Gift of Honor
Football practice was over, and Denny was sore from head to toe.
Slowly he climbed the graffiti-laden stairway of the aging apartment building.
Suddenly, his mother’s chilling screams pierced the cold, still air.
He had heard the sound many times before.
Still, a sickening knot formed in Denny’s stomach.
Denny had tried for years, without success, to quell his father’s drunken fits of anger and abuse.
Today would be different.
Something snapped inside him.
With adrenaline pumping, Denny stormed through the apartment door and tore his dad away from his mother.
Hardened by years of football training, he hammered his dad with two quick punches.
Then, empowered by years of burning memories, he lifted his father from the floor and threw him through their second-story window.
Amazingly, his father sustained only minor injuries in the fall.
But memories of what he’d done haunted Denny through two marriages and a string of friendships shattered by a fiery temper.
Alcoholism, something he swore would never destroy his life as it had his father’s, slowly ate away at him as well.
Little did Denny realize that if he had any chance at all for a worthwhile life, it would come by learning to honor his dad.
Miraculously, even Denny discovered the freedom to be found in honoring his dad.
After six years Denny finally consented to attend church with an old high school team-mate and placed his faith in Jesus Christ.
Soon he met and married a wonderful Christian widow.
Prompted by his wife and several Christian friends, Denny placed three phone calls to his dad over the course of seven years.
Each call began with, “Dad, I love you,” only to be abruptly cut off with a prompt “click” on the other end.
Finally, on the fourth attempt, Denny was able to convince his father to listen.
In the ensuing moments, he explained how much his life had changed, and how he could forgive and honor his dad now because of all he had been forgiven.
Several months passed.
One day his mother called him at the office with the shocking news that his father was near death.
Before he could leave for the airport, his mother called again to report that his dad had disappeared.
His father had checked into an alcoholic rehabilitation clinic in order to be able to talk with Denny about spiritual things, sober, before he died.
Denny did see his father again, and had the incredible privilege of leading him to the Lord.
Several months later, his dad died.
Denny waits with great anticipation to see him again, eager to pick up where they left off.
Having found the freedom in giving the gift of honor, Denny now moves through life unencumbered by the chains of hate that once paralyzed him.
By choosing to bestow honor, even when it wasn’t deserved, he liberated himself and brought his dad to Christ.
For Denny, and for many others, the gift of honor is the gift of life.
Responsibilities of the Priesthood
The primary responsibilities of a holy priesthood are to offer spiritual sacrifices, carry the presence of God, teach the Scriptures, lead and guide, be a prophetic voice of the sound of God, and rule in the Spirit through prayer.
6 Primary Responsibilities
Offer Spiritual Sacrifices
Carry the Presence of God
Teach the Scriptures
Lead and Guide
Be a Prophetic Voice
Rule in the Spirit through Prayer
The true priest prays for more than himself, he also intercedes for others before God.
As a priest, we must assume the daily task of:
Presenting our natural and spiritual families before God.
Salvation for those who do not yet know Christ.
Healing for the sick and oppressed.
Deliverance for those enslaved to drugs and other vices.
Prosperity for those who live in poverty and feel hopeless.
Freedom for God’s people from all yokes of evil.
Cover your children, wife/spouse, work, business, city, nation, and church of Jesus Christ.
Cry of Millions
I NEED A FATHER IS THE HEART CRY OF MILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD
What is Honor?
Honor is good reputation, respect, purity, and integrity.
Honor is esteem and respect.
Only in the Bible, however, do we gain a true perspective on honor.
The OT required children to honor their parents (Ex 20:12), a command that reappears in the ethic of the NT (Eph 6:1–2).
Undergirding such action is an even more basic obligation: the giving of honor to God, who worthily merits our devoted obedience (Rv 4:11).
Proverbs 3:9 presents the law’s requirement that one should honor the Lord with his gifts and with the firstfruits of his entire harvest.
Honoring God, then, is expressed in the commitment of both life and possessions to the Lord’s service.
That people do not honor God as they should is a lamentable truth of Scripture.
In all of history only Jesus Christ truly honored the Father by submitting himself totally to the divine will.
His submission led him to the cross, the means whereby Christ is now extremely exalted (Is 52:13–53:12).
God the Father raised Christ to his permanent position as our great High Priest, an honor of incalculable significance (Heb 5:4–5).
Jesus taught that the one who serves him would also be honored by his Father (Jn 12:26); conversely, those who reject him also reject God the Father (15:23).
Christians are called upon to honor one another—that is, each is to consider his fellow believer more worthy of esteem than himself (Rom 12:10).
This orientation receives impetus from the affirmation of 1 Peter 1:7, where Christians are said to possess honor.
Showing honor to others should affect one’s entire lifestyle.
Honor is a gift we are commanded to give to God, then others, and particularly honoring our parents include the promise of long life.
Responsibility to Honor
Once there was a little old man.
His eyes blinked and his hands trembled; when he ate he clattered the silverware distressingly, missed his mouth with the spoon as often as not, and dribbled a bit of his food on the tablecloth.
Now he lived with his married son, having nowhere else to live, and his son's wife didn't like the arrangement.
"I can't have this," she said.
"It interferes with my right to happiness."
So she and her husband took the old man gently but firmly by the arm and led him to the corner of the kitchen.
There they set him on a stool and gave him his food in an earthenware bowl.
From then on he always ate in the corner, blinking at the table with wistful eyes.
One day his hands trembled rather more than usual, and the earthenware bowl fell and broke.
"If you are a pig," said the daughter-in-law, "you must eat out of a trough."
So they made him a little wooden trough and he got his meals in that.
These people had a four-year-old son of whom they were very fond.
One evening the young man noticed his boy playing intently with some bits of wood and asked what he was doing.
"I'm making a trough," he said, smiling up for approval, "to feed you and Mamma out of when I get big."
The man and his wife looked at each other for a while and didn't say anything.
Then they cried a little.
They then went to the corner and took the old man by the arm and led him back to the table.
They sat him in a comfortable chair and gave him his food on a plate, and from then on nobody ever scolded when he clattered or spilled or broke things.
One of Grimm's fairy tales, this anecdote has the crudity of the old, simple days.
One of the Ten Commandments states, “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex.
Jesus taught that to honor parents means to help them financially (Matt.