Sunday, March 08, 2009

Honor's Reward

Here is the small group curriculum I wrote to accompany the message John Bevere presented this weekend in our church services.  
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Big Idea:
God made it very clear that showing honor is essential when He stated, “Those who honor Me, I will honor, but those who despise Me will be disdained.” Understanding the Biblical principle of honor is critical to all followers of Christ.

Summary:
Honoring others is not a popular theme promoted in the world today. The spiritual law of honor is often overlooked by a self-focused and critical generation. However, our decision to integrate the principle of honor into every aspect of life, both functionally and spiritually, will significantly affect us today and for eternity. The Greek word used for honor in the Bible is best defined as “valuing”. To show someone honor is to treat him or her as valuable, precious, and esteemed. We are called by God’s Word to extend honor to our Creator, those in authority over us, our peers, and those who are under our authority. This extends to the four areas of New Testament delegated authority: civil, family, social, and church. 

How we value, respect, and treat others matters so greatly to God that it affects our heavenly and earthly rewards. The Bible gives us examples of how a full reward is offered to those who truly show honor to others by valuing and respecting them; a partial reward is experienced by those who are selective in how they honor others; and no reward is given to those who handle God and others with indifference. Our ultimate reward is eternity in the presence of God Almighty. In several parables, Jesus indicated that faithful disciples would receive great rewards. Sometimes the reward is described as rulership, but Jesus also used other ways to describe our reward: the gift of salvation is symbolized by one day’s wage, a marriage banquet, inheriting a kingdom, being put in charge of all the master’s possessions, rulership over cities, and authority over the nations. However, we don’t want to be people who simply obey God for what we can get out of it. Rather, we need to catch His heart and allow His precepts to penetrate us. Let’s make honor an integral part of who we are and how we treat others. 

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss) 

Matthew 10:40-42
In this passage, Matthew uses the word “receive” which is a synonym for “honor”. Based on this passage, who does Jesus say we should honor? How does this passage associate honor and reward? Discuss what kind of rewards Matthew may be referring to. 

Romans 13:3-7 & 1 Peter 2:17
How can you show your civil leaders honor when you don’t agree with them politically or morally? What should we do if honoring our civil authority compromises honoring God? Discuss ways that we can honor our pastors and spiritual authorities. 

Matthew 19:27-29 & Mark 10:29-30
Is giving everything for the sake of following Christ worth it? What kind of rewards does Jesus outline? Does Jesus promise an easy life for His followers? 

Taking Action: Does your life exhibit honor? Are you showing honor to God, those in authority over you, your peers, your spouse, and those under your authority? Choose this day to honor God and others, and enjoy the rewards. 

Ministry Time

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