Welcome. (Applause) Today we’re talking about With Honor; it’s a brand new series today we’re starting. This is a two week series on what it means to honor one another. Well the word honor actually means a valuing; it’s an appreciation, an esteem, a favorable regard or respect. Now it’s easy to think about honor when I think about our military. We’re very blessed to have a nation that has been protected by some of the greatest soldiers in all of history and in all of the world. We’re blessed to have an amazing military, and I honor you once again. We are grateful for you, we are blessed to have you among us and to, and to know that we are surrounding by heroes, even as we speak. We are grateful for you.
You know as I talk about honor today, it not only extends to our military, but it goes far beyond that. But the reason why this is such an important subject is because today honor is going away. Those who are supposed to be honored are many times dishonored. Those who are supposed to have the immediate respect and awe of those around them are not getting the respect that is due to them. I talk unfortunately from experience. I’ve seen people dishonored that we love and know that are in our military. I was talking with a good friend of mine who just came back for a few weeks of R&R with his family before he will be redeployed back to Iraq. And he told me of the dishonoring that many of those soldiers feel that are in Iraq right now, and how they’re very discouraged. And how many of those in our military are not feeling and sensing the support that they once felt from our nation. And the reality is that even though we don’t see the war every day anymore, it’s still going on, and we should continue to support them and encourage them and esteem them with the honor that they deserve.
Just a case in point, my friend was telling me that he was in his camp in Iraq, there are two major camps of soldiers in Iraq and he was in this one particular camp, and he was going to the mess hall. And he went to get some food for lunch and he sat down with his tray, and as he sat down to eat, he looked up and there is a television in the mess hall and it has different programs that rotate, and different, different shows, different news stations, different broadcasts of what not. And this particular hour that they were sitting there eating, he told me this particular television station, and a certain commentator on that station was on the news at the hour they were having lunch. And this happens to be one of the most vocal antiwar, antimilitary, anti former president clearly, and probably just eventually given enough time, probably anti our current president, that there is on TV. And he said he was shocked, literally shocked, sitting there eating, listening to this commentator down the military, and it’s being shown at the Iraq Freedom base of these people that are defending our freedoms, and they’re having to watch this. He, he was completely outraged, he couldn’t believe it. So he decided to respectfully write an e-mail to those in charge of the programming, which he did. And he told me how he got a very respectful politically correct e-mail back that began to explain how, well we have to show all sides and philosophies on our broadcasting. As if somehow it’s the general public that’s getting this, when it’s not. It’s our military. I just thought, ‘I can’t believe this.’ And when he began to tell me who this was, I immediately recognized who the commentator was, because I can’t watch the guy for more than two minutes without wanting to throw something and break my television at the way he’s disrespecting our military, our former president’s actions to take our military into action. And it was just hard to even imagine that this is going on. You know I thought back to the times I’ve actually watched this program, just flipping through and just watching the news, and hearing some things I can’t even believe being, being said over the airways. In fact this one particular newscaster, I don’t want to mention names, but I’ll just tell you the situation, just to help you understand how dishonor is becoming so popular. This newscaster literally was using expletives as he cussed out the president of the United States on the air, and we’re calling that news now. And as I’m watching this, I had this flashback of about 15 to 20 years ago. I want you to imagine 15-20 years ago, a major news television program, one of the anchors cussing openly, that alone is enough, but let’s just add to it, cussing out the president of the United States; that anchor 20 years ago would have been fired before the hour was up. They would have brought in all of the CEO’s of the parent companies and all their PR firms to come in with them, and immediately been on the air apologizing to the nation, saying we are sorry, we do not stand by this, we immediately fired them. There will be massive repercussions in our office to how this even happened. But today, it’s normal and it’s actually okay and acceptable broadcasting. It’s unheard of. Think about it, 20 years ago, what would have happened, and now we think it’s acceptable and okay for this to happen.
Now let’s take it from the news to even more personal levels. Just go to your average blog now days. You know the funny thing about blogs is anybody can now become a publisher, an author. And I know anyone can, because I am one, and it’s so clearly anybody can. And so they now have everyone can have a blog, and say whatever they want to say with no repercussions. And so I’ve even seen in ministry circles, dishonor doesn’t just happen when it comes to our military or our government, or civil affairs; it happens in every branch and every level of any kind of organization, and now it’s even happening in the church.
