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. 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 my space, and with Facebook, and other platforms through blogs and so forth; now we have parents coming out against other parents, and openly knocking them as well. 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. 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. Why is it that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are our most honored presidents, of all presidents? We’re they just better people? Some would argue that, but I think the number reason why they were more honored than most is because before them, we didn’t have presidents. So they knew what life was like to not have a leader to look to. And now they have a leader. You know why so openly knock our president? You can pick the one you’d like to knock, previous or current, or the future one, either way. You know why it’s so easy for us to knock em? We’ve always had em. 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 em? If I could bring people on this stage that have lost a loved one, if I could bring their pain on this stage, and imagine walking through an empty house, never hearing their voice again. Never seeing them sit in their chair, doing the things they do, getting in bed, and there’s only one indention in the bed now, not two. And rolling over and wanting to pull them close to you and they’re not there, and you know they never will be again. And all you can do is take their pillow and grab some dingy t-shirt in the laundry that you refuse to wash, hoping you can just sense their smell still, because you are longing for them to be there. I apologize if I conjured up pain that’s real for you, but for the rest of us who have not lost our spouse, we have to imagine this to understand the power of why we should honor them. See the reason we dishonor people is because they’re always there. But if you didn’t have them, would you still do that? You know why you dishonor policemen? We’re used to the rule of law. But if you had lawlessness, do you have any idea how much respect you’d have for your officers? If there was no one to call in the middle of the night, do you have any idea how much honor we would give them? They should all be doubled in their pay right now, because of what they do. (Applause) They should be honored, our military should be honored and our leadership should be honored. People, people criticize governors, and mayors, and presidents, and city councilmen; why do they do that? We’ve always had em, it’s just easy to blame our problems on them, but the reality is that familiarity is the problem. Is that we’re just so used to it. 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, and if you don’t honor others, he cannot do his miracle working power in your life if you don’t honor him. Now let’s contrast this from, from the limit, limited Jesus; he’s limited not, not because he doesn’t have power, but because why is he really limited? Let me tell you why he’s really limited; because he cannot bestow upon you blessing when you are not blessable. How are you blessable? You’re blessable by being honorable. So if you’re honorable, you become blessable. You’re not honorable, you, you just took away God’s ability to bless you. You put the brakes on his blessing. Look at Matthew chapter 8 verses 5 through 9. Don’t confuse this limit that Jesus could not do miracles, he had the power, but Jesus cannot be a liar, God cannot lie, and he says very clearly that you choose by your following to honor God, and to honor God, you either choose curses or blessings, and when you choose to dishonor God, you chose curses. He can’t honor you because he would be breaking his own law. That’s why he can’t do it. So he cannot honor those who are not honorable. Look at this next scripture, Matthew chapter 8, we’re talking about military today, and so I thought we’d look at an officer today. Matthew 8 verses 5 through 9: When Jesus entered Capernaum, or Capernaum, depending upon which seminary you went to. Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. Lord, he said, my servant lies at home, paralyzed and in a terrible suffering. Jesus said, I will go and heal him. The centurion replied, Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof; but just say the word and my servant will be healed. One of the number one ways you can know whether someone really honors is by listening to what they say.Just listen to the words. You can tell real fast if someone understands honor by listening to what they say. Cause what, what you allow to fly out of your mouth, shows whether you’re a person of honor or dishonor. It goes on to say: For I myself, the centurion said, for I myself am a man under authority with soldiers under me. I tell this one “Go,” and he goes, and that one “Come,” and he comes. And if I say to my servant do this, and he does it. And so basically he was saying, Jesus, you don’t even have to go to my house, I know if you just say the word, my servant will be healed. Now I’m just gonna break that down to the centurion’s life for you. A centurion was a commander, there, there was, there was a Roman legion of soldiers; that meant that there were six thousand men in one company. Okay, it’s called Roman legion. In the six thousand