Within the last 20 to 30 years, honor has not been taught as a staple characteristic to have within families, friendships, or work relationships, but especially for God or the things/people of God. Honor is defined as a good opinion, to revere, fix a value upon, esteem, to find precious. Everyone will honor things or people in their lives to some degree, but many will dishonor everything else out of selfishness. God established honor, so honor must be given to what God says deserves honor. There are elements to honor. One element of honor is humility. When a person humbles himself honor has an entrance into that person’s life (Proverbs 18:12, 15:33, 14:31). Humility allows a person to think of others in a manner that lifts up while not putting down oneself as worthless. Having this attitude allows the occasion for others to honor the humble person due to honor being given first through humility. Not only is humility an element of honor that assists in seeing other people or things as valuable but also allows others to honor the humble person. Humility gives and can receive honor. Humility, when coupled with the fear of the Lord, brings riches, life, and honor (Proverbs 22:4). Christians should give honor and be honorable to receive the promises that begin with humility.
Wisdom is another element of honor. Wisdom begins with fear or reverence of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) which reflects there is an association with God even if it is not one based on salvation but only respect toward God. This can be noted from pagans of yesteryear not living by God’s Word but still having respect or honor toward the things of God or the people of God. Christians should have the most honor for others and the appropriate things out of any group of people in the world due to their wisdom (fear/reverence) and love for God (Proverbs 3:35, 26:1). Honor should be present within the lives of every Christians not as a necessity, but as a characteristic that is birthed from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Having the wisdom to know what deserves honor and what does not is an important key to life (Proverbs 4:8).
Self-control is an element of honor. This fruit of the Spirit from self-discipline gives and receives honor. In these last days, there is a major absence of self-control which explains part of the lack of honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4). Self-control reflects maturity and wisdom which is worthy to have honor given to it when working with humility and wisdom. This element also allows holiness to be present when applied to the spiritual aspect of a person’s life. It regulates emotions, desires, actions, and thoughts of a person’s life when used correctly. Regulating thoughts include what deserves honor and what does not deserve honor (Proverbs 1:7,9).
To live an honorable life the elements of humility, wisdom, and self-control must be present. Christians should have these elements working within their lives producing honor automatically. This is indicative when Christians lack honor in their life for others or are not worthy of honor themselves. One must examine their life to understand which element is missing creating a lack of honor. The concept of honor extends beyond the Christian faith for anything that is held in high respect or distinction. Knowing what God says about honor supersedes any other model, especially in the lives of Christians. Let us honor what God honors to be in biblical order.
Many Christians today need the grit and determination to hold onto their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The word determined means to be decided, resolved and settled. To be a determined Christian is to be resolved and settled as a Christ-like believer of God (Proverbs 4:25). When faith should cry louder, culture, the enemy, and the world promote silence. Christians should be more like blind Bartimaeus who was determined to cry out unto Jesus (Mark 10:46-52). In this passage, even though the crowd began to tell Bartimaeus to be quiet he began to yell louder for Jesus to intervene in his life. When Jesus bids Bartimaeus come to him, the first thing Bartimaeus does is takes off his outer garment. He was laying aside the garment that reflected his shame, his filth, and his history of what had defined him. This required determination to not remain the same. Laying off the outer garment in today’s time can be displayed by laying aside sin (Romans 6:23), getting rid of all the hindrances and distractions (Hebrews 12:1), or letting go of where a person is and moving forward by becoming a Christian (Ephesians 4:22). Believers must be determined to get as close as they can to God through His Word, prayer, and a holy lifestyle. It is not by works that a person is saved but a love for God and an appreciation of being born again should create a desire to express love in action.
Christians must also be determined to not bow to the idols of this world or culture. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not bow or worship the image created by man, Christians should not bow to the lawlessness or perversion of culture today (Daniel 3:4-30). Being determined not only includes becoming a Christian but also remaining a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and enduring to the end to be saved (Matthew 24:13). The spiritual enemies in today’s time strive to distract and pervert as many believers as they can. One key to not being distracted or tempted above the ability one has is truly looking and believing whole heartily in God (1 Corinthians 10:13). God is there to give strength and help those who rely on Him to conquer anything that comes (1 John 2:13). Christians are also well able to do anything that needs to be done for the kingdom of God (Numbers 13:30, 1 John 4:4). He gives strength and every resource to do what He calls Christians to do.
Knowing that Christians are supposed to be fixed on God and His Word is the key to being dedicated (Psalm 119:15). One of the biggest distractions is the flesh in a person’s life that desires the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16-17). Determined Christians must walk by the Spirit to live according to the plans and purposes God has for each believer (Jeremiah 29:11). God created mankind to walk with Him and fellowship with Him (Genesis 3:8, Genesis 5:24, Genesis 6:9). If the enemy distracts Christians he gains spiritual ground. Many issues within the current culture and time reflect years of the distraction and silence of Christians. May current Christians be determined to stand for the Word of God, the presence of God, and the kingdom of God to be the victorious soldiers He has called them to be.
