Respect, and Uphold

Life Hack #17: Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her. Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight. Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents. So make your father happy! Make your mother proud! (Proverbs 23:22-25) In today's culture, we might find that parents have become "chums" to their kids rather than parents. The move toward "befriending" the child has brought about a kind of disrespect which society sees manifest in a multitude of ways - everything from the simple rebellions of back talk, crossing boundaries with too much ease, disrespecting teachers at school, engaging in rebellious behaviors, and keeping wrong company. Parents have a role in raising their kids - more than just to put food on the table and clothes on their back - just as much as kids have a role in bringing respect and honor to their parents. Tha

Adorned with victory

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. (Isaiah 6:1) In the times King Uzziah reigned, Isaiah is given a vision of the heavenly realm -imagine it - heavens open and you have full view of the most awesome things you have ever experienced. He is escorted into the "throne room" of the Most High - the very place of God's presence. What catches his attention first? It is the "robe" of the King of Kings - God's 'clothes'. This robe is so long it fills the Temple! That is quite some robe - it fills the very space God's presence is felt and experienced! Even the longest wedding veil I have ever seen did not fill more than the aisle of the church! I have admired some of the most beautiful quilts over the years. Depending on the occasion for which the quilt was created, there have been the traditional patchwork types with pieces of varying colors and fabrics stitc

Crown him

10  The Lord loves those who hate evil; he protects the lives of his people and rescues them from the wicked.  11  Light is sown for the godly and joy for the good.  12  May all who are godly be happy in the Lord and crown him, our holy God. (Psalm 97:10-12 TLB) How do we actually "crown him" Lord of our lives? I think it is in the small ways, like when we choose to be kind when a hurtful word would be easier or quicker to say. It might be in the moments when we give of ourselves unselfishly to help another who is struggling to figure something out. It could be in those moments you offer yourself for 'whatever needs to be done', knowing someone is having a hard time keeping up with the tasks at hand. It is definitely in those moments when we actively choose to worship him, but it is also in those small things that might not seem to matter all that much, but that make all the difference in the lives of another. Someone once said you can get happy in the same pants

Truly honorable

The man who tries to be good, loving, and kind finds life, righteousness, and honor.  ( Proverbs 21:21   TLB ) How does one live in a manner that expresses the goodness of God? This is probably one of the hardest questions for us to answer in life because goodness, true goodness, often evades the human mind and heart. "Good" expresses the meaning of moral excellence - virtue taken to the 'nth' degree. This is why it is sometimes hard for us to truly grasp this type of behavior - because it is motivated in a heart not corrupted in any manner by sin - or with a sin nature at the core of all its actions. Indeed, we need an exchanged heart, for ours is incapable of this type of 'moral excellence' or goodness. A loving and kind disposition is what stems from this goodness of heart. Honestly, if we struggle at times to act in a way that expresses the love of Christ, it is probably that we haven't connected in some time with the heart of Christ! We need mo

Take the time

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time. There is a time to be born   and a time to die. There is a time to cry   and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad   and a time to dance with joy. There is a time to hug someone   and a time to stop holding so tightly. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4-5 ERV) Today is a bitter-sweet day for I will attend the funeral of my best friend's mother. Together we will mourn, and yet, we will celebrate a life well-lived, a woman well-loved. We will embrace each other and hold each other close, languishing just a little longer than usual in that embrace of companionship that connects us in our love and comforts us in our grief. We will cry for there has been a great loss, and yet, we can do nothing more honoring to her life than to hold fast to the memories she created in the hearts of her loved ones, friends, and acquaintenances over her many years on this earth. The greatest challenge for her husba

What's in a prayer?

Every now and again, we come across scripture which really reads like a prayer we might want to utter in our own voices.  Something in the words rings true in our hearts and minds, making us just want to let God know we feel exactly the same way.  It could be the cry of David, overburdened by the weight of his guilt, crying out for God to look upon him with a heart of mercy in Psalm 51.  Maybe it would be the words of another psalm in which the writer clearly is asking God to "bend his ear toward him" - maybe because the heavens seem as brass, or the urgency of our need needs to "get through" to the one true God (Psalm 5). It really doesn't matter which portion speaks the loudest - it is okay to "pray scripture"!  There is one prayer which should be part of our daily lives - maybe not the exact words, but certainly the intent behind it.  To ask God to eliminate any hint of worthless or deceitful words and to let him know you trust him to provide all y

Respect - who knew?