men, there was one commander, and that one commander brought up sixty centurions. So these centurions, century, were over one hundred. Does that make sense? A centurion had over one hundred, right. So these sixty centurions answered to one commander, and all six thousand soldiers answered to these centurions, ultimately which they were passing down the laws, and the rules, and the, the leadership of the commander. So the way you got to be in the top one percent of your legion, was by honoring the commander. I got news for you; you wanna know how you can fast track your career? Learn to honor the guy in charge, and you’ll immediately be raised and elevated to the top one percent. But if you don’t honor the person in charge, don’t be frustrated that you stay in the masses. And so if you dishonor the classes, you’ll always be in the masses. But if you honor the classes, you get to join them in leading the masses. But you’ve got to honor those above you. And so he understood this. Number two: to honor another is to understand the authority by which they stand. Here is a Roman centurion; Rome has now occupied Israel, which means that he conquerors, which were the Romans, conquered the Jewish people. So here is a conqueror, the Roman centurion, talking to the conquered, Jesus of Nazareth, who is Jewish; he was talking to him and he says the word, Lord. Lord means master, ruler, one in control over me. Here is a centurion who’s in charge from a political and military standpoint, talking to Jesus saying, you really are my Lord. Wow, this guy got it, this guy really got authority. Look what Jesus said, this is amazing what he says. He says: when Jesus heard this, he was astonished, that means wowed, freaked out. Isn’t that kind of funny that Jesus could be freaked out? That should freak us out, like whatever freaks you out, I should definitely be freaked out about it. I mean what could freak him out, the guy who put the whole world together, and yet he’s freaked out by the centurion. It says: Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him; I tell you truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Now you know someone’s gonna stop him; whoa, whoa, whoa, stop, now let’s not go overboard here Jesus. Don’t forget Mary, your mother is right here, and you’re saying this centurion has more faith than her? You got all your disciples here, you’re saying that this centurion that we don’t even really know, has displayed more faith than all your disciples? Or how about the fact that we got John the Baptist who is in prison now for you, and he preached for you in the wilderness, and he cut the trail for you, he made the way for you, he baptized you. God did this great miracle and split the sky open, and spoke openly to you, right there at John’s baptism; and you’re saying that this centurion has more faith than, than him, and Mary, and all this…do you know what you’re saying here Jesus? Got news for you guys; Jesus does not have a problem with exaggeration, he’s God, he knows what he’s saying, he’s very calculated, he’s thought it through. So when he says this, he means it. He’s not gonna come up with this team of other people that are gonna defend him. Well what he really meant to say was this. No, he means what he says. He says this guy shows more faith than anyone I’ve seen so far. Wow, then he says this: I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. East to west is a reference to those who were attacking from east to west, but all of a sudden he shifts it from this kingdom world kingdom, to an eternal kingdom, and starts talking about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So he basically says, you know what; since you understand authority so well in this world, that’s a sign that you get authority in the real world, his spiritual realm. You see one of the ways we can know whether you’re really spiritual is not how you talk, oh praise the Lord, blab, blab, blab, blab, whatever. I hear people talk so spiritual, just dripping all the spiritual words; I could care less. You show me if you’re under authority, and I’ll show you whether you really get the kingdom of God. Listen guys, you have to get under who’s over you, before God can get you over who should be under you. Until you get under who is over you; God will not allow you to be over who should be under you. So get over it and get under em. (Laughter) Say that fast fifty times, right? The reality is we’ve got to understand authority. He said this: Jesus said I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and then he refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the kingdom of heaven. He says but the subject of the kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. He’s obviously referring to hell at this point. Jesus talked about hell, in case you didn’t know that. The loving Jesus refers to hell. If he’s a loving God, oh well how can a loving God sentence to hell? No, he doesn’t send us to hell, he makes heaven available, and then we choose it. It’s a choice we make. Look at this, he says: Then Jesus said to the centurion, go, it will be done just as you believed it would, and his servant was healed at that very hour. Jesus is saying because you get authority, cause you understand who’s really in charge here; your servant, healed