Honoring the Audience of One!
“As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the Churches and an honour to Christ.” 2 Cor. 8:23
The Greek word used here for the word ‘honour’ is ‘doxa’, which means ‘glory’. Isn’t it amazing that Titus was called the ‘glory’ of Christ’? Every Christian should be called the glory of Christ. When Christ touches our lives, we share the joy that He gives us. Honouring God requires a Christian to be wise and not foolish. How can a foolish servant bring delight to his master? Or, how can a foolish son bring delight to his parents? In the same way, how can a foolish Christian bring delight to his God and be a witness to the unbeliever?
As we all know that there are non Christians who walk in the character and fruit of Christianity and living righteous lives. John Cotton said: What a shame were it, that pagan Magistrates should be more careful and zealous of the honour of their idols, than Christians of the honour of the known true God, the Lord Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier?
If we say we are Christians but lack wisdom in our dealings, we act in contempt to the word of God. We cause shame to Christianity. Proverbs 14:35 says, “A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.” Every servant or employee of an organisation is penalised for the repeated mistakes. In order for us to honour God, we must first seek to do the things that will please God so that He would delight in us.
Proverbs 11:20 says, “The Lord detests men of perverse heart but He delights in those whose ways are blameless.” Many, who claim to be Christians, have a notion that if they commit small instances of unrighteousness, it is alright and that God will forgive them. They persist in those acts of unrighteousness and make it a habit. A habitual sin turns into a deadly element that stains the soul and throws the person outside the gates of sanctification. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left” Hebrews 10:26.
What is the message that Christ has given us? As J. Sidlow Baxter said: Fundamentally, our Lord’s message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, “I am the bread.” He did not come merely to shed light; He said, “I am the light.” He did not come merely to show the door; He said, “I am the door.” He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, “I am the shepherd.” He did not come merely to point the way; He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” – John 14:6.
The problem with us is that we don’t know Him well enough to honour Him. We have lost the reverent fear of the Lord. As the Bible says, that the ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’, the beginning of wisdom is the end of fear. When a Christian lives in the wisdom of the Lord, he or she will by default live a life that pleases the Lord with great honour and love. When we love the Lord and grow in His loving kindness and tender mercies, we no longer need to fear Him with the fear of retribution, but with the fear of reverence while putting our hope in His unfailing love for us. As the word of God says, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Proverbs 147:11.
Sometimes we bend down to pick up something and we forget what we bent down for. In the same way, when we bow down in adoration, we sometimes forget the Glory and Majesty of our Creator.
When we please the Lord in our daily walk, no evil shall we fear, there would be no mountain in life that is too tall to climb or no storm too hostile that God cannot calm. In the midst of every situation, God is able to make our feet strong and to keep our steps firm. The word of God stands true to that. Proverbs 37:23 says, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm”
When a master is pleased with his servant, he honours the servant and delights in him. He offers the servant a bonus; he treats his servant with respect and dignity. A father treats his children with the reverence as they are the heirs of his mansion. Inasmuch the same way or more, God our Father calls us to His inheritance in the abundance of His great glory. “They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” Psalms 36:8.
Are we honouring Christ through our brethren? Are we honouring Him through our service to others? As someone expressed: Do you want to honour the Body of Christ? Then do not despise His nakedness. Do not honour Him here [in Church] clothed in silk vestments and then ignore Him, naked and frozen in the street. Always remember that He who said, “This is my body”, and gave effect to His word, also said, “I was hungry and you gave me not food”, and inasmuch as you did not do it to one of these, you did not do it to me”.