I’ve seen people who, in the name of God, are knocking other ministers and ministries, just because it’s not their personal approach, style, or theology. Ripping them to shreds, just because they don’t agree with them. I thought wow, when did this become respectable ministry to spend our time knocking other ministries. It’s amazing. Or maybe you’ve noticed this with, with the local papers, and again, our church is in multiple markets, multiple cities and so I’m not really, not really picking on any particular city here. You can find this in any city, anywhere in America, and probably beyond America, that the local papers of any city, any community now have a web presence. And at the bottom of almost every article now, you can make comments.
Have you noticed the phenomenal disrespect and dishonor of the comments section on every article regarding anybody in leadership, and yet these papers say well you know what? We want to defend free speech. Well you may be defending free speech, but what your really doing is you’re creating a platform for dishonor, where they just openly rip article after article, leader after leader, comment after comment, and frankly it borderlines character assassination, and it would be full blown character assassination if there wasn’t for such things as law suits. And you see this ripping of people over, and over, and over, and over again from the papers, to national news, to blogs, to churches, to individuals. You know I know authors that make a living, Christian authors that make a living ripping other authors. And every book is coming against someone else. And it used to be the sin of the week, or the sin of the, of the month for that book, and now it’s the author of the month that they want to rip or knock. And I just think wow; dishonor has become a franchise where you can make a lot of money if you just dishonor enough people. It has become that common for dishonor to happen. Now with MySpace, Facebook, and other platforms through blogs and so forth; now we have parents coming out against other parents, and openly knocking them as well. Now there’s this new thing where they have blogs and websites set up for everyone to be able to throw up any gossip from their college campus, onto this particular blog or website. You ask any student in any major university, and he’ll tell you, oh here’s ours that we all go to, that we openly talk badly about the administration, about professors, about certain student leaders, and they just rip away. It’s become that common. In fact now days, frankly I’d say I don’t think you’re really successful in life until you’ve had at least one or two blogs against you. Proves that you’re doing something. It has become so culture of dishonor; we wonder why the power of God has left our ministries. It’s because honor left first.
I want to challenge you as you look at the scripture, to rediscover what it means to be a person of honor. You know dishonor happens in the workplace, in every break room in America. There’s someone gathered around a refrigerator knocking their boss.
And there’s someone gathered around you know a church, or a small group, or a ministry event. I was at an event one time where it was all leader, it was all authors. I was invited and I, I wasn’t even an author yet. My book was about to come out, it hadn’t been out yet. I was excited to meet all these famous Christian people you know. And so I’m in the room and I’m meeting these people, and I’m like oh this is great, oh I’ve got their book, and I’ve got that book and this and that. And I just want to meet everyone in the whole room; it was really a lot of fun. Until I sat down to eat, and when I sat down to eat, there were about eight people around a table, and this one particular author began to openly knock someone who I’m very close with that’s a pastor friend of mine. I’m there thinking, oh you got a be kidding me. There, this is not happening. And everything in me, just the loyalty in me welled up, and I called him on it on the spot. I didn’t know anyone, so their first introduction to Bil Cornelius was for me to just openly knock him on the spot. And I went whoa, whoa, whoa, you can’t do that. He goes oh, well his ministry is this and that, and he’s not the real deal, and blah, blah… I said do you know him, do you know his kids? Can you name one of his kid’s names? I know all of his kids. I’ve been at his dinner table, I’ve sat with him and, he is a family man, he’s a godly man, he’s a husband and a father, he, he leads a wonderful ministry. Do you even know who you’re talking about? Well I know people that know him and … I know him. I pull out my cell phone and said would you like me to call him right now, let’s talk about it with him. (Applause) Be amazed at how quiet it got at that table. Then he began to argue back with me over how he was right. I said this has nothing to do whether you think you’re right or not, it has to do with the fact that you’re not following Matthew 18. Somehow we think that the moment they become famous, that they’re not a person. The moment the guy has a TV show, or has a large ministry, somehow we’re distanced from him. That guys a person that’s got a family. So I ended up defending him. It got so heated between the two of us, everyone else left the table. I wouldn’t get off, I’m saying no, you are wrong and I’m going to call you on it, because the Bible says that you’re supposed to honor your leaders. And by the way, the Bible does not say honor those you agree with, it just says honor leaders, period. Even if you don’t agree with them, (Applause) you still honor them. Listen, I’ve got news for you; there is nothing in the Bible that says that you cannot have dissent and disagreement with your leadership. But you are to do that in an honorable way. Doesn’t mean you always agree with everybody, oh no, far from the contrary. But it does mean that you respect the fact that that is our president, that that is our mayor, that that is our city council, that it is our pastor, that that is our Sunday school teacher, that it is our teacher, that it is our principal, that it is our leader, that it is your mother, that it is your father. You respect the position, even if you disagree with the specifics. Does that make sense? God’s very clear on this in the Bible. Let’s look at the, the way you’re limited by dishonor, as well as rewarded by honor.