immediately. I will do my work; I will give you a full reward of what you are asking of me if you will just get authority. If you will just honor those that God’s called you to honor. Now just in case I haven’t hacked you off thoroughly yet, let mash those toes in real good, here we go. Hebrews 13:17 says: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy not a burden, for that will be of no advantage to them.” Oh no, no, it says no advantage who? To you. So if I don’t obey the authority over me, it’s no advantage to me, I’m not hurting them, I’m hurting myself. The, the student who disobeys his parents constantly is only hurting themselves. It’s just only gonna limit them. That, that’s foolishness to do that. Just, just, when I think about dishonoring someone, just imagine getting in an elevator with a really big guy, and you may be a really big guy; imagine someone twice your size. And just imagine walking two steps over in the elevator, you’re going up for a long time; you’re in this elevator, go out and just punch the guy in the face as hard as you can. Why would you do that to yourself, cause you know what’s next, right? You’re gonna be unloaded upon in an instant, right? You are damaging yourself when you dishonor the one above you. Instantly we do that. Look at Ephesians chapter 6; this is the pinnacle verse of where we learn honor or dishonor. It’s found in Ephesians chapter 6, and I believe this is why most preachers don’t wanna talk about honor, or churches don’t talk about, most governments certainly don’t wanna talk about this, because we don’t like the fact when we’re having to be told to honor. But the reason we’re having to be told is because we have to be re-parented if we didn’t learn it in the home. I used to be really shocked whenever someone would be really disrespectful to me as a pastor. I grew up in a home where we just honored pastors. When I became a pastor, it was a really big deal to me, I thought oh man, this is a big deal. And, and go honor the pastorate; I wanna live my life worthy of being a pastor. And I’m fully aware that I’m here by grace, and I don’t deserve this, I know that. But I still wanna do everything in my power, and then combined with God’s power in his grace and in his mercy, to allow me even to be a pastor. I really respect the office of pastor, but I’m amazed at those who don’t. And I’m amazed at how they’ll _____ you that they disrespect that leader, but the reality is that they’ll go on to another church and disrespect that leader, and to another church and disrespect that leader. What I’ve learned is that it’s really not about them not liking pastors, or pick anything else you’d like to pick: a governor, or a mayor, or city council. Cause they’ll go, they’ll leave this town ripping on the city council, they’ll go to another town, they’ll rip on that city council, and they’ll rip on the mayor of that town. They’ll go to another state and, and think that that governors an idiot. They’ll go, here’s the issue; the issue is that what I’ve learned is that dishonor is in the heart of the person, and they take that dishonor with them wherever they go. Cause it didn’t, it didn’t happen in the home. Ephesians chapter 6:1 says: “Children, obey your parents and the Lord for this is right. But then it says honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you, and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” We need to learn honor in our homes. Sometimes I’m not pastoring people, I have to re-parent them. It never ceases to amaze me how _____ _____, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, you, you can’t talk to someone like that and expect to get somewhere. You, you can’t do that, you’re not gonna get where you wanna go spiritually if you’re dishonoring leaders. You’re not gonna get where you wanna go career wise if your dishonoring your boss, or bosses. You’re not gonna get where you wanna go in anything if you dishonor the leadership that God has placed above you. It doesn’t mean the leaderships always right, they could be very wrong, but there’s still a respectful and an honoring way to go to them with it directly, only, and immediately. But if you don’t do those things, like Matthew 18 clearly teaches, then you’ve become a dishonoring person in your heart, and it eventually comes out in your speech, and then you wonder why your life gets limited. Third thing I wanna tell you, number three: You will not receive your full reward in life until you bring honor to those God has bestowed authority and _____ of influence over. So one of the things we do here is we believe in honor. But it’s not just honoring a pastor; you may say well that’s pretty self-serving. Well could, it could appear that way, but I wanna challenge you, if you just can’t honor me, great. Go to another church and honor that pastor there, but don’t be surprised when you go to the other church, if you can’t honor me, that you won’t be able to honor them either. I’ve seen, I know people that have gone from church, to church, to church and they just can’t honor a pastor. And I finally ask em I say, what’s the one thing that we have in common with all six of the churches you’ve been to; that you didn’t like the pastor? Ah, you, you’re the only common thread. You’ve been married four and five