In modern times people have negated Christianity to having an appearance of God but denying Him to have access or His power within their lives (2 Timothy 3:5). For many people, this looks like attending an hour-long service one time a week if that. To accommodate these people, some churches have compromised the standard of God to reflect the current culture so much that churches now look more like nightclubs or social gatherings rather than holy houses of God. This expectation of church could not be further from the truth, or the design God established for His people. Dark lighting, snacks, drinks, and an atmosphere of comfort (2 Timothy 3:2-4) have replaced prayer, fellowship, taking notes, submission to leaders, the ministry of helps, and knowing God personally. Having the appearance of the world does not save people’s souls, the Gospel of Jesus Christ saves souls. A biblical Christian is the temple of the Holy Ghost and does not belong to themselves but is bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Biblical Christian? Yes, a person that declares Jesus is their savior AND lives their life according to the Word of God, not in the manner they desire to live their life. Being bought with a price reflects Jesus Christ laying down His life as the Supreme Sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Every person has this gift of God offered to them, but it is a choice to receive this gift or not (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Deuteronomy 30:15). The important part of being a true Christian is to live as Jesus Christ lived giving glory and honor to God.
Many things in life attempt to get the attention of those desiring to have a relationship with God. If a distraction can create a division between that person and God, the relationship will not grow or have the impact as God desires. Every Christian should be a living sacrifice and renew their mind to the things and will of God (Romans 12:1-2). To be a living sacrifice does not mean to die on an altar physically but to lay down one’s life in complete surrender to God. This includes turning away from sin, giving time to God, doing whatever He says (through the Word and direction), and staying in an active relationship with God every day.
Jesus also described that living for Him includes denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Luke 9:23). Denying oneself is sacrificing the desires of the flesh or sinful nature to pursue God. This action should be done daily (1 Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20). When a person chooses to be a living sacrifice unto God and resist the devil there is protection and blessing (James 4:7). Christians are to not love the world (1 John 2:15). The word world here does not mean the planet earth but the sinful nature, the cares of this life, and the things the world offers that distract or oppose a walk with God. When the things of life become a distraction to walking with God this displays a Christian not laying their life on the altar of God as a living sacrifice. Can a Christian have hobbies and be involved in things? Absolutely, but nothing should be placed above God or living a life as a sacrifice for God. As Christians lay themselves on His altar things that are approved by God to keep are not burned up. A sacrifice does not get to choose how it is used but is completely dedicated to God for His glory. Are you a living sacrifice for God?
The heart of every Christian should be to have a relationship with God. As a Christian, a person is to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Christians are to be lamps that burn light reflecting an active relationship with God. It is our job as faithful Christians to keep our lamps burning continually by studying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), praying (Ephesians 6:18), being faithful and active within the local church (Hebrews 10:25), and following the commandments of Jesus (John 14:15). If a Christian has a religious heart that lamp will burn for a while and then will go out due to not being continually refilled by God. Having a continuous supply of oil keeps a Christian burning and ready for use by Jesus.
Matthew 25:1-13 tells of the parable of the ten virgins. During biblical times, the friends of the bride (the virgins) would gather along the path of the groom (bridegroom) who would travel in retrieving his bride from her family’s house to take her to his home. Jesus speaks about the ten virgins to relay how Christians respond to the calling of the bridegroom (verses 1-2). There were five wise virgins which means they were judicious in practical affairs, discreet or circumspect, sober, and careful in providing for the future. These five are more than just smart, they have a spiritual aspect that is lacking within the five foolish virgins.
After the call of the bridegroom’s coming was made all the virgins got up from sleep, trimmed their lamps, and were doing something to get a fire burning (verses 6-7). The act of trimming the wick is an external work of laying aside things that oppose God (sin and distractions), but on the inside, being empty of oil displays the lack of refilling that is received from God via a true relationship with Him.
In this passage, it is displayed that the foolish virgins were used to not carrying oil with them regularly. The need for the oil was not a necessity until they were being left behind. Many people only seek God when they need something from Him. These foolish virgins were not diligent in having an abundance of oil to be ready to meet the groom at the appropriate time. All Christians must be ready for Jesus’ return.
The wise virgins could not give of their oil but told the foolish virgins to get their own. The foolish virgins knew exactly where to get the oil but neglected to do so while the opportunity was present. Everyone is accountable for their own light and being prepared to not only meet the bridegroom but to stay diligent in preparation.
Christians are commanded to walk with God (Colossians 2:6, Galatians 5:16). In walking with God, some people can become less focused on a relationship with Him and become religious through action with a lack of heart. Part of this religious heart is the lack of diligence (steady, earnest, devotion) in maintaining a relationship with God. Christians must engage their hearts to love and walk with God every day. If a person cools off for God, they make Jesus want to vomit (Revelation 3:16).
Just before giving the parable of the virgins Jesus says that each person must endure to the end to be saved (Matthew 24:13). Christians will only endure life by knowing God through studying the Bible, praying, being faithful and active within the local church, and following the commandments of Jesus. May every Christian be diligent in keeping the faith through an active relationship with God.