Check out the scripture. Mark chapter 6 verses 1 through 5, Mark is my kind of disciple, because he was very ADD, he would just say like: okay we went and did this, and then he was off it, and then on to the next subject. Then you got Luke, we’re going to contrast him. Luke was Mr. Detailed, he was, he was, he was a doctor. In fact most doctors, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, you ever wonder, how can they get that much information in their mind, because most doctors, not all of them are like this, but many doctors I know have almost a photographic memory. They’re just very detailed; they can just remember things like that. They just, it’s amazing to me. I am so far from that, I’m more in the Mark category then the Luke category, no question. And so I’m, I’m glad I have a memory at all, you know let alone a photographic memory. So here Mark just touches on it, but then Luke gives us the details, look at this. The same situation, Mark chapter 6 verses 1 through 5: “Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. Where did this man get these things they asked? What’s this wisdom that has been given him that he even does miracles? Isn’t this the carpenter, isn’t this Mary’s son, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas. That’s not the same Judas as the one who betrayed him, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us, and they took offense to him.” When people say to me, you know I could believe in Jesus if he would just show up. Actually, that’s not necessarily the case. He was there doing miracles in front of him, and they still didn’t like them. So apparently you think, oh my faith would be so enhanced if Jesus was in front of me. Not true, he was literally right in front of people, doing miracles right in front of them, and people still rejected him. So apparently it’s not enough if I could just see him. No that’s not true. I need empirical evidence. They had empirical evidence, and they still took offense to him.
Look what happens next. Jesus said this. He said only in his hometown among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor. Wow, even Jesus just went to his local synagogue, starts sharing a little bit of God’s word heals some people, and people got mad at him because they didn’t like it. Why? Because we knew Jesus, we knew Jesus when he was just a kid. I remember when he was a pimple faced teenager, I remember when he was in Torah school with my son and we ran the 40 yard dash against each other, my son beat him. He’s just a kid. How can we really think this is the Messiah? I remember when he was just helping his dad build some chairs and some tables that we sit on for lunch every day. They couldn’t take the fact that he was actually their Messiah. It says he could do, this is the most powerful statement right here. He says he could do any, he could do, I’m sorry, he could not to any miracles there except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them, and he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Let me show you another translation so we really get the point here. This is the amplified version of the last verse: And he, this is Jesus, was not able to do even one work of power there, except he laid his hand on a few sickly people and cured them. Couple of people had some colds; he healed them up real fast. Couple of you know cuts and abrasions, he fixed that, but not the big stuff. It says here that Jesus, it doesn’t say he chose not to do miracles, it says he could not do miracles. Jesus? The one with all the power, the one who created the heavens and the earth, the one who was raised to new life again, and he was limited. He could not perform miracles. I, I’m sorry, did I read that right? I mean he, he just couldn’t do it. In other words, even God cannot bring his power in your life if you live dishonorably. If you dishonor Jesus, you are asking him by way of dishonoring him to never bless you. If you’re dishonoring of him, he can’t bless you. How can you dishonor the same one that you want to bless you? It’s kind of like people that it makes no common sense to me, but the people who dishonor their boss, then get mad at them that they didn’t give him a raise. Are you serious? Do you think you’re going to dishonor your way up the ladder. I don’t think it works like that. you know, it’s like, it’s like the student who blows off his parents, and talks back to them, then gets mad at them that they didn’t, that they didn’t bless them in some way. Like did you think you were going to talk, talk back to your mom and get her to give you an allowance? Are you serious? Where did the disconnect in your brain happen that you thought you were going to disrespect them, not do what they asked, but then they were going to give you an allowance, and give you the keys to the car, and let you do this and do that? Are, did, where did that happen, where did the disconnection happen here? That you believe you can dishonor someone over you, and then expect them to bless you. It’s crazy, it doesn’t work like that. Even with God’s Son, it doesn’t work like that. Let’s look at Luke’s version; Luke actually gives us the details. He must have been just writing all the time. Luke is like what was that and what did you say next? I mean cause he has these incredible details that Mark doesn’t have, Mark’s like yeah this happened, and then Luke’s like no, here’s how it happened, this is exactly what happened, this is who came in when, and