times, and you’re just all bumbling idiots. What’s the only common thing in all four, five of those marriages? That would be you. So where’s the real issue lie? If you go from job, to job, to job, oh they’re a bunch of idiots at that company, and this company…whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, not everyone’s an idiot. At some point, you got a say maybe I just need to learn honor. Last night I had a young man come up to me, and I really appreciated his honesty and his humility. He came up to me and he said pastor, he was almost crying. He said I got a tell you something. I am so glad I learned this lesson, he said I have never gotten where I wanted to go in my career, and I realize it’s every three, four, five, six months in, or maybe a year in; I get mad at the leadership or the administration and I quit and go on to another company, and I realize now why I have never gone anywhere in any company. Because I dishonor leadership continuously. He was about to cry. I looked at him and I said you know what? Thank you for your honesty, and I believe God’s about to skyrocket your career like never before, no matter what you do, because if you bring honor into anything you do, it’s gonna elevate you. I wanna challenge you to become a person of honor. In fact I wanna challenge you to honor those in leadership. You know one of the things we do here at Bay area; I just want you to know something. I don’t even have to agree with the pastor of another congregation; I still honor them. You know why? Cause they’re God’s man for that congregation. I honor the position alone. I don’t even have to agree with them. I have had other leader’s dishonor me, and I refuse to dishonor them. You know why? Because God has them there. I may disagree with everything they’ve said about me or done, but you know what, I honor them. You know why? Cause they’re a pastor, they’re a leader, and God has anointed them for that position. Regardless of how they’re handling it; I honor them. You don’t have to agree with someone to honor them.
They don’t even have to be in your world to honor them; you don’t even have to know them to honor them. But I wanna challenge you this: do not expect God’s blessing on your life if you don’t become a person of honor to those around you. Not only those over you, those beside you, but also those under you. The centurion honored his servant. He could have said ah, he’s just a servant, get another one. He didn’t do that. 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. I wanna challenge you on this one point; bring honor back, bring honor back to the house of God, bring honor back in your home. You may have to relearn, because basically, I don’t even know what honor looks like. You know what honor looks like? It looks like Jesus. He honored those around him continuously, and I wanna challenge you to do the same, to honor those even if you disagree with them, you can still honor them. You don’t have to agree with everything our leaderships doing. You don’t have to agree with everyone, everything your boss says or does, but you have to honor him. Because why would God allow you to get the position of leadership. Here’s the funny thing: you will question, and question, and question a leader, but if you were put into a leadership, then they question you. You’d say don’t question me, I’m the leader. But, but you created that. If you constantly dishonor people, you’re gonna get dishonor right back at you. Jesus put it this way: you live by the sword, you die by the sword. And so if you constantly dishonor everyone, don’t be surprised when dishonor comes back to you. One time I met with a couple that was very upset with something I done. I didn’t even know what I did. I mean there’s so many things I do to upset people, but anyways, this person was mad over some leadership decision I made, and they begin to tell me how I wasn’t fit to be a pastor, and according to their list of things, I was like wow, I should just go out and take my own life right now. I mean it was unbelievable, it was like I don’t even know why I exist, you know. I mean, just if I went off of their view of the world, wow was in I in trouble. And so they began to describe this, this and all these bad things I do. And then what really got me, I remember sitting back and just listing to it, it was very surreal, you ever have that moment where someone’s just coming at you so much, you’re like is this even happening? (Laughter) It’s amazing you know. So much anger coming at me, I was like wow. And so I just finally sat back and I thought Lord, what are you trying to show me here? I just felt God just saying, just listen. Okay Lord. At first of all it was listen like, cause I need this, I deserve all this. And then it changed, about ten minutes in, I heard the wife turn to the husband and rip him. I was like wow; you did not just say that to your husband right in front of me. And I’ve heard the opposite too, where husbands have done this to their wives, and realize that this persons not dishonoring me, they’re a dishonoring person. And they’re gonna talk to their pastor like they talk to their husbands. I hear people say you know like, I mean teachers used to say all the time to students like, hey don’t treat this like it’s your own house, you got to