This past Sunday at All Peoples Church, Kendall Laughlin preached on being a people of extravagant honor. He spoke from 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
The act of honoring someone is an almost extinct practice in our contemporary American society. It seems even in the church world we are taught more to be skeptical and wary of others (lest they deceive you!) as a higher value than honoring and revering one another.
Honor is one of the tributaries that the river of life from the Kingdom of God flows. Few things lift our spirits and create such an atmosphere of God’s presence as when honor is being graciously dispensed.
The other Sunday I was standing at the back of the church auditorium at the entrance to the foyer to greet the service attenders, and I was introduced to a middle aged couple. After exchanging pleasantries and finding that they were truly interested in learning more about our church, I invited them to lunch later on that week. They responded with a unique question. They asked if I could come over to their house because their family was large – and added that all of them wanted to meet me. I already felt so honored and gladly accepted their invitation.
My whole family showed up on a weekend night at the Hernandez home in Bonita. From the moment we arrived, we were treated like royalty. We were all shown where to sit, our children were treated very kindly and we were asked all kinds of questions. It was one of those times where you could tell someone sincerely wanted to get to know you. What we didn’t know is that all the grown up children and their spouses would be with us as well. It made us feel very important that they would have this gathering just to spend time with us. They watched our plates like hawks and were every bit as attentive as waiters at a fine restaurant, filling our glasses and plates every time they were nearing empty. At the end of the evening, they verbally encouraged our family and they were very affirming of the church.
As I left that night, I realized there were several thoughts circulating through my mind. The first was that I really liked this family. The second was that I was leaving with my relational cup full that night. Thirdly, I was convicted to aspire to be more honoring as this family had been toward us. Lastly, I desired to serve this family in any way I could to return the kindness I had been shown. Truly I had experienced how honor creates a kingdom flow that simultaneously fills us up while inspiring us to pour out as well.
We finished the sermon Sunday by writing thank you notes to people who deserved honor this week. I want to challenge you to take it a step further now mid-week. I want to encourage you to honor someone that is not yet “in the kingdom”. Ask Jesus to show you a way to honor someone that does not yet have a relationship with Him yet.
Perhaps you can shoot an email or drop a line that goes something like this.
“Dear______, I thought of you this week. At my church we talked about people that have a place of honor in our lives. You came to mind and I wanted to make sure and tell you. Thank you for the way you___________.”
I want to encourage us to sow seeds of honor this week and ask Jesus to water them for true kingdom growth!