Recognizing Greatness

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As someone with the heart of a king, you were created to live a life of honor! In this message we learn the importance of honor and what it looks like to walk it out. Because a king doesn’t demand honor, they release it!

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Alright. Hey, everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. Come on, wherever you are today, let’s welcome each in. Come on. Come on, whether you’re at a campus or in your house or wherever you are, we are so glad you are here with us. And we are one month into being back at our campuses gathering together once again. And I think, you know, those of us that have been coming to the campuses, we’re reminded by how good it is to be together, how much we miss this over this past season and how much it’s — how easy it is to take for granted that which God offers us. And I told you that we’re just kind of moving forward slowly, little by little at the pace of safety and at the pace of culture. And I just want to celebrate you for a few moments because, man, I feel like as a church you guys are doing such a good job whether you’re at the campuses or online of choosing to move forward and creating the culture that we had together. I feel like you’re engaging, you’ve got heart, you’re responding, we’re moving forward and we’re treating each other really well.

I told you right from the beginning that we weren’t going to have a ton of rules, that some of us are way over here, think this is a really big deal. Some of us are over here, think this is not a big deal. So you have to learn how to love you, and you have to learn how to love you because we’re going to practice in family how we’re supposed to live in the world. And that’s what we’ve been doing. And so I celebrate you for that. And you have to almost ask yourself the question. It’s almost to say, like how is that — like how are we actually doing? How is it working? It’s honor. It’s simply honor. And when you honor each other, order, blessing and life is released into the atmosphere. And what I want you to understand is that where there is honor there doesn’t have to be a lot of rules. And where there’s a lot of rules, it’s because there’s not a lot of honor. I want you to think about this in your life and any organization, in your family, in your business and school, when there’s honor there doesn’t have to be a lot of rules.

But where there is a lot of rules, it’s because there’s not a lot of honor. And so we’re trying to regulate and force people to live a value that’s supposed to be in their heart. And you say, well, where does honor come from? Honor comes from the heart of a king. And that’s the series that we’re in together. We’re taking a couple of weeks, and we’re taking a look at the life of King David. We’re reading through First and Second Samuel together. And this is a really prophetic series, a timely series. If you just look at the reality of our world with the election, and the virus, and the tension, and the pain and the chaos, we need some people to rise up and live with a heart of a king. The heart of royalty, and virtue, and nobility, and integrity, and humility, and character, to stop living down to the world but start living up to the Kingdom of God. You see, we all start with the heart of an orphan, the heart of a Pharisee, the heart of a slave and the heart of a rebel.

But then when we invite Jesus to become the king of our heart, he gives us the heart of a king. And we’re on this journey with him of learning to live a kingdom life. In fact, this is why Jesus says in this first verse, “Do not be afraid little flock for your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” That God didn’t give us a democracy, an anarchy, a dictatorship, no, he invited us into a kingdom. And we’re learning how to live a kingdom life, how to change our thinking, change our living, live this life of royalty that’s bigger than the life that the world tells us we have. And royalty, it doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you selfless. Because the heart of a king is to life for the good of others and the glory of God. I mean if you’ve ever seen somebody apologize to someone else for something they did wrong, that’s the heart of a king.

Have you ever seen somebody forgive someone else who hurt them deeply? That’s the heart of a king. Have you ever seen somebody go back and make restitutions for something they did wrong years ago? That’s the heart of a king. Have you ever seen somebody refuse to be the listening ears to someone else’s gossiping mouth? That’s the heart of a king. That’s the heart of a king. Jesus is the ultimate definition, the ultimate example of royalty and the heart of a king looks like. And so when Jesus teaches us about the kingdom, everything he’s telling us, all of his commands, all of his ways, all of his thoughts are invitations for us to live a life of royalty, to live with the heart of a king. It’s like everything Jesus says to you is he’s saying, hey, this is what a king would do. And this is what I’ve empowered you to do. And so we’re kind of journeying and navigating through this.