this is what everyone thought. I mean he’s very detailed in the way he writes. I love the fact you have different angles. That’s why if you ever wonder why there’s four accounts of the gospel, because you know there’s basically four different personality types, and you can see all four different personality types represented in the gospels. Mark is all about the way I think, which is I hardly do. (Laughter) You’re like that too, don’t, don’t be knocking me now. I know there’s some other ADD people here, that’s why you come to church here, I know. (Laughter) So Mark is Mr. you know like, just give me the short, give me the cliff notes version, just tell me what happens real quick you know. Cause that’s what he does, he goes a Jesus was sharing some scripture and everyone disrespected him, he said no one honors you in your hometown.
Next and he was on the next story. Luke is like whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa; let’s explain exactly what happened here. Then Luke is the detailed guy, he wants to know exactly what happened. This is my wife, she wants to know well what are we going to do from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., then from 9 to 9:15, then from 9:15 to 9:45, then 9:45 to 10:15, where… Honey, I just want to know are we going to go anywhere, that’s all I want to know. (Laughter) I don’t need details. And then there’s the detailed person, look at Luke. He actually quotes what Jesus said. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Now by the way, about this time when Jesus was saying this in synagogue, all the young men and older men would begin to join in chanting with Jesus, because they knew that he was quoting Isaiah. Because by the way, by the time your age 13, you already had the entire Torah memorized. When you hear people talk about well I _____ discipleship, we would be a disciple joke compared to Old Testament followers of Christ. We don’t even understand what discipleship looks like. They had it all memorized. You could learn, you could start, you could just say 3 or 4 lines and they go on _____ _____, okay, let’s keep going, and they would just start quoting it with you. That’s how they knew the word of God. We think we know the word of God, we don’t. So he began to speak this, they, they all chanted with him. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, notice he says, then he began saying. What was he doing earlier? Earlier he was quoting, now he’s going to begin to speak his words as an attachment, as an addendum to the Old Testament word of God.
Now first of all, he already broke protocol, the fact that he even took the Torah, the scrolls and read them, when they should have had the oldest person, the oldest Rabbi there read them, not some young 30 year old Jesus. So he already broke protocol. Then he adds his own words to it. I cannot put into words the level of blasphemy that they would have felt when Jesus says this in their synagogue. Then he says this: Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. What he basically was saying, it’s the, just to help you to understand what this would be like, it would be like me in the middle of my sermon going: oh and by the way, I talked to the Lord and he told me I am he. At that moment you’d be like I’m going to slip out right now. Maybe I’ll just grab my notes and I’m going to head on. That would be that you’re like I’m going to get out of here before this whole place caves in, or before the lightning strikes directly at the pulpit, and it’s over for Pastor Bil, right? The level of blasphemy that they would of thought this was unbelievable, it’s incomprehensible in our culture, to understand what was said here, that this was basically giving yourself the death penalty by calling yourself God, the Messiah. And that’s exactly what he did. But the reason why they didn’t recognize Jesus was because he wasn’t on his miracle tour. Normally he’s going all around to other cities where they didn’t know him at all from back when. So he just shows up and all they knew is the miracle Jesus. They just knew hey, here’s this guy, claims to be God and proves it by doing miracles. He did the same miracles, same teaching, but when he did it in his hometown, he didn’t get respect for it. Why is that? I’ll tell you why, number one: the problem with honor is familiarity. The problem with honor is we’re, we’re too used to them being around. Jesus has always been around. I mean how can I respect this guy as the Messiah when I remember when he was a little kid and all the girls thought he was cute. How can I respect him as the Messiah when I saw him go through puberty? How can I respect him and believe he’s the Messiah, when I remember he was just a kid sitting alongside me in Torah school, and now all of a sudden he thinks he’s the Messiah? It was a familiarity issue. Familiarity breeds what? Contempt, right? Which we’re used to. Do you know why certain people in our country, not everybody in this country, I don’t want to; I don’t want to put everyone in this category. But do you know why some people in our country do not respect our military? Now they would tell you all kinds of political reasons why, but I can tell you the number one reason why, it’s so simple. They’ve always had them. If you lived one year in this country without the military existing, you would beg forgiveness to every officer, leader and private for that matter in our military, because the protection they give us.
