I have made it a binding in my life to always honor the Lord. Did you? I found out that there is great satisfaction and confidence in glorifying Him. One of the reasons behind it is to find His favor. I do it acknowledging that He is my God and my Savior, who gave me eternal life; I realize that in His hands there is everything pertaining to me. In doing so, I know for certain that He alone can bail me out of my troubles and heartaches. The greatest thing about honoring Him is to show Him my complete love. As much as I fully love Him, He becomes eternally pleased with me. Life is worthless without Him, but with Him there are all kinds of valuables. The more I realize this, the more obedient I become to Him.
There are many ways to honor the Lord and they all begin from one. He desires that we do them through it so that He could come to our aid at all times. It is honoring Him from within our hearts. Worshipping and doing good works in His name are worth to Him only when done from it. We have heard of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. But it is worth noting that he was referred to as the brother of Mary. “It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick” (John 11:2). The Lord remembered the honor she gave Him when He directed John to pen the gospel. It may not seem significant to many, but it tells us how the Lord wants her to be remembered and the reason He removed her heartache. When we honor Him, He honors us in return; He remembers us. Yet, scores of Christians, who are unacquainted with such equation, live under sorrows, loss and weaknesses. It means they do not have the peace He offers.
Each time we read the account of Lazarus’ death and him being raised from the dead, we cannot bypass the fact that his sister was Mary that honored the Lord. We then become curious and search the gospels to know what she did. She took a very costly alabaster vial and standing behind Him at His feet washed them with her tears and wiping them with her hair applied perfume. At that time she was a great sinner. Of her the Lord said her sins which were many were forgiven, because she loved Him much. Acknowledging our condition before the Lord for His favor is the first act toward honoring Him. It is from within our hearts. Unless our sins are fully forgiven, He does not come to our aid. Mary loved the Lord much and when Lazarus died, the Lord could not restrain Himself from helping her. One of the finest features of being saved is receiving or witnessing the unfathomable works of the Lord. When things have gone wrong, we can all say, like Martha and Mary, if the Lord had been there, done this or done that none of them would have taken place. Yet, it is His exceptional wisdom to allow certain things to happen in our lives so that He exceptionally honors us. He knows the pain we are going through, whatever it might be. He even feels the pain along with us, but waits for the right time to relieve us. For this reason, we have to bind it upon ourselves to honor Him. He will certainly return to us to honor us with much more.
I say that we are in a better position now than Martha and Mary who wished that had the Lord been there, their brother would not have died. It is because the horizon of our faith has been increased. While they knew the Lord could heal sickness, they did not know He could raise a man from the dead. But we, beforehand, for certain, know what He is capable of. Believing Him with this knowledge is being in a better position so that we can have the urge to honor Him. One man who utilized this knowledge to the fullest was Paul. Because of it he ended up honoring the Lord in many ways. He was a man who knew the profit in honoring Him. It was that the Lord would never forget Him; that He would supply him with all things; that he could trust Him, even as far as believing Him to call into being that which did not exist. So, he did not panic or rather could not panic through any ordeal. And by his belief the Lord honored him so that he continued to honor Him. “And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him” (Acts 28:30).
It was in Rome he stayed in his own rented quarters. What could he be saying to those who came to him? The first thing that comes to our mind is the gospel’s message of salvation. But if we think deeper, it is much more. It would be his intimate relationship with the Lord and how he came about acquiring it. It would be of the manner in which he and others honored the Lord. It would be of how the Lord dealt with them. Surely, a man who has experienced so much in the presence of the Lord cannot refrain himself from revealing everything pertaining to the Lord; his letters to the churches stand as proof for it. The same happened when the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead. All those present at that time believed and went on to spread the news of it. Many more came to the Lord and honored Him with their belief in Him. Now, in this state, worship and doing good works in His name will have value before Him. So, whether it was Paul or others, they received honor, since they honored the Lord without qualms; they poured out their hearts before Him.
Yet, for us to honor the Lord as Mary is not feasible today. But, we can certainly honor Him as Paul. Paul even gives us the way for it. It was given to him by the Spirit. “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:8). Sowing to the Spirit is the way the Lord has left us with after His departure. In fact, by doing it we sow to the Lord. For elsewhere Paul in the Spirit said that the Lord is the Spirit. As long as we continue sowing to the Spirit, our honoring the Lord is no less than Mary’s and He remembers us. Because of it, we inevitably perform the act that delights Him. It is rejecting to sow to the flesh. It has a fantastic outcome. We cannot reap corruption, but the honor that comes from the Lord. What does it actually mean to sow to the Spirit? When a farmer sows the seed, he sows to harvest so that he can have joy. Similarly, we ought to sow works in the direction of the Spirit so that we reap eternal life. This life is not just a heavenly place, but a life in heaven categorized by the things we do for the Lord from the moment we are saved. He who has an eye for it honors the Lord without fail. For its rewards begins on earth and continues into heaven. So, John also wrote to his fellow brethren saying, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
He who has the Lord has eternal life, the life he will possess by that which he does for the Lord from the day he is saved. And he who honors the Lord has the Lord by the favor He bestows on him. Believing in the Lord is much more than saying, ‘I believe in Jesus.’ It is honoring Him, even as Mary, who anointed His feet with perfume. When one says he believes in name of the Son of God, he surrendered himself to the Lord. This is to confess to Him from within his heart that he is unworthy and sinner by all means. He will find His favor. From this moment begins his sowing to the Spirit to reap eternal life from the Spirit. To understand this clearly, consider the following. When we sin against the Lord, we stop sowing to the Spirit. It does not mean we lose our free gift of God or salvation. But because our sin disrupts our sowing to the Spirit, we stop reaping so that we lose the rewards of eternal life. Let us look at it from another way. If one sows to his own flesh, he reaps corruption from the flesh; and if he continues sowing to his own flesh, he increases the harvest of corruption from the flesh. That one will receive greater punishment. So, our priority is to see that we are corruption free. It is achieved by understanding the following. “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31).
The above saying was very common among the Jews. Though they did not practice it, they honored themselves with it. Yet, the statement is very true. When we intend to sow to the Spirit while in sin, it does not profit. In order for it to take place the Lord must hear us and accept us. For this we must fear God. It means we must honor the Lord. It is God’s will. Then, He will again cleanse us and makes sowing to the Spirit possible for us. For it is written, “And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will’” (Mark 14:36). Everything is possible for God and that it should be in our case and though it is possible for Him, He did not remove the suffering from the Lord. It was only in the Lord’s case that God had not removed suffering on the cross so that He would not have to reject anyone else. He sacrificed Him in our stead that we do not sow to our flesh, but sow to the Spirit to reap eternal life.
So, my friend let us honor the Lord from within our hearts. For He said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Great is the advantage and joy in finding the favor of the Lord.