clean it up. The problem is if you got to their house, that’s how they treat their house. And we wonder why teachers get trashed by students. Because parents let them trash them. And if you don’t call a kid on it at home, then you just taught that student to do that to their teachers, and to the principal, and ultimately to the truancy officer, which is where they’ll end up, and ultimately to the warden. And at some point they’re gonna obey. They’ll be forced to at some point. Why don’t we make their life a lot easier, and healthier, and exciting, and fun by teaching them honor? Honor is where it’s at. I wanna tell you something. I honor you. I’m so grateful for this position that God’s given me, and I am fully aware I don’t deserve it. You’re list of things and grievances wrong with me, would be far shorter than my list that are wrong with myself. I’m very aware. I want you to know something. I wanna be the best pastor I can, but not just because I wanna be a good guy; it’s because I know I don’t deserve this position. It’s by the grace of God that I’m even here. And I wanna honor the roll of pastors by being the best I can for you. I wanna honor you and I’m grateful for your honor, and I wanna encourage you, let’s honor others. Listen, there may be a ministry down the road, you know or down in the nation somewhere, way far away, that you completely disagree with; that’s great, keep that between you and God, cause it does nothing for the kingdom of God for you to knock them. I’ve learned that God can do the exact opposite. I can look at ministries that do the exact opposite of what we do, and God’s blessing their socks off, which means that God doesn’t have to have everyone agree with me, before he does the work in them. So you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna choose to honor them. You will never hear me dishonor another denomination, you’ll never hear me dishonor another protestant, or another Roman Catholic, I will not do that here, we are not about that. Because there are many brothers and sisters in Christ, in all those environments that are loving God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and you are crazy not to see that. (Applause) We will not dishonor others, we’re not gonna do that. And I wanna challenge you; you say why take issue with this and that? Great, that’s fine; we all have issues that we take with different people. Then listen, I can’t get my own wife to agree with everything with me, how am I gonna get all of us to agree, right? My, my own three kids can’t all get together. We can hardly get the three of them to agree on what movie we’re gonna watch, (Laughter) let alone expect all of us to have perfect agreement all the time. Is that really even realistic? No, but we can all agree that we’re gonna honor one another, and in doing so, you watch, you become honorable, you become blessable, and you are propelling yourself into the God-given future that he has for you. Learn to honor the Lord, honor those around you and see if that does not become the secret to releasing God’s blessings in your life. Let’s pray. With your head bowed and your eyes closed, during this prayer time, I just wanna encourage you right now, that head bowed and eyes closed during this prayer time; if you’ve never trusted Christ, you can receive him right now by praying a simple prayer. You can say dear Jesus; I realize I need you in my life. You can pray this with me right now: Jesus Christ, I believe you died on the cross for me, I believe you paid the price for my sins at the cross. I wanna ask you to come into my heart, into my life. As much as I understand it, I want you to be the Lord, the boss, the master over me. I believe you died for me; you rose again from the grave, proving that you’re God. And as much as I understand it in my limited knowledge, I’m just gonna go with it, I’m gonna take faith and just go with it and say Jesus, I need you in my life. Come in my heart, change me from within, reserve a place for me in heaven, and I wanna follow you from this day forward. Thank you Jesus for saving me. With your head bowed and your eyes closed, if you just pray that prayer, Christ comes in your life and changes you from within. Maybe you’re already a Christ follower, and you may say what do I do with this message, what, what do I do with this? I mean I realize I’ve dishonored some people, I’ve dishonored some leaders, I’ve dishonored my governmental authorities, I’ve dishonored some teachers, or, or maybe a parent or a sibling, or maybe someone that’s completely unrelated to your life, but you just looked at their life from a distance and criticized them openly. What do you do? The Bible says there’s only one answer, there’s only one answer to dishonoring your parents, to dishonoring your coach, your teacher, your principal, your leadership, the, the boss you have, your pastor, your employer; there’s only one answer to all of it the Bible says, it’s repent. I wanna challenge you right now to say God, forgive me, I wanna live differently, I wanna become a person of honor. I wanna honor those around me with everything in me. I will strive to honor those around me. Thank you Jesus that we can be people with honor, in him we pray. Amen. Isn’t God good? (Crowd noise and applause) His word’s so true.