The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:10-11
I have heard the term “giving God honor” a lot recently, but what does it mean? When one looks around at the church today, one can get a mixed message on what honor actually means! In a culture of comfort, entitlement and self-indulgence, the lives of believers in Jesus Christ should declare a very different message. I don’t mean only what we say and sing on Sunday morning, but the very testimony of our living sacrifices, our whole bodies—flesh and spirit—presented to God as holy and acceptable (Rom. 12:1). When we honor God, we are demonstrating the high regard we have for Him. We are reflecting His glory back as praise and worship.
The Bible shows many ways to honor and glorify God. We show Him high regard and reflect His character by being sexually pure (1 Corinthians 6:18–20), by giving of our income (Proverbs 3:9), and by living lives devoted to Him (Romans 14:8). It is not enough to merely honor Him outwardly. God desires honor that comes from our hearts. “The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’” (Isaiah 29:13). We ought to delight in the Lord, seek Him in everything we do and make choices that reflect the place He has in our hearts, regardless of the cost or what others think of us! When we honor God in this way we bring Him the greatest honor.
When you consider the religious freedom we enjoy in America, it is difficult to imagine many instances where following God would be costly, especially compared to some places in the world where such a choice can cost you your life or family. But don’t be mistaken we are faced with choices each day and our decisions reflect on who we are honoring. Refusing to cave in to pressure at work could cost you a promotion. Choosing not to join in on some activities could cost you socially. Sharing your faith in Christ may invite some strong opposition from others. Distancing yourself from gossip may cost you friendships. Choosing not to push the envelope on tax deductions will cost you financially. We are faced with these and many other choices daily that cost us! But in the end there are no real sacrifices because nothing is better than honoring and obeying God. The Lord rewards those who choose to honor Him and follow His ways. At the time such choices can be painful, but faith enables us to push through these uncomfortable situations. Making choices that honor God is one way our faith is developed. If all our choices were easy, our faith would be weak. We can be grateful that God gives us opportunities to face opposition because few meaningful things in life come without a cost. So Christian, regardless of the cost of the decision you are facing, honor God! Don’t make decisions because they are easy, make decisions that are right in the eyes of God! This is what it means to give God honor!