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LOVE HONOURSLove Honours A

It has been wonderful to share so many messages on LOVE so far this year.

I hope and pray that you are being changed and your behaviour is different as you apply God’s word that you are hearing. If we say, “That sermon was interesting, but I’m doing great I don’t need to change anything, I’m truly loving,” then we are deceiving ourselves. Instead why not come to God and say, “Breathe on me Lord change my heart, let me be different.”  If January’s messages, called LOVE SEEKS, touched your heart; you will realise Love begins with God who is seeking for us to be restored and loved. In February, the message called LOVE ROMANCES was all about our love for God and how we will express that in our own lives and especially here at church in the praise and worship times at the beginning of each service. In March the theme was LOVE ANOTHER and we spoke about how we express God’s love to one another. Last week’s church picnic was a time of outworking that love. In April we unpacked the story of LOVE LIMITLESS and just how huge God’s love for us really is, and also for lost people. As that touches us, we are set free and valued, and then compelled to reach lost people.

May’s theme is LOVE HONOURS

We are part of a Kingdom. Jesus our King is building His kingdom on earth, and we are living in Kingdom values. Jesus asked us to pray; your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.(Matt 6:10) The word Kingdom is used 158 times in the New Testament. One of the values operating in the Kingdom is Honour. So what is Honour? Honour means to value, to give weight, to esteem, to count as precious, to give worth and recognition to. The Kingdom runs on Honour. Without honour there is a big blockage in the flow of life and blessings in the kingdom.

To contrast to that, dishonour means to be familiar, to take for granted, to count as being worth less, to ignore and to be rude. In our Ausssie culture sometimes dishonour is an art form. “Hey Morrie, you’re late for the BBQ, where have ya been ya dirty bludger?” This is not kingdom stuff, God calls us to give honour where honour is due (Rom 13:7) So where is honour due?

Honour is due to the godly appointed people who have purpose in the kingdom. We give honour to those in authority, to one another, and God honours us when we walk in humility and love. Let’s take a look at honour in the scriptures and see how it works.

Firstly see how Jesus honours the Father; Jesus answered, I am not possessed by a demon. On the contrary, I honour and reverence My Father and you dishonour (despise, vilify, and scorn) Me.(John 8:49) The Father Honours the Son; For when He was invested with honour and glory from God the Father and a voice was borne to Him by the [splendid] Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased and delight, (2 Peter 1:17) Again the Holy Spirit Honours Jesus; He will honour and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. (John 16:14)

Let’s read a story from the Old Testament about honour.

1 Samuel 25:1-44

Now Samuel died, and all the Israelites assembled and mourned for him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. David arose and went to the Wilderness of Paran.

A very rich man was in Maon, whose possessions and business were in Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

The man’s name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail; she was a woman of good understanding, and beautiful. But the man was rough and evil in his doings; he was a Calebite.

David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.

And David sent out ten young men and said to [them], Go up to Carmel to Nabal and greet him in my name;

And salute him thus: Peace be to you and to your house and to all that you have.

For a full chapter go to – http://tinyurl.com/lesbq9l

In this story David is not yet King, but it has been prophesied that he will one day rise to lead Israel. Nabal has a bad attitude towards David. He ignores the fact that everyone in Israel knew that David slew Goliath and saved Israel and that he had been warring against the Philistines ever since and keeping Israel safe. Nabal did not know or did not care that David and his men had kept Nabal’s shepherds and livestock safe against the plundering armies of Philistines.

So when David’s men ask Nabal for some food and water for his troops, Nabal abuses David’s men and tells them to get lost. Nabal, whose name means foolish lives up to his name and dishonours David, saying David had issues with King Saul. David plans to kill Nabal and all his men, but before he can get to them, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, hears what has happened and nearly has a fit. She hurries to meet David, bows very low at his feet and gives him a whole lot of food. She asks forgiveness for her husband’s foolishness. She covers her husband, saves his life, and the life of all Nabal’s men, and gives honour to David, saying he was called of God and had been the Lords instrument in fighting the Lord’s battles. When Abigail later tells Nabal that he was nearly wiped out by David, Nabal is paralised with fear and ten days later the Lord smote him and he dies. David then takes Abigail as his wife.

Here’s the lesson. Nabal, the fool, has a wrong attitude, it stops him honouring David, a man in whom God had obviously placed His blessing. His outcome was an ignominious death. Abigail, who is a virtuous woman, honours God’s servant David and not only saves many lives; but ends up as the Kings wife to live out her life in nobility.

I recently went to a church pastors Conference in Brisbane. It was a lesson in honour. From start to finish I was honoured and valued and so were any senior pastors who attended. It was a beautiful and showed a culture in our movement that is very healthy. Last Sunday night Pastor Marcus Ardern was our guest speaker and he shared a story or two about honour. Here’s what he said:

STORY

Marcus Ardern shared how as a bible teacher one church said to him, “We will see if we can squeeze you in to speak but we are not sure whether we want you.” Marcus replied, “Well I won’t come because God can’t bless you because you’re not hungry, you be sent away empty handed. If you won’t say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,’ and receive me as a servant of God, I can’t feed you. But if you honour me for my master’s sake, not me, it’s totally different.” At another place he went to speak, it was a Maori church in New Zealand and they brought out the mats they had for King Korakeethi, they brought a king size bed from somewhere else, and gave him all this great food, Marcus said thank you so much for honouring me, They replied, don’t be so proud, none of it’s for you, it’s for Jesus.” Do you get it?

Honour in the church works up, down and sideways.

We are to honour those over us in the Lord. Let the elders who perform the duties of their office well be considered doubly worthy of honour [and of adequate [a]financial support], especially those who labour faithfully in preaching and teaching.(1Tim 5:17)

We honour one another; Show respect for all men [treat them honourably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honour the emperor.(1 Peter 2:17)

As leaders we honour those under us;I warn and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honour and splendour) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):

Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonourably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;

Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).

And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the [a]conqueror’s crown of glory.(1 Peter 5:1-4)

 

Be careful not to give dishonour to one another and to leaders; because when we do we shut down God’s flow of favour and blessings.

And coming to His own country [Nazareth], He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this [u]Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?

55 Is not this the carpenter’s Son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?

56 And do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this?

57 And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble]. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.

58 And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith [v]in the divine mission of Jesus).(Matt 13:54-58)

Let’s take note here, no honour – no favour – no miracles.

Respect is earned but honour is given and is not about the person as an individual but is about who they represent.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss what  honour looks like in the presence of an earthly king or queen.

2. What are some of the attitudes that stop is from honouring those in authority?

3. Why do you think people in Nazareth couldn’t honour Jesus in the passage above?

4. Discuss how familiarity blocks honour.

5. How can we practice honour in our church in a better way?

 

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