And when you think about kingdom and you think about a king, one of the words that often gets lumped into kingdom and king is the word honor. It’s a big word, it’s a word we kind of don’t really all that much like if we’re honest. We’re not really sure what to do with it. And again, we have these bad definitions. We think, oh honor and king, like a king demands honor? No, a king releases honor. Honor starts in the heart of the king and it flows out to every corner of his kingdom. You see, honor, let me define it for you to just try to make it really simple. To honor something, you know, or someone, it’s just to value that thing. It’s to esteem it, it’s to lift it up, it’s to speak well of it or bless it, it’s to point greatness, it’s to draw attention to and to celebrate. To honor someone simply means to give them value and then treat them according to that value.

And sometimes to understand a concept, it helps to look at the opposite concepts. So to dishonor something, it just means to treat as commonplace, to treat as familiar, unimportant, unvaluable, like to not be all that interested in. So to honor something, you know, or someone is to give it value and then treat it according to that value, to recognize its greatness and draw attention to that greatness. And I know most people have probably never told you this, but you are created to give and receive honor. Honor is like fertilizer for your soul. You need it. And the world needs it. When we honor each other, we start to rise up, we lift up our heads, we put our shoulders back, we start to rise up to a bigger life, to a higher calling. Honor lifts you up, dishonor pushes you down. And what’s amazing is for us, most of us, we don’t know what to do with honor because it’s so unfamiliar to our life.

Like one of the things I love about our staff, when you join our staff team, your first all staff meeting, you come in and we’re all sitting there, a hundred people in the room, and whoever your supervisor is will stand up and kind of give a little story about who you are and you’re sitting there at the table and they tell you, this is so and so. And this is what they’re going to do. And this is who they are. And this is what their family is like. And then they say, so give it up for this person. And the whole room erupts, stands up in ovation and for five minutes, cheers, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo. Online, that’s really annoying right now, ain’t it at home? Whoo, whoo. But I’m telling you, that goes on for like five minutes. And the person who’s sitting there, their face turns red, they look down, they’re the only person in the room sitting. Everybody else is cheering for him, going absolutely crazy. And they have no idea what to do with it.

Oh look, there we go. We got babies now hooping in honor, whoo, because it’s honor. And it’s amazing. Listen, it’s their first day, they haven’t even done anything yet. They’ve contributed zero to the organization. And what are we doing? We’re recognizing greatness. We’re calling forth, we’re drawing attention to and lifting up and saying, we see the greatness of God in your life, and we honor you, because honor is the culture of the kingdom.

Now, when we pick David and the story of David, and we know he’s a man after God’s own heart, which means he had the heart of a king before he ever became a king, we find that David’s heart was full of honor. I think the first time we meet David, David’s father has brought in all of his brother in to be potentially chosen as the next king of Israel. And he’s left David out in the sheep in the pasture. He doesn’t even bring him in.
And yet David doesn’t feel dishonored, he doesn’t get angry, he doesn’t go home and say, I’m going to show my dad and put it on TikTok video, probably more like this, you know, or whatever. No. He just honors his dad and does what he’s supposed to do. We watch as David honors his friends and keeps every commitment he ever made to them. We watch as David honors his men and shares all the treasure and the plunder that he gets with them. And maybe the most fascinating thing, we watch David honor his enemy. You see, Saul is the current king of Israel. And Saul knows David has been chosen to be the next king of Israel. And so for more than ten years, David has to run from Saul. Saul is this evil, demonic, dark man and he’s got the heart of an orphan. And he wants to do everything he can to kill David. And so for ten years, David is on the run. He’s living in the wilderness, in caves, in rocks, in the mountains, because everywhere Saul goes, he’s trying to find, to hunt down David and kill him.

And one day, as Saul is out there trying to find David, David and his men know they’re close. So David and his men are hiding in this cave. And Saul comes along and he comes into the very cave where David and his men are in the backend. And he goes into the cave to use the bathroom. And while Saul is in the cave using the bathroom, David’s men are whispering to David, they’re like, David, this is the day. We’re going to be able to go home. Go wipe that dude out. And David sneaks up behind Saul and he takes his sword. And instead of killing Saul, he just cuts off the very corner of his robe. Saul walks out of the cave, goes a distance away. And David comes out and he hollers out, Saul, and he bows down before him. And he says, Saul, look, I honor you. I could have killed you, but I honored you.

