The faith journey that we undertake as new creations in Christ is one that leads us into a greater experience of God’s love, a deeper insight into His character, and further revelation of His blessings and miracles, all of which become increasingly evident the longer we walk with Him.
With all that being considered, is it not only right then that we honor the One who took us out of the darkness of despair, saved us from eternal damnation, and gave us new hope through the light of His forgiving mercy and grace?
However, what does it mean to “honor” God?
Why Should We Honor God?
King David wrote in Psalm 27:14 (AMPC), “What, what would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!”
God loved us before we loved Him by sacrificing His only Son Jesus for us. If not for His sacrifice on the Cross, we would still be held spiritually captive by our own sins and be destined to spend eternity in damnation under the will of Satan.
Isn’t that reason enough to honor Him?
Mankind Has Failed to Honor God
Despite the ultimate sacrifice God made in giving up His only Son for us, mankind, in general, has failed to honor God with the respect and honor that He deserves.
The Bible records occurrences where humans apostatized by worshiping foreign idols and disregarding God’s laws. In Job 6:5-6, God was troubled by the wickedness of the people and even regretted creating humans.
When Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive God’s commandments, the Israelites turned from God and worshiped a golden calf idol made from molten jewelry and ornaments.
Likewise, today, man has chosen to worship the idols of the world such as materialism, prestige, and status, instead of prioritizing God in their lives.
Romans 1:21 describes this well: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
What Does it Mean to Honor God?
To honor God means first and foremost that you recognize Him as the highest authority in heaven and on Earth. He is the One who created the universe, from the largest planet to the tiniest grain of sand, and no person, power, spirit, or force can contend with His greatness and might.
Another key revelation to honoring God is recognizing that we, as humans, are sinners, therefore, we need the mercy, grace, and power of a loving Savior to love, protect, and guide us on our life journey.
Honoring God also means that we submit to His ways and know that He has a good and wonderful plan for our lives (John 10:10). This requires that we walk in obedience with Him and trust His ways, even when we don’t understand why bad things are happening to us.
Lastly, and most importantly, to honor God means to not only respect Him for what He does for us but to love Him for who He is.
Honoring God is a daily commitment. The following are ways in which we can give Him the honor He deserves every day.
Honor God with Your Heart
Honoring God begins first and foremost in our hearts (Proverbs 3:5). It is a conscious decision we make to put Him first and foremost in our lives. It is the ultimate declaration of love towards our Father and a commandment from Jesus! (Matthew 22:37-38).
Having a heart attitude towards God also means that we constantly practice gratitude for all that He has done in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Honor God with Your Lips
God in all His majesty deserves our praise. Therefore, honor God by verbally expressing your gratitude for His goodness (2 Chronicles 20). Additionally, lift your voice in song and worship Him (Psalm 95:1; Colossians 3:16).
There are many types of Christian music that are available on platforms such as Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer, and more. You can even tune into Christian radio stations.
Furthermore, honor God with your words (Proverbs 18:21). Love others as God loves us by choosing to speak kindly and positively to people.
Also refrain from expressing profanities, including taking the Lord’s name in vain. Finally, don’t be afraid to give testimonies to others of God’s goodness (Psalm 22:22).
Honor God with Your Life
You may be the only Bible that someone will ever read, so try and live a life that reflects God’s love and teachings.
Instead of glorifying yourself through the pursuit of self, glorify God (John 3:30).
On a personal level, live a daily life that honors God. Spend time with Him daily in prayer and worship. Read the Bible to grow in the knowledge of God’s teachings that will increase your faith and solidify your trust in Him (James 4:8).
Try and implement God’s teachings into your life by walking in love, obedience, and trust. Forgive others, just like God forgave you.
In your home, treat your spouse with biblical reverence and respect (Ephesians 5:22-23) and teach your children God’s ways in order that they may grow up to be formidable men and women of Christ (Proverbs 22:6).
Also, the Bible calls us to respect governing authorities, for they have been established by Him (Romans 13:1-2). We may not always agree with our leader’s policies or find them personable, but we should not break the law in defiance of their leadership.
Lastly, honor God with your body. When you pray and worship, adopt a stance of obedience and humility by bowing down, kneeling, or raising your arms.
If we can raise our arms and jump around at a football match or concert, then surely, we can physically express our honor to God!
As part of honoring God with your body, look after your nutrition, exercise, and refrain from abusing your body with addictive substances, as well as engaging in immoral sexual activities (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
The Holy Spirit resides in us; therefore, we should strive to keep our bodies as a temple to honor Him with.
Honor God with Your Finances
Everything you have — your car, your house, your job — has been given to you by God. Therefore, show Him that you are grateful for His provision by offering Him a tithe of your earnings every month.
Contrary to some Christian’s opinions on this subject, tithing is relevant under the New Testament (Matthew 6:21; Luke 11:42). Furthermore, the undeniable fact remains that nothing belongs to us — it belongs to God, who graciously provides.
Therefore, is it not only fair, that we honor Him by answering His call (Malachi 3:10) to give back a tenth of that provision in gratitude? After all, God graciously states that we can keep the rest.
All things considered, God Himself gave the ultimate offering to us — His Son Jesus. If God can give up His Son so that we can live in eternal righteousness with Him, how difficult can it be for you to give up a tenth of your finances for Him?
If you would like to know more about the importance of tithing, I highly recommend reading The Blessed Life by Pastor Robert Morris. Transformation Church has also taught an eye-opening YouTube series on tithing and giving.
Honor God by Sharing His Word with Others
As children of God, we have all been called to spread the Word of God to others (Matthew 28:19). Therefore, ask God what you can do to share His Word with others.
Ministering can take the form of using your God-given talents to serve others, to give financially, to go on missions, or even to open your home to host a Bible study group, if current social restrictions allow it.
Additionally, you can help your neighbors, ring a friend who’s feeling isolated, or buy a homeless person a cup of coffee.
It’s not always about what you say, rather it’s about showing the love of God that is in your heart. It is this love that others will see and respond to.
In Order to Honor God, We Must Honor Jesus
God states in His Word that by honoring Jesus, we thereby honor Him:
“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:22-23).
So, how do we honor Jesus? By accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, and by acknowledging His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary, through accepting His gift of Salvation:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
Lastly, we should endeavor to love others like Jesus loved during His ministry on earth:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
God Honors Us When We Honor Him
In 1 Samuel 2:30, God specifically declares that He honors those, who honor Him: “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”
How does God honor us?
Honoring God is not something we do as Christians out of a sense of duty or to gain His favor. Rather, it is a daily expression of recognition, respect, and gratitude towards the One who loved us when we were sinners and His enemy.
If you feel in your heart that you haven’t been giving God the honor He deserves, show Him how much He means to you by putting Him first in your life from today.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Iyan Kurnia
Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England but currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon. As a response to the fear, anxiety, and despair generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacob’s Ladder Blog has written a free EBook titled “More than Conquerors through Christ” to encourage, strengthen, and give hope in the midst of this pandemic. You can download the EBook or read it online at www.jacobsladderblog.com.