Devotional

Submitted by Pastor Bobby Oliver

Baring Baptist Church

 

Revelation 4:11 says, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

When I was in the Army, I was taught to show honor and respect to my superiors. One of the most important ways to do this was by obeying the orders of the officers appointed over me. This was something that was taken very seriously, and if a soldier disrespected an officer, there were consequences.

When in Iraq, I worked for the Chaplain. She wore the rank of an officer, so I was expected to show honor and respect to her, regardless of whether I wanted to or not. I was 18 at the time, and still had a lot of maturing to do. One day, the Chaplain gave me an order to do something, but I didn't want to do it, so I refused to do it and (I'm ashamed to say) I disobeyed her order. In the military, disregarding or disobeying a direct order is a serious offense, especially in a war zone, so I had no right to refuse. About 30 minutes later, I was called into the First Sergeant's office. When I entered his office, I was met with one of the fiercest, scariest glares I've ever seen. He proceeded to furiously chew me out and put me in my place. I was disciplined, as I should have been, and I learned never to do that again!

Just like my Chaplain deserved to be honored because of her rank, God deserves to be honored because He is our Creator and is above everyone and everything. So how do we honor Him? I'd like to share a couple of examples with you.

First, we honor Him by loving Him. Jesus told us that the greatest Commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. That's a pretty tall order, isn't it? Yes, but He deserves it. If the only thing He ever did for us was create us, He would deserve our love because He gave us life. Yet God has done much more for us. God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. This opened the door to salvation for all who believe. I like the words of one hymn that says, "I love God because He loved me long before the world began...I love God because He first loved me...I love Him for all that He is, all that He is to me." Are you honoring Him through your love for Him?

Second, we honor Him by loving others. Jesus told us to love our neighbor (the world) as ourselves, and He gave us a new commandment to love one another (fellow Christians) as He loves us. This isn't always easy, especially when people treat us wrongfully. Yet Christ modeled this love for us at the Cross as His enemies stood at His feet mocking Him; He said "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing!" By following Christ's example of love, we honor Him because we are being obedient to Him. Through our obedience, the world sees God's love for them by how we treat them (loving through our actions). They also see His love for His followers through how we treat fellow Christians (loving by example). Are you honoring God by loving others?

There are many more ways for you and I to honor God. Obviously, in our earthly bodies, we can't honor Him perfectly or as much as we'd like to. Thankfully, someday, we will be with Him in Heaven, where we'll be able to worship and honor Him for all of eternity! Are you looking forward to that day?