And I love this verse, go to the next verse for me. It says afterward, David was conscious stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him for he is the anointed of the Lord.” In other words, David got it. He understood that Saul was someone who was worthy of honor regardless of how Saul was behaving. And it bothered him so much that he cut off of even a corner of his robe that it like impacted his consciousness. Like David got it. He wasn’t going to lift his hand towards Saul, he wasn’t going to raise his voice towards Saul. No, he’s just going to honor Saul with his heart. You see, when there is royalty in here, honor comes out of here. But when there is rebellion in here, dishonor comes out of here.

That’s why Jesus says, “The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart.”

Whatever is in here comes out of here. So can I ask you a question, what does your honor or lack thereof to those around you tell you about what’s actually happening in here? Come on, honor is the culture of the kingdom. And it’s something we have to learn. In fact, it’s even in one of the 10 commandments. Look at this next verse, “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.” Honor your father and mother. In other words, honor is something we are supposed to learn in family. It’s something we’re supposed to learn at home. It’s something we’re supposed to learn from our mom and our dad. But the truth is a lot of us don’t learn honor in our home for a variety of reasons. Well, guess what, then we’re supposed to learn it here. Because this is spiritual family. And so it’s in this family we’re constantly trying to teach you what honor looks like and why it matters.

And it’s something we have to learn. Like I remember being a young pastor and my boss had an assistant, and she just didn’t like me very much. She was always against me, she was always picking on me, she was always asking me where I had been, what I was doing, where I was going, what I had been about, like all — and it was driving me absolutely crazy. So one day I went into my boss’s office and I just kind of went off, I’m like, she’s always asking me where I am or where I’m going, or what I’m doing, and how long I was and why I was there, and she’s not my boss so she shouldn’t be asking me that, and I shouldn’t be — and answer to her. He just kind of looked at and said, hey, John, you need to learn a little bit about honor. Why don’t you just go ahead and honor her and honor me by telling her where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing because it really isn’t that big of a deal to you but it is to her. So why don’t you just get over yourself and honor her instead of being worried about your rights, your preferences or your opinions?

And in that moment I started to learn that you know what, honor isn’t really about what I want or what I think is right or what my opinion is, it’s about living a life that’s for the good of others and the glory of God. And what I want you to see here is that honor releases life. It’s the first commandment with a promise, that when there’s honor in our heart, he promises that it will go well with us and that we will enjoy long life. In other words, honor releases life. Honor releases the Kingdom of God into the atmosphere and in the environment around us. It’s honor that brings the supernatural power of God into the atmosphere. And so when we hear, God your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, well guess what, the kingdom is full of honor. And so if we’re serious about seeing his kingdom come to this earth, then we’ve got to choose to be people of honor because it’s honor that releases the kingdom and brings it into the tangible atmosphere around us.

In fact, do you remember — do you remember the time when Jesus went back to his hometown, and he’s there and the power of God is there with him. And he’s there and he can — he’s there ready to do all these miracles, but they’re offended at Jesus. They start looking at him and they start saying things, they’re like, wait a second, this is Joseph’s son, this is Mary’s boy. Wait a second, that’s that carpenter kid, like I know him. And I know his brother and his sister. And I played sports with that — like who does this guy think he is? And look what it says, next verse. “Only in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without” – say it with me – “honor.” And so he could not do any miracles there. Wow. Jesus is there to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, do the supernatural, demonstrate the kingdom of God. But because they had no honor, he could not do any miracles there.

Dishonor disables. It stops the very move of God from happening. It’s not that Jesus didn’t want to do anything, no, no. It’s that they were unwilling to honor them with their heart, so they couldn’t release the kingdom into the atmosphere. I wonder how many times in your life and my life does God show up like today, and He wants to do something but He can’t because there’s no honor in our heart. Because we don’t honor the word, because we don’t honor His presence, because we don’t honor people, because we don’t honor His — whatever it is, dishonor disables. And it stops the kingdom from flowing. And the problem is we don’t call it dishonor. Like let me step on toes a little bit, okay?

