I Peter 2:15-17 (NLT)
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
When I read this verse this morning, it struck a chord inside of my heart. It is God’s Will for us to live an honorable life. It is His Will for us to live a life that should silence ignorant people. I think every believer wonders what God’s Will is for their life. It is elusive as it does not come in the form of clear cut instructions without wavering opinions. How can I truly know what His Will is for me and if I am doing it or not? If you are truly pursing Christ with your life, this has to come up from time to time. We are born with potential, promise and purpose filling us to capacity. The trick is learning to facilitate its growth, development and maturity until it makes a difference in our life. I blame those dang Sea Monkeys from my youth for making us think that life processes take 24 hours or less to produce tiny kingdoms of incredible creatures. It was a lie. They were actually brine shrimp. From that moment on, every process in our life was hastened. When it was learned that cows would produce milk faster if injected with bovine growth hormone to mature more quickly, dairies jumped on board. Great idea! Profits are up! Woo hoo! Oh and little girls now develop more quickly for some reason, too. That is another story for another day. We now have drive-thru windows for everything possible. No need to stop or slow down. Social media makes it possible to share life without ever seeing each other. Texting allows us to communicate without ever talking. I could go on but I think you get the point. God calls us to live honorable lives. The Word of God says that it is His Will. I need to get on it.
Honor is to hold in honor or high respect. To treat with honor. To confer honor and distinction upon. To worship .To be courteous. I really like this one… to accept as valid and conform to the request. To live an honorable life is to live honoring Jesus Christ. The one who we honor with our life because He gave it to us. There is only One who we worship and that is Him. We must evaluate our integrity in this area to know if we are doing God’s Will. If we give our life to honor the Lord and do His Will, it will not happen in a minute or overnight. He is quite clear in His Instruction that it is only those who endure to the end who are saved. Raise your hand if you want that to be you. Well, you better hang on tight because it will be a fight to live the honorable life.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
God has planted eternity in the human heart. He planted it which means it is a seed not grown or fully developed yet. What do you think that bit of eternity might be? It is our faith. Our potential, promise and purpose begins with the tiniest seed of faith that grows into confident hope and spiritual maturity that strengthens our relationship with Jesus and binds us in the Kingdom. God makes everything beautiful in its own time. Not our time, but the time prescribed for each thing. It was already established in verses 1-8 that everything has a season and time. Those who tap into this truth and believe it will successfully live honorable lives because timing is everything. No really it is. We are living according to a plan. God recorded every moment of our life in the process of creation. This is important because in doing so He provided everything we needed when we need it to do what He is preparing us to do. By doing the Will of God and following the Way of the Lord, we experience the provision and blessing that He prescribed for our life. He does not withhold any good thing from us but when we go our own way it is our own fault that we missed out on it. Somebody will tap into this and when they do, their life is going to change. Lord, let that person be me. Nothing new exists on the earth. Even our mistakes are provided for by the Blood of Jesus and our failure today is covered in the mercy that arrived this morning well-proportioned for my need. All we must do is work the plan by honoring God with our life.
Luke 6:45 (NLT)
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
The condition of our heart is the beginning of true honor. Our relationship with the Lord matters. Some only ask Jesus to be their Savior, so they call on Him for rescue purposes and special needs but do not make Him Lord. They have no honor. Others call Him Lord as a means to an end, so they can rob the Kingdom of God through selfish obedience. The Word of God is taught but not adhered to in their life. They live for God to increase themselves. It works. God blesses our obedience. He increases those who do what the Word says even when their heart is not right. It is those who decide to call on Jesus and “make Him” the Lord of their life in their heart for the express purpose of finding Him that truly honor the Lord. Those who love Him. The ones who recognize that this world has nothing for them and their live will be counted as garbage if His Name is not honored with their very existence. I honor my husband in love by being faithful to only him. I have taken his name to tell the world that my heart and life on earth belongs to him. It is up to me to honor him with my life. I do not have a marriage of convenience. He is not my sugar daddy (or savior). He is does not require me to do things in order to share his resources (so he does not lord over me). I have submitted my life to my husband because I love him. I have surrendered my life to Christ for the very same reason. Honoring Christ for any other reason than love may increase our natural life but it does nothing to produce a relationship.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Riddle me this, in a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the chicken and the pig? Well that’s easy, the cow was involved but the pig was committed. Romans 12 begins by encouraging believers to be living sacrifices. We decide whether we are involved or committed by the amount of our life that we give back to the Lord. Will we give some or will we give our all? What if we carefully considered God’s Will in every single choice we make in a single day? You know the proverbially question on millions of silicone bracelets given out all over the world asking, “What would Jesus do?” Well, see it seemed silly but really if true surrender of our life as a living sacrifice to the Lord is what we are after and if our goal is marriage to Christ rather than just a friendship or dating, it is time to step up our game from casual involvement to total commitment.
God requires us to love Him with all of our soul, mind and body. Jesus takes it one step further and asks that we love others the same way. To honor Christ with our life is to love others… all others even the unlovable and downright nasty. It is to be committed to building a Kingdom that cannot be seen with our eyes but experienced (for now) in our hearts.
Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Peace comes from living an honorable life. As we learn to do God’s Will and bring honor in our daily lives, it creates unity between our life and the Kingdom of God. Living to please God in our attitude and actions eliminates the need for other people’s approval and affirmation so we can love them without expectation of reciprocation. Their opinion no longer matters when we know who we are in Christ. Just ask Jabez. (I Chronicles 4:9-10) We cannot honor the Lord without honoring His Name in our everyday life with other people. We must walk in humility and love no matter what we encounter. Work as unto the Lord in all endeavors. This is the commitment that produces an honorable life making us a useful utensil in the Lord’s Hands. (2 Timothy 2:20-21) The one the Lord is using is always in His Hands. Be committed today to live an honorable life. Examine your heart as I do mine for anything that might not be conducive to the Kingdom of God. Look around at your life and determine if there are areas that need reprioritizing and surrendering the Lordship of Christ. Make Him your Savior. Call Him your Lord. Commit to live an honorable life!
2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NLT)
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.