Seeking the Honor of the Father, Not Men
We must guard our hearts from seeking the praise of men. Our hearts need to be solely captivated with the desire of seeking the Father?s honor toward us. The ?fear? or ?seeking the approval, praise and service? of man is a snare. (Prov. 29:25) Jesus would not entrust himself to man, because of what was in him. There is a pride in expecting others to serve ?us!?. It is pride to put ourselves up on a pedestal to receive preferential treatment from people.
We must have a tender heart that is not concerned about such trivial matters as making sure we are being served. People will fail us. We must be filled with grace in our hearts for such times. Jesus was SO far removed from a mindset of being served. He was too busy finding ways to serve others. Jesus did not condemn those who were not as good a servant as He was, because there was NO better servant than Jesus! He did set the example for us to follow after. The greatest shall be the servant of all. But nowhere do you find Jesus looking for and expecting people to serve Him.
The servants Jesus had were not there by manipulation, but were there because of His great love and presence. May we serve men as unto the Lord expecting only the praise that comes from the Father, not men. Why settle for finite honor, when the Father longs to give us the honor that endures for eternity!
The Different Facets of Honor
1. Being the Recipient of Honor
2. Being the Giver of Honor
3. Honoring in the Context of Father and Motherhood
Being the Recipient of Honor
When we are the one receiving honor this is by the graciousness of others or the private honor that we receive from our heavenly Father. We are not to go seeking after honor and glory for the things we?ve done. There is not to be an attitude that says, ?I deserve this!? It is the Father who bestows the honor that He determines that which we need from Him. We DO need His affirmation and He knows this. His affirmation and honor far exceeds any that a man can give. The confidence that the simplest affirmation that our Father gives us is so strong that it knocks out every fear with simple confidence birthed out of His loving touch. This is a key reason why we need to seek after the honor that only our loving Father can give. When we get the revelation that He desires to say to us, ?This is my son in whom I?m well pleased? we will grow in confidence and assurance in our lives. As we trust in His Son Jesus, he looks at us and sees Jesus. So He is well pleased with us just as He is with Jesus!
Being the Giver of Honor
Honor is a lost art in the American society and not only here but in other nations as well. There is a great grace that we can walk in by honor one another. This can simply mean not speaking evil of one another, but speaking well. This can mean bridling your tongue from saying anything that could be interpreted as criticism and gossip. Many times ?Christians? justify speaking about one another by putting their conversation in the context of spiritual conversation. Of course, most times there has not been a prayer lifted for the person at all. Excuse me, but prayer is the context of spiritual conversation in most cases. Most of the time it is best to keep it in your own prayer closet as well. We must avoid even the appearance of evil. Our speech must be seasoned with grace toward one another. We must be slow to anger, slow to speak, slow to judge, slow to point fingers and slow to believe our own opinions! We must be quick to rejoice, quick to listen, quick to have mercy and grace, quick to cover a multitude of sins with love! Love does cover ?a multitude? of sins. Many people are quick to expose the sins of others, but don?t realize that they have lost the reality of the cleansing that they had once received from their own sinful lives. Whoever has been forgiven much, loves much and covers much! We cover, because the blood of Jesus has covered us. If we have lost this reality, there most likely needs to be more cleansing to bring the reality of the mercy of God in our lives once again. It is when we have this reality that we can begin to walk in a greater level of honoring one another. We can realize that God can use any of us to accomplish His purposes because of His great power at work in us and through us. We don?t honor someone because they are perfect. We honor them for their faithfulness to the Lord. We honor them because they are created in the image of God. We honor them because they are part of God?s family.
Honoring in the Context of Father and Motherhood
God puts people into our lives that are to be honored because of their position and authority that they have in our lives. A father and mother are such people. Whether it is in the natural or spiritually, fathers and mothers must be honored as those who invest in our lives to help us become that which God has called us to be. Or this can also be in the context of just raising us up to be responsible people, where we have grown up into a responsible position for our lives. It is a process of training that they have dedicated themselves to. This is not the most pleasant task! They must put up many times with much immaturity and selfishness. Not that they themselves are beyond it in their own lives. But they are committed to the task to be those who are there to help in the best of their own ability and by God?s grace. So fathers and mothers must be honored for the seeds that they sow into those who are the next generation to come.
“I do not receive honor from men. ?But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. ?I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.
They love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’
“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
“And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.”
1 Thessalonians 2:6
“Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.”
2 Peter 1:17
“For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
1 Cor 12:24-25
“But our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
Seeking the Honor of the Father, Not Men