The Bible says a lot about honoring God. One of my favorite verses on that topic is Romans 12:1 which tells us to “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God”. Simply put, we are called to live a life that honors God, but how do we do that?
What Does it Mean to Honor God?
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The Oxford Dictionary defines honor as “to regard with great respect”. In modern society, that may translate to showing deference or being courteous to someone. But I love the way the Hebrew puts it. The Hebrew word for honor is kâbôwd, (pronounced kaw-bode’).
Kâbôwd means splendor or copiousness, glorious, glory, honour, or honourable. Kâbôwd comes from the root word kâbad, (pronounced kaw-bad’) which could have been translated “to make weighty”. So, in other words, when we honor someone, we add weight to them. It’s almost as if we measured them and found them worthy.
When we apply the idea of making God “weighty”, we show that we esteem Him above everything and everyone.
The Importance of Honoring God
The Bible, which is one of God’s gift to humanity, tells us alot about who He is. He is holy, faithful, trustworthy, just, loving, kind, merciful, gracious, good.
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The more you learn about God, the more you realize how worthy He is to be praised. You probably have many reasons for honoring God, but I’d like to share a few reasons why we should honor God.
1. We honor God because He saved us from our sins.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 NKJV
2. We glorify God because He is the Creator.
And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14:7 ESV
If you’ve ever tried to make even a simple meal, you know how difficult creating something can be. Creation becomes even more challenging when you have to make something out of nothing, especially when that thing had never been made. I know, it sounds a bit convoluted, but that exactly what God did at Creation.
He made things that had never existed before from things that didn’t exist. He spoke and the unseen things appeared (Hebrews 11:3). This action alone makes God worthy of our praise.
3. We worship God because He is Immanuel.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NKJV
A common feature of idol worship was the household gods. People wanted gods they could take with them, they wanted their gods to always be with them. We serve a mighty God who is all-present. He dwells with us and within us.
How to Honor God with Your Life
Okay, so we’ve been through what it means to honor God and why we should honor Him, but maybe you’re wondering, how can I honor God with my life?
I’m so glad you asked, honoring God is something that will take focus and intention . Here are six things you can do to start honoring God right now.
1. We honor God when we are good stewards of our wealth and what He has given us.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Everything we have, whether it is a little or a lot comes from God. While it’s true that God doesn’t need anything from us, we give Him glory when we use our resources wisely and in the service of others.
2. We honor God with our actions.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 ESV
The example that Christ gave us is one of service. We honor God when we serve the people around us. We honor Him when we give of ourselves and show others the love that God lavishes on us.
3. We honor God through the sacrifice of our lives.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV
4. We honor God when we praise and worship Him.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:12 ESV
5. We honor God through our obedience.
Jesus told His disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 ESV
It’s one thing to say we love God. We prove it by the way we adhere to what He says in His Word.
6. We honor God by putting Him first in decision-making. We seek His will and not our own.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Benefits of Honouring God
Obviously we don’t honor God simply for what we may receive from Him. Still, there are benefits for honoring Him. Here are just a few of them.
Honouring God improves the quality of your life. Let’s think about it for a second, is there anyone in the Bible who honored God above all else? The first person who comes to mind is David.
He wasn’t a perfect man but he tried to put God first at all times. David honored God with the things he had, the way he offered praise and worship, and through his actions. I know you’re thinking about the Bathsheba incident, but I want to remind you that though he sinned in that instance (and many others), he repented and sought to give glory to God.
It was this same man whom God called a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Because David honoured God, he was honored in turn by God.
Honoring God improves the lives of those around you. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: the life Christ emulated for us was one of service. As members of God’s family, we honor Him when we serve the people He has created.
Zacchaeus was one of the most disliked men of his time. Yet this was the man who Jesus chose to dine with (Luke 19:1-10). We are called to love others in spite of their class, caste, race, gender, or any other distinction.
When we love them as Jesus loved us, we have the opportunity to make an impact on their lives in much the same way that Christ impacted Zacchaeus’ life. That person’s life in turn becomes a blessing to others and the impact ripples throughout our world.
Honoring God offers the hope of a better future. Before Jesus returned to His Heavenly Father, He promised to return for all those who remained faithful (John 14:1-3). I don’t know about you, but I want to experience the earth made new and all the benefits that come with Jesus’ Second Coming.
There are so many rewards for those who choose to honor God with their lives. Won’t you honor Him in all you do?
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