If you have wondered what it takes to live a "blessed life", then you have to look no further than the examples we find in scripture.  Some will say there is a whole lot tragedy and suffering in those pages, so how can I ever equate that with living a blessed life.  It depends on how you view your blessings, my friend. I have learned much from the suffering in my own life - some might even say I have been made stronger, and grown in my relationship with Jesus and others as a result.  Now, in my estimation - that is a blessed life. Respect the Lord and be humble. Then you will have wealth, honor, and true life. (Proverbs 22:4 ERV) A blessed life is one in which the Lord receives the right placement and the right honor.  When we are humble enough to acknowledge we have need of the Savior's oversight and work in our lives, we begin the journey toward true blessing.  As long as we hold onto the reins of our lives, we won't realize the blessing of being in his

Principle 16: Do Your Parents Proud

Parents don't seem to get the same respect they once received, do they?  In today's culture, parents become "chums" to their kids, rather than parents. The move toward "befriending" the child has brought about a kind of disrespect which society sees manifest in a multitude of ways - everything from the simple rebellions of back talk, crossing boundaries with too much ease, up to dropping out of school, engaging in rebellious behaviors, and keeping wrong company.  No wonder our sixteenth principle deals with the attitude we are to have toward our kids and the attitude they are to exhibit toward us!  Parents have a role in raising their kids - more than just to put food on the table and clothes on their back - just as much as kids have a role in bringing respect and honor to their parents.  That said, the two roles need to be recognized, respected, and upheld. Listen with respect to the father who raised you,   and when your mother grows old, don’t neglec

Investing or Divesting?

We may think we have good friends, but in the midst of crisis, friendship is tested.  Those who come out on top are those who actually stick with you when all the blessings appear to be gone.  A man or woman of integrity has this unique way of being sensitive to the needs around them.  They are moved into action to meet those needs, no matter how small they may seem.  Even the smallest need met in the roughest of times for a friend can make the difference between going under, or rising above the circumstances.  As we have been studying throughout the past month or so, a man or woman of integrity actually lives in such a way so as to avoid the planning and action of evil.  God's unfailing love and his faithfulness surrounds those who will choose to align their priorities with his, remaining open and sensitive to the needs which are all around them. Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.   Reverence for the Lord is a founta

Sing, shout, get connected!

Rarely do we find ourselves telling everyone we meet the good things God has done.  In fact, we are sometimes more than a little "reserved" in our praises to God.  We think others will "judge" us as odd, a little out there, or just too much of a "holy roller" for them to hang out with.  So, we rein it in on occasion.  I wonder just what might happen if people actually began to express their appreciation for God's graces in their lives just a little more and enjoy his presence just a little longer?  Maybe this world would begin to see a little more of Christ's action and a little less of ours! Thank  God ! Pray to him by name!    Tell everyone you meet what he has done!   Sing him songs, belt out hymns,   translate his wonders into music!   Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,   you who seek  God . Live a happy life!   Keep your eyes open for  God , watch for his works;   be alert for signs of his presence.   Remember the world of wonders he has

Honor your parents.

Honor:  To hold in high respect; confers a combination of liking and respect; high respect as for worth or merit.  The passage today speaks about the "first commandment that has a promise attached to it".  Many commandments in the Bible are simply to be obeyed as "boundaries" over our lives - the provide protection in some form or another.  For example, some of the commandments are "relationship" based - ones like don't commit adultery (get into bed with another person's spouse and your own relationship will crumble).  Others are designed to ensure some semblance of control over our emotions - like the command to not covet (desiring what others have and never being content in our present circumstance).  Still others are clear boundaries on who is to be first in our lives - like the command to have no other god but God himself (give him first place - make no room for any other thing to be first in your life).  Yet, these commands don't come with

You a Cain or Abel?

This past Sunday, my pastor spoke about faith.  Not just that we need it, or that without it we cannot possibly please God.  In fact, he was teaching against the argument that all we need is enough faith and then anything is possible.  In his teaching, he referred several times to the tendency we have to "doubt" - believing if we have ANY doubt at all, we must not have biblical faith!  Now, let this one sink in a little.  I had to consider it a couple of times before I really got it.  He said, "You cannot have faith without doubt."  His premise - faith isn't the absence of doubt - it is obeying God in the presence of doubt!!! 3-5  Time passed. Cain brought an offering to  God  from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat.  God  liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.   6-7  God  spoke to Cain: “Why

The Eagle, The Globe and The Anchor

30  Even young people become worn out and get tired.   Even the best of them trip and fall.   31  But those who trust in the Lord  will receive new strength.     They will fly as high as eagles.  They will run and not get tired.        They will walk and not grow weak. (Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV) I wonder how much we know about the United States Marine Corp's emblem.  I listened to a mother on the radio yesterday describing her son's pursuit for the coveted emblem of honor - showing he had completed his grueling basic training as a new U.S. Marine recruit.  She was so alone in her loneliness, not knowing the status of her son's latest achievements, his struggles, or the state of his health.  As she drove to work (an hour long commute in the Michigan area), she was overwhelmed by the "God moment" she experienced - so much so that she had to pull over to the shoulder and just revel in the beauty of his touch.  You see, as a Marine Recruit, her son's focus was to ob

Say good-bye to the booby prize

3-4  Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.  Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.  5  Trust God from the bottom of your heart;    don't try to figure out everything on your own. (Proverbs 3:3-5) Solomon's words remind us of the importance of "storing" God's commands in our heart - so that we will be assured of a long and satisfying life.  We look all kinds of places to find satisfaction - I bet we never really considered that it could be linked to who "authors" the words we hold closest to our hearts!  As a matter of fact, Solomon goes on to say that even renewed health and vitality is found in a closer walk with God (not at the health food store or the gym).  Four repeated themes emerge over and over in these first three chapters of the Proverbs - 1) Remain loyal to your God; 2) Trust him with all your heart; 3) Learn to live with kindness