Are you ready for this? So come on, I told you in the beginning, this is going to be to inspire you and challenge you. Here’s a little bit of challenge. Just a little uncomfortable. Like we just call it being late. Okay. Do you understand when you’re late for somebody else, it’s actually dishonor because you’re saying your time is more valuable than theirs. Okay, when you register for something or commit to something and don’t show, just understand, that’s dishonor. Why? Because you’re saying your convenience is more important that someone else’s preparation. Come on, if you gossip about somebody, it’s actually dishonor because what you’re saying is your frustration is more important than their reputation. If you’re on your phone when you’re spending time with somebody else, it’s actually dishonor because you’re saying someone else is more valuable than the person sitting right across the table from you. See, we don’t call it dishonor but it’s actually dishonor. It’s treating as commonplace, as unvaluable, as familiar. And without honor, there can’t be any miracles.
So I’m convinced that the biggest barrier to the kingdom coming is us. We think it’s the city, or the government, or those people, it’s us. It’s us not cultivating a heart and a spirit of honor and saying, God, I’m so desperate for you to come and do that which only that you can do. Now, I’m going to choose to be a person of honor because you give me a heart of royalty. Dishonor does not belong in the heart of a king. Are you with me on this? In fact, let me show you one more before I get into what do we actually do. Jesus says, “Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.” You say, what on earth? Anyone who honors a prophet will get what I want to do through a prophet’s life. It’s what he’s saying. Anyone who honors a prophet will receive from God that which God wants to do through a prophet’s life.

What is a prophet? A prophet hears from God and speaks to people. So he’s saying, if you’ll honor a prophet, you’ll hear my voice in profound ways. Okay. But now apply it to your life because you’re like, I don’t know any prophets. That’s okay. Honor a teacher and you’ll get a teacher’s reward. Huh. If I honor a teacher I get a teacher’s reward. What’s a teacher’s reward? Intelligence, understanding, knowledge, education. Honor a boss and you’ll receive a boss or a leader’s reward. What is that? Vision, direction, protection. Honor a spouse and you’ll receive a spouse’s reward? What’s a spouse’s reward? Intimacy and covenant and unconditional love. Receive a friend and you’ll receive a friend’s reward. What is that? Love and understanding, and someone to walk with you and know you and know your heart. Receive a spiritual leader with honor and you’ll receive a spiritual leader’s reward. What is that? It’s revelation and wisdom and faith, hope and love.

See, it’s honor that opens the kingdom into our life.

The problem is we just don’t know how to do honor because all we see really is dishonor. And so we think we fight dishonor with dishonor like, I’ll show you. No. You come with the opposite spirit. And let’s be honest, dishonor is raging in the world right now, yes? So how do we cultivate the opposite spirit? The heart of honor, the heart of a king. Four things, got to go through these with you quick. You with me on that? Come on, at home, are you with me on that? If you’re in the room, you’re supposed to say yeah there too. Okay. First thing is this, honor God. If you want to learn how to cultivate a heart of honor, first thing you have to do is honor God. If we look at the life of David, one of the things that’s so fascinating is how much he honored God. Read the Psalms, all David did was worship, and pray, and kneel, and bow, and submit, and surrender, and lift up his voice, in his heart, in his hands, give gifts to God, and sacrifice — I mean he honored God with everything that he had.

And because he was so used to honoring God, it was so easy for him to honor Saul. You see, if you really want to learn to have the heart of honor, it starts by honoring God. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” You can’t love your neighbor until you first love God. And you can’t honor you neighbor until you first learn how to honor God. This is why David says in Psalm, “I will praise God’s name with singing and I will honor Him with thanksgiving.” It was like, David knew that honoring God was going to teach him how to be a man of honor. Because when you spend time in the presence of the king, you learn how to live with the heart of a king. You will never find someone in this world that honors people that doesn’t first honor God.

It’s impossible. Why? Because it’s in honoring God that we learn how to honor others. And this is why worship is such a big deal. Do you understand what we did this morning as we gathered around God’s presence? Do you know what you did? You honored God. You realized He’s not common. He’s not just this familiar thing that I can take advantage of and take for granted. No, no. He’s the most valuable thing in the entire universe. So I’m entering into the king’s court. I’m coming to the king’s throne by the blood of Jesus. And so when you’re worshipping, you’re lifting your song, you’re lifting up your hands and surrender. You’re bowing down in humility. You’re saying, you’re my king. You’re my king, you’re the king of my heart and I honor you today. And I’ve got a pen because I know you’re ready to speak to me. It’s like honor, honor, honor Him. And that cultivates honor in here. That’s why for years, I’ve tried to tell you, it’s like I can come for worship and leave for the message. If you’re so busy you can’t be here, I get it. That’s fine.

