There is a biblical principle that stretches across many facets of our lives, from finances to friendship: we must give in order to receive. Honor is no exception. The one who would receive it must first hand it out – first to God, and secondly to people.
How do we honor God? Primarily through loving obedience to Him and through putting Him first, above other people and above ourselves.
You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:3
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. – Deuteronomy 6:5
If you love me, keep my commandments. – John 14:15
In addition to obedience, we honor Him with our genuine worship. There are many verses throughout the Bible which demonstrate the honoring of God through worship in heaven and on earth: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
We honor Him with our finances: “Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the firstfruits of all your increase: so shall your barns be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst out with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9, 10).
Quite honestly, if we cannot cheerfully give our money to God – the tithe (10%) and offerings above that, as mentioned in Malachi 3:8-11 — we are not honoring Him. He held nothing back from us, giving His own Son, and yet, do we dare to presume to withhold from Him?
Say what you want about the tithe being an Old Testament principle that went out with the Law. It’s not about following a rule. It’s about a heart attitude. New Testament believers who are governed by the Spirit of Life will find themselves honoring the Lord with their finances beyond the prescribed tithe and offerings mentioned in the Old Testament. Even the Old Testament saints understood this, and we must, too.
So, if we wish to receive honor, we must first honor the Lord. And we must honor other people. We’ll talk about the people aspect next time.