1 Samuel 2:30 presents a challenge to us all. It says, “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ 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.’”
I’m sure you feel the same as I do when I say that I certainly don’t want to be “lightly esteemed” by our Father in heaven, in fact, quite the opposite. The above verse in 1st Samuel tells us that to avoid this, it is necessary that we honor the Father. So, how is honor defined in this context and how do we go about doing it?
David Brainerd said to Jonathan Edwards once: “I do not go to heaven to be advanced but to give honor to God. It is no matter where I shall be stationed in heaven, whether I have a high or low seat there, but to live and please and glorify God…. My heaven is to please God and glorify Him, and give all to Him, and to be wholly devoted to His glory.”
To honor God is to acknowledge God just as David Brainerd did. He wasn’t worried about position or status in heaven, his main concern was that he honor God by trusting Him with his life. His goal was to honor God through His devotion and praise.
And why should we honor God is such a big way? Its because He has done everything to earn it. Paul stated it best to His pupil Timothy in his first letter to Him chapter 1:15-17, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Honor is defined as ‘high respect, as for worth, merit or rank. High public esteem; fame and glory.’ We do this toward God because He has been true to every promise, faithful in every moment and merciful to every person under heaven. He has provided us a way, through the most unselfish sacrifice of His Son, to be with Him forever where there will be no more mourning, nor sickness, nor pain.
We honor God because he created us to be special, born in His own image, possessing a soul that will one day be united with all the faithful. He created us to be in relationship with Him and His love for us never wanes nor does His faith in us ever diminish.
We honor Him because He loved us enough to send His only Son so that we might not perish but have everlasting life. He had every right and reason to give up on us, but He never has and He never will. His honor is warranted because His patience with us extends over every lifetime as He waits with open arms for us to surrender our all to Him.
We honor Him because He continues to watch over us and guide us through all of life’s challenges. In this world where sin has infected every inch of life, our God has decided not to leave us alone in its coldness. Instead, he sends His angels to help us. He works through others to provide for us and He remains faithful to prepare for us a place with Him in heaven.
To honor God in the greatest way, it must be done in a public way through the righteousness of our actions and the integrity of our speech. It must be done in boldness and conviction even when opposition rears its ugly head. We honor God when we stand up for what we believe and whom we believe in.
Are you prepared to honor God in this way? If so, start today to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Glorify God by being the person He has created you to be. Be wholly devoted to the one who has shown He is wholly devoted to you. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us for all those times we have dishonored you by thought, word or deed. Give us strength to resist honoring the worldly things that separate us from You and help us to honor You in everything we do. Amen.