Lessons Of A Lifetime

The Honoring Of One Another
Or
The Sharing Of Spiritual Rewards
Sunday June 7, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“He [or she] who receives you receives Me, and he [or she] who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He [or she] who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he [or she] who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.”

“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he [or she] shall by no means lose his [or her] reward.” Matthew 10.40-42

Something To Consider:
In the culture of that day, to receive or to honor a person’s representative was the same as honoring or receiving that person. To welcome the messenger of another with love and hospitality was the same as welcoming the person from whom the messenger was sent. Therefore, Jesus was fully understood by those listening when He said; “He [or she] who receives you receives Me, and he [or she] who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

As these leaders in training were being sent out from village to village and city to city, they were going forth in the name and in the person of Jesus. And whoever received them, honored them, or welcomed them, in reality received, honored, and welcomed Jesus. And thereby honoring and welcoming Jesus, they likewise welcomed and honored God the Father who sent Jesus.

The first thing I must ask is, are we honoring Jesus, and thereby honoring God the Father? Do our lives and our attitudes honor and welcome Jesus in our daily lives? Without our honoring Jesus, there is no sharing of spiritual rewards. Without our welcoming Jesus into the affairs of our daily lives we therefore do not welcome God the Father into the affairs of our daily lives.

Jesus later, in Matthew 16.27, speaking of the end times, declared; “For the Son of Man [Jesus] will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his [or her] works.” It is a shame that many become nervous when we begin to claim that our eternal reward is tied to our works. And yet, it is exactly what the biblical account claims. Actually, it is exactly what Jesus, who is the Word of God, proclaimed!

Something Else To Consider:
But what did Jesus mean by the fact that He would reward individuals according to their works? In order to answer that question, we must look three verses earlier in Matthew 16.24. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me [Jesus], let him [or her] deny himself [or herself], and take up his [or her] cross and follow Me.” Jesus followed up by proclaiming, “For whoever desires to save his [or her] life will lose it, and whoever loses his [or her] life for My sake will find it.”

The Father in heaven so loved the world that He gave by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world. And according to Jesus, “God the Father did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Therefore, receiving, welcoming, or honoring Jesus not only honors the Father, but removes the cloud of condemnation and brings us closer to the point of receiving the reward of everlasting life found only in following Jesus.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus also explained; “He [or she] who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And the same is true of receiving a righteous man, and even to the giving of a single cup of cold water to another disciple. Not all of us are called to be prophets, those who are sent out by God to communicate the truths of the Word of God and the will of God on a larger scale. But we can as righteous men and women share in the spiritual rewards that await all who participate in the work of God on earth.

Whether we are a prophet, a righteous person, or a disciple, a new learner, or a new leader in training in the kingdom of God, we can all share in the spiritual rewards that are securely set aside for us. Hebrews 6.10 declares, “For God is not unjust to forget our work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” God knows of our honoring one another!

Luke recorded the words of Jesus in Luke 6.22-23, by writing; “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven.” How many in the name of Jesus have been hated, spoken evil of and excluded from fellowship because of their honoring Jesus by honoring His holy Word of God?

The book of Genesis has given us a most intriguing true story of a man of God named Abraham, who risked his family, his position, his possessions, and his life to rescue his nephew Lot and many captives of Sodom and Gomorrah before God’s judgment came upon those two cities. And after the daring rescue against tremendously overwhelming forces, Abraham was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem.

The king offered Abraham all the goods, all the wealth, and all the captured spoils or rewards from the battle in exchange for the returned souls. But Abraham, a follower of God, answered; “I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap.” Abraham was willing to honor God, lest anyone be able to say that they had made Abraham rich. Abraham was an honorable man looking only to honor His God!

A Few Final Words:
Not many men would be willing to resist the earthly treasures offered them whatever the circumstances. But in Genesis 15.1 we read; “After these things the Word of the LORD came to Abram [Abraham] in a vision, saying; ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I [God] am your shield, your exceeding great reward.’” Abraham honored God and God promised to honor Abraham by being his shield, his means of self-defense in the heat of whatever battle.

God also promised to be Abraham’s exceeding great reward. Because Abraham denied himself God honored Abraham. What exceeding great reward do we, as enduring to the end believers in Jesus, desiring to honor God in all our ways, have waiting for us? Therefore, we must ask the question, are we honoring God in all of our ways?

According to 1 Corinthians 2.9, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man [woman, or young person] the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” And how do we love God? We love God by keeping or obeying His commands.

Ambassadors representing Jesus Christ to the world, by our keeping and obeying Christ’s commands, both honor God and receive honor from God. Or, we dishonor and reject God, and then we are dishonored and rejected by God. Let us therefore, be wise in making our eternal choices. For according to Jesus, “He [or she] who receives you receives Me, and he [or she] who receives Me receives Him [God the Father] who sent Me.”

In Closing This Sunday June 7, 2020:
In the light of current affairs, are we honoring God with our actions and our thoughts? As of today, there have been nine days of protests and riots in the name of honoring a man named George Floyd who died in the custody of police. I will await the final judgment of certain police officers present at his death. That is what we used to do in a so-called free society governed by law and order.

But sadly, that no longer is the Constitutional case in many inner cities of America today. According to Jesus and the biblical record, lawlessness will abound and is abounding in every nation while the love of God continues to grow cold. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 24.12, by predicting in advance; “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many [not some but many] will grow cold.”

Some of those cities where the rioting has been severe are Washington DC, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York City, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and in others. And for the most part, liberal leaning city officials early on simply allowed businesses to be burned and looted to the point that many of those establishments may never recover.

One reporter’s headline read, “Were witnessing the essence of tyranny as cowardly city leaders refuse to crack down on riots.” In other words, if you have not noticed, we are at the point of the abounding lawlessness that Jesus declared would describe the end times. We are living in the end times of which Jesus warned us of in advance. What are you doing to prepare?

If and when another biological weapon is released, do not think for a moment that our governmental leaders on all levels will not lock down everything tighter than they did for covid-19. They do not have the answers to the crisis of society. Therefore, do not look to them for help. But let us be found looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith! For in Him, if we are truly abiding in Him, He will give us the strength to endure to the end of our lives or to the end of this age which is fast approaching.

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may we be looking for opportunities to honor You while honoring one another, thereby sharing in one another’s spiritual rewards. In Him Always, Amen!

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