We have been blessed on our travels to meet so many wonderful people from around the world. As we travel your come to see that each nation has its cultural strengths and weaknesses. Here in the UK we have many wonderful strengths in our culture. But there is also a weakness that can easily drift into our church life. When an unexpected parcel arrived one day it made us realise this weakness even more. The package was from America. We were confused as we were not expecting anything, but paid for it to be forwarded to us. On opening it was a framed A3 sized Glass framed Certificate. Three months earlier I had spoken in a small seminar as part of a global Pentecostal congress in Israel. The certificate was to honour us for our participation in the event. My wife laughed at how ridiculous it was to send something so over the top to us, but God stopped her in her tracks. God’s loving discipline came to her: “They are honouring you,” God said. “I want my church to honour one another.” 1 Peter 2:17 Show respect for all people. Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family. Respect God. Honour the king.
It is so easy to take for granted the people around us? The people who quietly serve within the church, who go unnoticed week in week out who don't ask for recognition but keep everything going. Our volunteers, our friends who go the extra mile for us without asking. Those people who make that extra effort to make your stay just a little more comfortable and enjoyable. If we, the church, can truly honour one another in love from the platform, behind the scenes and at home, we will see God’s kingdom more tangibly. Instead of fighting one another, ministries will thrive, people will be saved, ministries won’t be comparing themselves to each other or considered second rate due to the age or type of people they relate too. We are all one church, belonging to Jesus, working towards the same goal for all generations. Let’s ensure that this year that we honour all people in action, word and deed. As we honour each other in the body of Christ we are honouring Christ himself. As we love the bride so we are showing love to the bridegroom. So how can we honour people? Let’s value each member of the church community. Notice those who are serving faithfully and thank them (perhaps with a card or an award). Honour members of the church community who have managed to turn up to church against the odds. The message should be you are great, you have a place here and we appreciate you. Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Honour our leaders who will have to give a special account before God by speaking well of them behind their back and being open with them to their face. Honour them with your prayers and with your support for the work that they do in the kingdom and the sacrifices that they make. 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. Honour people by using your gifts to build the kingdom. Don’t shy away from exercising the spiritual gifts God has given you (even if you feel like you have been burnt by others in the past). These gifts are given for the benefit of the whole church. Romans 12:3-6 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. Remember the weakest and the most vulnerable deserve special honour. The youngest and the eldest members of church should feel their value expressed through us as we love them. 1 Corinthians 12:22-23 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty. Those around you may not be perfect (yet) but they are part of God’s kingdom and worthy of honour. What a privilege it is to value those whom Christ valued enough to die for. Let’s make this year a year where we seek to honour and build one another up in all that we do. Some more Bible passages to consider: Leviticus 19:11 Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Romans 1:12 That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 11:33 When you come together to eat, wait for each other. 1 Corinthians 12:25 There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Galatians 5:15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 13:1 Keep on loving each other. James 4:11 Do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:9 Don't grumble against each other, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 1 Peter 3:8 Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 5:5 Be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.