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The Place of Honor

The Place of Honor

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03/18/2014

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The Place of Honor
A Bible message by Bayless Conley
Copyright Bayless Conley \u00a9 2003

I am also starting a bit of a series this morning. I am going to be talking to you about honor. We
will be on it for a little while, and the Bible is actually quite full of teaching about and examples of
honor. We are going to be exploring a number of facets of this very important subject that God
emphasizes in His kingdom. And we will be looking at who we are to honor, and there are a
number of individuals the Scriptures specifically tell us to give honor to. We are going to be
talking about how honor is expressed, what it is, how to lose it, how to obtain it.

We tend to live in a time where, in many circles, dishonor is glorified. Some people tend to love
dishonor and shame. It's like the worst reputation you can have, the cooler you are. You know,
the wilder and the more immoral you can be, the more that that gets highlighted in some arenas
of the entertainment industry and different things. And we just live in a generation like that. Hosea
lived in such a generation. God said to them in Hosea 4:18, He said, "You continually commit
adultery and immoral sins; your drink is rebellion." And then He made this statement in Hosea
4:18, He said, "Your rulers love dishonor." I find it is an interesting thing. The heroes of the nation
loved dishonor. The Living Bible says they loved shame more than honor. And I truly feel it is a
reflection of the generation, at least in some quarters that we live in. It is a generation that loves
shame more than they love honor.

And so we are going to be talking about honor. And, again, it is something that God emphasizes in His kingdom; it is something that is emphasized in the Scriptures; and it is something that we need to understand.

All right, what is it? What does it mean to honor someone? What does it mean to have honor?

The word "honor" means to value. It means to prize, to esteem highly. When we honor someone,
we treat them with respect, with dignity. We treat them preferentially, if you would. It means to
make weighty\u2026 both an Old Testament and a New Testament word\u2026 that we attach great
significance to people's words when we honor them. Their words are weighty to us. We attach
great importance to what they say. A person who is honored is someone who is held in good
reputation. They have a good name. If I were to honor you, I would esteem you; I would value
you; I would prize you, and I would prize the things that you say.

Now look with me, if you would, in Romans 13:7. It says,
Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due\u2026
\u2026taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom

honor.
Render, therefore, to all their due. Render honor to whom honor is due.
And, as I said, we actually have a quite lengthy list of individuals who we are to render honor to in

the Scriptures. But there is one person who heads the top of the list, and that is God, Himself. We

must honor God first and foremost.
Let me read a verse to you. This is First Timothy 1:17. It says,
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever

and ever. Amen.

As a people of God, we need to honor Him. Yet it is possible to be saved and not live a God-
honoring life. It is possible to have come into a very real experience with the Lord Jesus Christ
and yet not live out a God-honoring life. It is not an automatic thing. There are certain things we
must do in order to give honor to God.

The first one, I think, would be obvious. His words must be weighty to us. How we honor His word determines how we honor Him. We must attach great significance and great importance to God's word because, quite truly, our attitude toward God's word is a revelation of our attitude towards God.

I would like to challenge you to take some time, even today, and read through Psalm 119. It is
quite lengthy. I think there is over 170 verses in it. And yet it is unique in one respect because
every one of those verses just literally is saturated with honor and respect for God's word. In it
David attaches this over-the-top extreme exaggerated, if you would\u2026 so it seems\u2026 importance
and reliance upon and honor for God's word. And yet it is something that all of us should
embrace. And I just picked out a few of the verses. I want to read them to you to give you an idea.
And that Psalm in verse 14, David said,

I have rejoiced in Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.
Verse 20, he said,
My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times.
When is the last time your soul was breaking and longing for His word? Verse 28, he said,
My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your

statutes.
Verse 92 and 93,
Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never

forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life.
Verse 105,
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Verse 128,
Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right\u2026
Verse 164,
Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments.
Weightiness, respect, importance, honor. I honor God when I hold His word in honor, when it

moves beyond being an ornament on the coffee table or just another book in the bookcase that
collects dust. When it moves beyond being looked upon just as something I go to in times of
crisis, though I certainly should, but when I look upon it as my daily bread. Even as it is, God's
word to me\u2026 God-breathed, God-indwelt, God-sent, and God-revealed. If I am to respect God, I
must respect His word. When we learn to consider this the final word, ending all discussion and

all debate on any subject it addresses, that's when I begin to honor God. Yet if there are issues in
my life that I don't like what it says and I tend to kind of steer around them or come up with
reasons why maybe it doesn't apply to me or I become combative or argumentative regarding
things in the Scripture, then I am not truly honoring God. Your attitude towards the word reveals
where you are at with God.

I remember\u2026 it was before I was saved\u2026 I hadn't seen my family in a long time. The last time
they had seen me I was a wild man on drugs. I came back home, and I was a wild man on Jesus.
I was still high, but I was high on the Most High. And a bit over-zealous, certainly, didn't have
much wisdom, but sincere. And I remember sitting in an airport, and my family was there, and I
had this little tiny Gideon's New Testament. One of those little green ones, you know, they would
give out to the military. And I'm reading this little tiny New Testament sitting in the chair, and my
mom says, "Do you have to do that? That's embarrassing. You are just trying to bring attention to
yourself." I've got this little tiny Bible! Well, she wasn't saved. And it was a revelation of where she
was at with God.

She's sitting here now. Mom, hold up your Bible. Hold it up. She's got a big one, doesn't she?
And she totes it around, and now she is witnessing to the people in the airport.

But, see, if I am\u2026 just even as a Christian\u2026 if I am disinterested and not hungry and have a
take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards the word, friend, that's my heart towards God. There is no
getting around it. On the other hand, if I'm eager, and if I'm hungry, and if I'm careful to obey the
things I read in God's word, that is my heart towards God. If I honor His word, I honor Him.

So if we are to give honor to Him, the first place we need to start is by honoring the Book, making it weighty and important in our lives. If I have decisions to make, the first place I go is right here. When I'm faced with a fork in the road, this is the first place I go. When I need strength, this is the first place I go. When I need wisdom, this is the first place I go. And by doing that, I honor God. Amen?

All right, look with me at Psalm 66. I want to share with you several ways. The second one we
find here. The Book of Psalms, Psalm 66, and verse 1. Psalm 66:1. It says,
Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise
glorious.

Secondly, we bring honor to God through worship and praise. Through shouting, singing, and
praising. But, friend, only when it comes from the heart. Only when my heart is behind it is God
honored through my praise. Otherwise, it is just religious noise; otherwise, it is just gospel music,
but it is not God-honoring praise. And, friend, there is a difference. You can play and sing gospel
music and not love God at all. But when it comes from my heart, I bring honor to God as I praise
Him and sing about His name.

Jesus said to some people in His day that had become very religious\u2026 they had a lot of religious
form, but they had no heart\u2026 in Matthew 15 He said, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you,
saying, 'This people draw near to me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart
is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me.'" They are honoring with the lips. But He said, "If
your heart is far away, the worship is vain."

Vain means empty. It is empty worship. There is nothing in it. The thing that fills our worship is our heart. Worship is hollow if it is not filled with a loving heart. And, again, true worship is about being real before God and your whole being engaging Him and lifting Him up.

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