But come and meet with the king. And until you learn to treat Him like He’s a king, you will never live with the heart of a king. And so if you’re at home and online, here’s one of my concerns for you is, just don’t let it become commonplace. Still come to the realization that you are right now meeting with the king of the universe, and treat him with honor. Because if you dishonor God, come on, it’s so easy to dishonor each other. So it starts there.

Second thing is simply this. Remember who they are. We usually say, remember who you are. But remember who they are. Think about this for a second. David never forgot who Saul was. Even Saul was evil, even though Saul was demonically oppressed, even though Saul was trying to kill him and chase him down, all of those years David never forgot that Saul was God’s anointed, God’s appointed, made in the image and likeness of God, and through the hand of God lifted up as the king of Israel.

He never forgot it. In fact, he engaged Saul based on Saul’s calling, not Saul’s behavior. This is huge. Listen, the people in your life, they may not have the heart of a king, they may not act like a king, they may not behave like a king, talk like a king, move like a king, they may not have the aura of a king, but guess what, they’re still worthy of honor. Why? Because of their calling, not their behavior. See, every person on the earth is worthy of honor for three reasons. One, they were made in the image and likeness of God. Two, they’ve been given gifts and talents by God that represent His greatness. And three, they have a calling and a destiny upon their life to live a royal life, the life with the heart of a king.

So from no other reasons than that, no matter how awful, rebellious, terrible person they are, how much they disagree with you, they’re still made in the image and likeness of God, which is worthy of honor. They have gifts and talents in their life that demonstrate the greatness of God. We have got to learn to recognize greatness. When you look at worldly people and they have this incredible music talent, this incredible artistic ability, this incredible ability to lead, and to do things, and to be in healthcare and sports and education, and all these, like you have to learn to look at that and say, that’s a reflection of the greatness of God. So even though you don’t believe in God, even though they don’t want anything to do with God, they’re still worthy of honor because they’re demonstrating the greatness of God through the gifts of their life. And they’ve been called by God for greatness. And I know a lot of us are sitting here and we think, but they’re not a believer so I can’t honor them.

Maybe if honor more unbelievers, there would be more believers. Maybe if we honor the calling on people’s life more people would rise up to the calling of their life. It’s honor that lifts people up. So come on, Romans 13:7 says, “Give to everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect then respect; if honor then honor.” You know what this verse tells us? That you actually owe people honor like a tax. You actually owe people honor like a mortgage payment you got to make. Why? Because they’re made in the image and likeness of God, they’ve got gifts and talents in their life, and they’ve been called by God to live a life of greatness even when they’re not. And don’t honor people because their behavior is worthy of honor. Honor people because you have the heart of a king.

Because you are honorable. This is Jesus, he never forgot who people were. This is why he can walk up and touch the leper that no one wanted to be around. This is why he can go to Zaccheus’ house and hang out with him. This is why he could let the woman anoint his feet, or hang out with the Samaritan at the well. That’s why he could treat Pilate with honor and respect. Why? Because he never forgot who God made them to be. We forget. Come on, Genesis 1:27 says, “Let us make man in our image and our likeness and let them rule.” We think about us in this verse. But it’s also true of them. They’ve been made in the image and likeness of God and they’ve been empowered by God to rule. So guess what, when you go to the checkout, and you don’t like that person and how they’re behaving and what they’re doing, they’ve still been empowered by God to rule and reign over that space in His image and His likeness. So don’t treat them like a slave, treat them like a king. When you engage with a police officer and you don’t like it, guess what? He’s been empowered by God with that authority over that space.

And he’s been made in the image and likeness of God, so treat him not like a servant but like a king. When you go to your classroom and you don’t like what your teacher is doing, guess what? God has given your teacher the authority to rule and reign over that class. And they’ve been made in the image and likeness of God. So don’t treat them like a servant, treat them like a king. Come on, if you forget who they are, it’s because you’ve forgotten who you are. You’ve been given the heart of a king and we need to treat them like they are kings because that’s who God has called them to be even when they’re not. Are you with me on that? Come on, are you with me on that?

