Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Honor And Remember
Sunday, May 24, 2009: By Pastor Peter F. Paine
On the day before Memorial Day, it’s easy for us to focus on the past. After all, this weekend is set aside to celebrate those that have gone before us and gave their lives so we can enjoy freedom as a nation. But what good does freedom do if we don’t embrace it in our lives every day? What good is liberty if we don’t take advantage of it as we live in the present?
Pastor Paine started the sermon by saying that two words could sum up what he needed to talk to us about: Honor, and Remember. These are two things we must do in order to call ourselves Christians.
And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this [place]: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
The children of Israel had to remember when God freed them from slavery. Otherwise they would have no reference point for how good God was to them on that specific day.
Pastor Paine asked: “Can you think of a time when God had done something specific for you?” Maybe he healed you. Maybe he answered a very specific question you had been struggling with. Maybe he gave you direction when you were not sure what to do next. Whatever it was, in that moment, God confirmed how very important you are to him by taking care of YOU. We cannot forget moments like that.
Pastor Paine talked a bit about the struggles of many parents who have children who come home from school and have a conversation that sounds a lot like this:
Parent: How was your day?
Parent: Did you learn anything exciting in school today?
Parent: Well did you learn something that you didn’t find exciting?
Parent: I find that hard to believe. You went to school all day long; sat in a class with you teacher, studied, read your text books, and didn’t learn one single thing?
At this point, a parent is desperate for their child to hang on to at least one thing of meaning from their day. Even if they don’t remember everything, it would be wonderful if they could remember something. God must feel that way with his children sometimes too. He does so much for us, yet we remember so little of it. We are called to remember, just like the children of Israel were called to remember where God had brought them from.
Once we remember what God has done for us, we need to honor him for what he has done. The first step toward honoring God is to accept salvation. He offers it freely to everyone. We just have to respond to his offer.
Then, there are four areas that we need to learn to Honor God in:
Time - We are each given 168 hours each week. If we apply the Biblical principle of tithing on that, (giving 10%), that is 16.8 hours. Even the most dedicated churchgoer would find it hard to say that they are giving 16.8 hours each week to nothing but doing God’s work. Then, if we go beyond the bare minimum and realize that every second we have is because God has given it to us, our time becomes 100% his. To honor God with time, we have to first realize that it’s his and we are borrowing it. He gets to decide what we do with it (no matter how busy we are while borrowing it). Then, we have to adopt a lifestyle of following him with our whole heart no matter what time of day, or day of the week it is.
Talent - Maybe you’re unsure of what your talent is. That’s alright. If you ask God, he’ll tell you what it is. Everyone is unique and can do something that no one else can do. There are people whose talents are unseen. Not everyone will be the best singer, teacher, student, or even communicator. God has a talent for each of us. Once he shows you what it is, respond by honoring him with what you know you can do.
Treasure - The Bible says “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. The same principle that applies to time, applies to your money. Giving just 10% is sometimes hard to do, but when we take a step back and really look at it, all of it is God’s. Honor him accordingly.
Testimony – Our actions are a huge part of how we honor God. We need to evaluate we can do to make our testimonies better for God. To make this point, Pastor Paine told the story of an old hound dog lying on the porch with his owner. Every so often, he would make an uncomfortable howl and then settle back down onto the porch. One afternoon, while his owner had some company over, they asked what was wrong with the hound. His owner explained that there was a nail coming up out of the porch where he was laying. It hurt him had enough for him to howl, but not bad enough to make him move.
Maybe there are things like that in our lives as we live for God. We know that if we would just give up that one thing (pornography, alcohol, tobacco, laziness, gossip, or whatever it is) we could have a better testimony for God. We know that it holds us back and that matters to us, but it doesn’t matter enough for us to change.
Pastor Paine challenged us with these final questions:
- What passion do I bring to the table as I remember who God is?
- How do I honor him for that?