1 Peter 2:17: Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
There are three areas or levels of honor that are revealed in this scripture.
#1. Honor God (Fear God)
#2. Honor the King (Delegated Authorities in your life)
#3. Honor All People
What is HONOR? What does it mean to SHOW HONOR or treat someone with HONOR?
Definitions of Honor: Noun: high respect; esteem. Verb (Action): regard with great respect.
As we look at what the scriptures say about honoring God, His delegated authorities and all people, we will get a clearer picture of what it really means to HONOR.
Honor Begins by Honoring God: How are we to Honor God? What does that look like?
We HONOR GOD by putting Him FIRST in our lives. Not giving Him the leftovers, if there IS anything left, but the FIRST and the BEST of our time, our money, our abilities.
Seek FIRST the kingdom of God… (see Matt 6:33)
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
Proverbs 3:9 The Message
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Honor HIs Presence:
One way that we HONOR an individual is to simply acknowledge their presence.
We HONOR God by acknowledging He is PRESENT. And by being sensitive to the reality of His Manifest Presence. In fact, the more we seek to honor Him, the more His presence (His power and glory) will be manifested among us.
Practicing the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence.
Many times with dignitaries, as well as with God, people DISHONOR or fail to give proper honor, simply out of ignorance.
Learn to HONOR God. Collectively we can learn to HONOR Him when He is working and moving in our midst.
In a service, if He is being worshipped, the worship leader is leading us in worshipping God, it would be a dishonor to not enter in and worship, to be talking or giving your attention to something else other than God. The same is true as His Word is being preached. Or when people are being prayed for, the Holy Spirit is moving.
Honor God by Honoring His Word:
Mark 7:6-7, 9
He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
'This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
First of all, HONOR is from the heart. It is an attitude of our heart, that will result in actions of honor.
What was the problem here? They put the teachings of men on the same level, or even above, the Word of God.
We HONOR God by putting His Word first in our lives. By making His Word the FINAL AUTHORITY in our lives.
1 Thess 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Honor God’s Delegated Authorities in Our Lives:
When it comes to honoring God, that should be easier for us, because He is PERFECT. But we are also called to HONOR, to regard with great respect, delegated authorities in our lives. Peter said “honor the king.”
Most of the kings of that day were very ungodly. Yet, Peter said to HONOR them. Peter himself was faced with a dilemma. Do I obey what these leaders are commanding me to do or not?
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Peter never spoke disrespectfully to those leaders.
David, was being hunted down like and animal by King Saul and his men. David could have killed him, but he said, I will not touch God’s anointed. He respected the office, the position that Saul occupied.
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, did not speak disrespectfully to King Nebuchadnezzar when they refused to obey his command to bow down and worship the image. They were thrown into the fiery furnace, but God delivered them.
Proverbs 24:21 God’s Word
Fear the Lord, my son.
Fear the king as well.
Do not associate with those who always insist upon change,
(the rebellious, defiant and mutinous)
Parents – Delegated Authority:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
Obedience is important. Honor is even more important. Honor is an attitude of the heart. It means to regard with great respect.
Again, as you grow older, you realize your parents aren’t perfect. In fact, you may know some things they don’t know. But they have wisdom, life experience, and they have your best interest at heart. Honor your parents by remembering and keeping what they taught you, about God, about life, about being honest and treating people right.
Jesus was obedient to His parents:
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Honor All People:
Honor means to place VALUE upon. We are to see people the way that God sees them. He PLACES VALUE upon every person.
1 Peter 2:17 The Message
Treat everyone you meet with dignity.
There is never any place to ridicule, make fun of , or look down upon another human being. They are made in the image and likeness of God. That is why we believe in the sanctity of life. That every life has value and meaning. It is why we reject abortion. We believe in the worth of each individual.
As our founding fathers put it “all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…”
This doesn’t mean we tolerate sin. But we see each person as an individual that God loved enough to send Jesus to die for them.