Okay, third thing is this. It’s one you’re going to like the least. Refuse to be offended. Refuse to be offended. You’re like, I just go offended in that last point. I know, that’s why I kept this one here. Refuse to be offended. Listen, David never was offended by Saul. Ten years guys. Some of us are offended because of ten seconds. Ten years, he’s been running from Saul and he never got offended.

In fact, when Saul dies, do you know what David does? He weeps. You’re like, yeah, he’s weeping and celebrate. He weeps over the devastating loss of the king of Israel. He had no offense in his heart. How? Because his heart was so full of honor, there wasn’t any room for offense. I need you to understand this. Offense and honor cannot coexist. Where there is honor, there will be no offense. Where there is offense, it’s because there is no honor. Where there is honor, there can be no offense. Where there is offense, it’s because there is no honor. They can’t coexist. You say how? Well, think about what an offense is. An offense is, I’m offended at you because you hurt me, you bothered me, you did something I disagree with, you said something I don’t like, and so thereby I feel dishonored by you, so I’m now going to dishonor you.

You see, an offense demands justice. Honor offers grace. And if you will choose to fill your hear with honor, there will be no room left for offense. It’s like a refrigerator. Have you ever tried to like put something in your fridge when it’s so full of other stuff there’s no room? If you fill your heart with honor, there’s no room for offense. The problem is we don’t intentionally fill our heart with honor, so we unintentionally become a full of offense. We say like, oh I’m not offended at you. That’s fine, maybe not today. But if you don’t pack this thing with honor, guess what, somebody is going to do or say or move or think or brief for goodness sakes in a way that you don’t like, and that offense will take root in your heart because honor wasn’t active and engaged in there.

Come on. Think about Jesus, was Jesus ever offended? He wasn’t offended at Pilate who was sentencing him to death. He wasn’t offended at the Pharisees who wanted to see him crucified. He wasn’t offended at his friends for bailing on him. He wasn’t offended for the crowd for — he wasn’t offended at Judas who he’s sharing a bowl with. Why? Because his heart was so full of honor there wasn’t any room for offense. The problem is what we want to do is want to treat other people according to their worst and have them treat us according to our best. It just doesn’t work like that though. We need to hold a mirror to ourselves and see all of our flaws and brokenness and realize that humility is the beginning of honor. And we need to take a magnifying glass on their life, not for their failures, but for their greatness, for the good things that God has done and is doing and reveals through their life, and call it out and draw attention to it, and celebrate it and lift it up.

And I know you’re like, but I don’t agree with them. I know. You can still honor people you don’t agree with. Or like, I don’t know that I agree with that. But you can. Look what Jesus says in Matthew, he says, “You have heard that it was said” – in other words, this is how the world lives – “love your neighbor and hate your enemy” – honor people who think like, talk like, act like, live like, agree exactly with you. “But I tell you” – the heart of a king is – “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Because if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors? Does not even the world do that?” He says, hey, you’ve been given the heart of a king. And the heart of a king is to choose to honor those that you don’t agree with. See, we get so messed up with this because we see it as ingenuine or we see it as inauthentic.

Like that you can literally stand up and cheer for someone to celebrate greatness in their life even though you completely disagree with them. Do you understand that you can do that? Drawing attention to the greatness in someone’s life doesn’t mean you agree with the totally of their life. It doesn’t mean that you celebrate this area of brokenness that God wants to restore. It just means you celebrate that they’re alive and made in the image and likeness of God, and that you recognize the greatness inside of them and who they are. That’s the heart of a king. And the more you do that, the less offense gets piled up in here. You need honor flowing through you to keep you free from the offense that wants to get inside you. That’s why Jesus literally says, “The kingdom of God is like a king who went to settle his accounts.” The kingdom is like a king who went to settle his accounts. In other words, the heart of a king is to refuse to be offended, is to refuse to allow there to be any outstanding debts, is to refuse to allow there to be any offense in their heart.

And if we’re honest, we’re all kind of offended right now. Can I just say it like that? And if that just offended you, you’re like, I’m not offended. I just offended you so now you join the club. We’re all offended. We’re offended about masks or no masks. We’re offended about politics. We’re offended about school and education and business and the economy and sports, and what I can do and what I can’t do, and why will you do this but you won’t do that. You say COVID keeps you from this, but then I want you to –okay, we’re offended because there’s no honor. If you intentionally fill your heart with honor, you won’t unintentionally get filled with offense. And so here’s what we got to hear Jesus say, go to the next verse, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” In other words, here’s what Jesus says, this is what a king would do. Hey, this is what a king would do.

