Honoring Is Expecting
To expect something from someone is for them to have promised you they would do something for you, and for you to be 100% sure that they will keep their promise. With people, it is very rare that you can expect someone to go through with what they say, but with God, it is not. There are thousands of promises & pledges in the Bible that God has made and kept. So I think it's safe to say that for those that have not yet been fulfilled, you can rest assured that they will be, because God always keeps his word.
There are many kinds of promises we expect God to keep. In Hebrews 13:5 it says "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." That's a promise from God. He also promised in Romans 10:13 that, "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." The Lord has kept these promises to everyone ever since He made them, and He always will.
There is also another type of promise: A prophecy. A prophecy is when God says that one exact, detailed event will happen at a specific date and time, and then that exact thing happens years and years later. It's kind of like when the weathermen predict that it's going to rain tomorrow at 6:00. The only thing is, with them, you can never be 100% sure that what they say is going to happen. With God, however, you can. God predicted many events in the Old Testament that happened hundreds and even thousands of years after the Bible was written, and to precise accuracy! And the cool thing is that the prophecies God predicted through His servants in the Bible have not yet all been fulfilled, which means that there is a slight possibility that you might see prophecies fulfilled in your lifetime. Isn't that awesome!
Jesus predicted in the Gospels that He would one day return to Rapture all those who Believe in Him. That's one big prophecy yet to happen! The Lord says in Joel 2:28-31 that "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." If you've watched the news lately, you have to admit, all these natural disasters that have been happening can't all be coincidences. No, they're planned "wonders in heaven and earth," to signal that He will return soon. Whether "soon" means a decade or a minute is up to God, but we should all, as Christ warned in Matthew 24:42 "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." We don't know, so we should always "watch" for the signs Jesus warned us of, and expect His imminent coming. Because expecting is trusting, trusting is honoring, and to honor the Lord is to show that He's #1 in our life. Because that's what we all should do.
Honoring Is Sharing
You have experienced the saving grace and unmatchable mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are a redeemed child of God, and have been given new hope and a new life. Others, though, have not heard the good news of Christ, and live their lives in complete darkness, never knowing of the true life that is found in knowing Him. They live the way you did, before you became a Christian.
Now, there are two choices a Christian can make: You can keep this news to yourself, or you can share it. In every Christian's life, there are those you know that are just like that- lost, confused, and in need of salvation. So I ask you this: who do you know that doesn't know God? As Christians, we can't sit by and watch as those we know live day after day in darkness- we have to act.
Eternal life is too precious a gift to be kept to ourselves. We are commissioned by Jesus Himself to share it. In Romans Paul writes, "How, then, can they (the unsaved) call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" Someone has to tell them. We have to tell them. That's our duty as Christians.
Also, we can't let the fear of being rejected or made fun of deter us from doing God's work. Jesus was made fun of, but He still did His Father's work. The least we can do is follow His example. Paul also says in Romans, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes." When we boldly and fearlessly preach the Gospel, the Holy Spirit actually works through us. And that alone is worth it.
Telling others of God is what is commanded of us, so that is what we must do. We must follow the commission of the One who made us and loves us, and share that love to those who may not know what real love is. Because to share His love is to show that we honor Him. That we Honor the Father.
Honoring Is Remaining
When you accepted Christ, you started out on the 'straight and narrow path' (Matthew 7:13-14), what we call the Rapture Road. But one of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to remain on that path. Why? Because the Rapture Road is the only path to Christ, the only road that will lead us to Heaven. But off of this road are many, many branches that, if you turn on to them, will lead you in the opposite direction. And they are very easy to turn on to.
But what are these branches? They are anything that distracts you from the Lord. If you get so caught up in things at school or home, and never take the time to pray or read His word, that's one. If you fill your head with things you see on TV or online, things He wouldn't approve of, that's another. Or, if you continue to do things you know are wrong, and don't pay attention to what He says, that's a big one. You see, all these are just a few of those branches off of the rapture road.
It is crucial to recognize these, and to make sure you always remain on the true path. For example, if you were hiking on a trail, and suddenly turned off onto another path, and kept going, you would get farther and farther away from the trail you were supposed to be on, and you would end up lost. That is exactly what happens when you are on the straight and narrow path. We stay on the right road, but then we get distracted and veer off onto a branch, and go farther and farther from God.
Now, I've done it, you have, every Christian has at some point. The point is, a true Christian who truly wants to follow Christ will repent, and work their best to make it back to the right road, before they go too far and end up lost. And many people do. They venture out on a trail, all the while thinking they're on the right path, and they do end up lost. The way to make sure you are on the right road is to ask yourself some questions: Is Jesus number one in my life? Am I living for Him? Am I filling my mind with things that He would approve of, things that would glorify Him? If you can honestly and sincerely answer 'yes' to all these questions, then you are, without a shadow of a doubt, on the right path. If you can't, then you must acknowledge what you're doing wrong, repent, and strive to reach the point where you can say 'yes'. And if you surrender to the Lord, trust Him to lead you back the right way, and live for Him, then you will make it back. He is your Father, He loves you, and He is more than willing to help you find your way back, if you will live for Him. Because, if you remain with Him, live for Him, and repent and turn around when you go the wrong way, then you are Honoring the Father.
Honoring Is Loving
There is an entire chapter in the Bible that is devoted to love, and in the Bible as a whole, love is one of the most important topics. Love is just about the most wonderful thing the Lord created, and He has given it to us, to share with one another. But too often, love is taken for granted. Everyone says 'I love you', but so many of them don't really mean it. Do you?
1 Corinthians 13 is the chapter that discusses love the way the Lord meant it to be. In verses 4-7, it explains in detail just what love should be: " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." That is perfect love. And if you truly do love someone, you will strive to do everything that this verse says, to look past yourself, ,and think solely of the person you love, and to really mean it when you say 'I love you'
That means everybody; your family, friends, and even those who don't treat you well. The Lord Himself says to love your enemies, and that's the hardest part. Loving everyone, even your enemies, may seem impossible. If someone has done something that makes you hurt, why do they deserve your love? Well, that leads to another form of love, love meant specifically for those who have wronged you: forgiveness. To forgive is to look at the person who you're angry with, or feel hurt by, and say to yourself that you will love them anyway, and that you won't hold what they did to you against them. Does that sound hard? Well, it is. No one said loving was easy. But just think of Jesus Christ, our very Lord. He loves you, and you've done more against him than anyone could ever do to you. Yet He came to earth and gave up everything, even His life, to show just how much He loves you. He forgave you of everything, and even now when you sin, it is washed away by Him. Because He loves you that much.
Now look again at the person who has wronged you, and think of Jesus. It isn't easy, but you can let it go, and you can love them, and everyone else, too. And when you do, it will make you feel wonderful. Then they will see God through you, and they will know of His love. And that is worth anything.
When we love the Lord, His love fills us and spills over, until it flows out for us to share with everyone we meet. Whether it is someone who loves you back, or someone who doesn't. Or if it's someone who looks like they need ove, someone you don't even know, you can love them all. Love is what will spill out of you and make you shine, and makes you share God's love with everyone. Love is from God. Love is for God. Love is for us to give to everyone. And when we love with such greatness that everyone sees that it's from the Lord, it honors Him. And that's true love.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:13