I want you to imagine, (Applause) yeah, okay. Just, just imagine for a moment that here we are, we’re all out at the beach, we live in a coastal town here, we’re in Corpus Christi, we’re on the third coast, and so we’re here, we’re enjoying the beach, we’re enjoying some time off and we got our kids out and they’re playing in the sand, maybe do a little surfing, do a little sunbathing, we’re having a good time. Just imagine if there’s no military for a moment, you’re out there, you’re having a good time on the beach, and you look out in the water, and you begin to talk with the neighbor sitting next to you and you begin to say: what is that, do you see that way off in the distance? I, yeah, I think that’s a bunch of boats. What, what are they, what are they doing? I don’t know but there’s hundreds of them. What are these boats doing? And all these boats suddenly come up to the shore, and as they get closer, you recognize that those boats have the symbol of another country on them. And as those boats pull up, just like we stormed the beaches of Normandy, you see another country; you can pick the enemy of your liking right now. You see another country pulling up to our shore, dropping the holds of the boats, and these men filing off the boats with guns in arms, cocked and loaded, and they begin firing at everyone in the water, firing at everyone on land.
Imagine the mass pandemonium, people screaming, blood curdling cries, people are watching their children, their loved ones die in front of them. They don’t have time to save them, they’re grabbing your other children, and they’re running with their kids in their arms as fast as they can, across the beach, they get to their car, and to head inland. And imagine as you’re doing this, as this, this attack is happening, just like Pearl Harbor happened, don’t forget, this has occurred by the way. So as we’re being attacked, now imagine you’re running literally for your life, and as you’re driving inland to get away from the enemy that suddenly has attacked, I want you to imagine there’s now no one to call. You’re on your own. Better go get your gun. Pawn shops would be raided, all guns gone. We’d all be loading up. Now we’re in Texas, we’re pretty covered here, right? You don’t want to live in Vermont, no, no, no, no, no. It’s like one gun per state up there you know. (Laughter) We have like one gun per room here, you know what I mean? (Laughter) But the, that’s how we do it, right? (Crowd noise and applause) Well here’s the deal. Yeah, I can’t wait for this to go over the air, you know to those northeastern states, like those Texans, what’s up with them, right? (Laughter) Yeah, you’re saying it now, but you’ll be joining me in my house if this happens, believe me. You’ll be coming over. The reality is: imagine if they weren’t there to protect you. See, the reason why we should honor them is because we have them, not because we don’t have them. You know why we so easily dishonor and disrespect our spouses? They’re always there, but if your spouse wasn’t there anymore, how would you treat them? But the reality is that familiarity is the problem. It’s that we, we’re just so used to, but it says here in scripture, Jesus says I can’t do miracles among you if you’re not a people of honor. If you don’t honor him or if you don’t honor others, he cannot do his miracle working power in your life if you don’t honor him. He came on behalf of his servant and said Jesus would you, my Lord, would you please heal my servant, cause this centurion understood that leadership is only as good as fellowship. You were only as successful as the people around you and under you want you to be. And if you disrespect those who are underneath you, it’s not long before they’ll oust you, and they can. Don’t ever think for a second all the powers in your hand, it is not. And if you push it, if you push it and abuse your leadership, you will lose your leadership. What you abuse, you lose.