Do you want to do what a king would do or do you want to keep doing what the slaves and the orphans and the rebels and the Pharisees do? Come on. Offense does not belong in the heart of a king. Honor does. Honor does. And the more offended you are with that person the more you need to honor them because that’s the only way that offense is coming out. Celebrate their greatness, draw attention to, value, esteem, lift up. Doesn’t mean you agree with everything that they’re doing. It doesn’t mean all of a sudden, your politics are their politics or your beliefs — no. It just means I’m going to honor them because I’m a person of honor. Come on. I got a whole another point that I want to get to, but I’m already out of time and I think I need to leave this one for you a little bit.
Faith without works is dead. Honor without action is not honor.

In fact, one more verse for you. Matthew 15. Matthew 15, look what Jesus says, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” Huh. In other words, Jesus says, honor is not just this cheap lip service. Honor is a heart that is moving towards that person. Here’s what we think honor is. Yeah, they’re a really nice person, as you’re moving away from them. Honor is, you know I’m really struggling with that decision, with how you act, with how you behave, but I’m going to choose to move my heart towards you and I’m going to esteem you and value you and celebrate you. See, if honor is a value, then you have to be willing to pay the cost to honor someone.

There’s always a cost. It might cost you your pride, it might cost you your time, it might cost you your convenience, it might cost you words, it might cost you gifts and finances, because honor is often very tangible. Okay, pay the cost. Pay the cost. Why? Because whatever is in here flows out to every other area of your life. And when there’s honor in here, it will flow out to every area of your life. And when there’s offense in here — if you’re offended at the government right now, just understand that that offense is in here and it’s flowing into your marriage, your parenting, your finances, your job, to God. So clear it out of being a person of honor. Come on, you’ve been given the heart of a king. And if there’s no honor in your heart, it’s because you forgot you’ve been honored. You forgot that when you are at your worst, when you are an enemy with God, hostile to Him, wanting nothing to do with Him, Jesus decided he saw the greatness that was made in you, and he came and he laid down his life at the cross and lifted you up because he wanted to honor you.

Now, you are responsible to let that honor flow through you into the world around you. And so today is like a call-you-up day. Like come on, call you up to a bigger way of life, through the spirit and the grace of God. This week when you go and you’re on Facebook and you’re about to like write that thing or comment on that post, just stop and say, is this what a king would do? This week when you’re in that conversation with somebody you don’t really like, and you’re about to say that thing, just stop and say, is this what a king would say? This week when you’re about to act in that way that you’re about to act, just stop and say, is this how a king would act? If the answer is no, then it’s beneath you. Then it’s beneath you, so don’t go down. Come up. And we don’t always get this right. I don’t always get this right, but it starts by saying, God, I want to have a soft, submitted and tender heart to you.

Honor is the culture of the kingdom. And it’s honor that releases the kingdom into the world around us. So you close your eyes with me. Come on, what’s God want to say to you today? What’s he want to whisper in your heart or in your mind? Honor is such a foreign concept to us, we don’t really know what to do with it. But it is the heart of the king. And when you put your faith in Jesus, he gives you that new nature. He gives you that knew heart. And that honor starts to churn and work inside of you.

Come on. Where are you offended? That’s maybe the fastest way to just locate the dishonor in your heart. And what is God inviting you to do with it? Remember, it’s always the opposite. When there’s offense, there needs to be forgiveness. When there’s dishonor, there needs to be honor. We always cancel the debt but we got to credit the account if we actually wanted to move on. So today, I speak honor over you. I speak honor that you are made in the image and likeness of God. That there has been greatness placed inside of your DNA, inside of your life, inside of the gifts and talents that God has put upon you. And you have a calling and a destiny of royalty to rule and reign with God with the heart of the king. So today, I honor you. I value you.

We esteem you. We draw attention to you. We lift you up. And we say, you are valuable and we treat you with the value that you are worthy of in the name of Jesus. And Lord, not only do we honor each today, we honor you. You are the king, and we are part of your kingdom. May we learn to be men and women with a heart of honor in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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