There is no greater honor, right, or gift, as the one bestowed upon an individual who steps across the line of faith into Christ the LORD.  John the apostle, under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God said so.  Listen to it now…

John 1:12,13  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is not stated as a future endowment.  It is not implied that having received this right, it could somehow be taken away in the future.  The “right” to become children of God, is reserved for, and bestowed upon, those who receive Jesus and believe in His name. In addition, this is an eternal right.  It is not eternal because of us, the believers.  It is eternal because of the ONE  bestowing the blessing, and conferring the right.  It is guaranteed in His power, not mine.

I am now… a child of God.

As such, with this great honor bestowed upon those Christ-followers, their behavior should match this position of honor, and privilege.  But does it?  I’m concerned at the number of people I know who live in fear, or in opposite contrast to what they claim as their badge of honor – a Christ follower – a Child of God.

In our world today, there is a shadowy veil of hate growing at an alarming rate, fueled by unseen forces, with the intent of annihilating the words “Christian” or “Christ-follower” from our vocabulary.  People of faith around our nation are just now beginning to recognize the first salvos breaking across the bows of churches everywhere.  Christian businesses have been under attack for awhile, but now the increased activity in the legal sector demonstrate this hate has just begun to stretch its talons of destruction.  What’s interesting, but sadder still, is that most Americans don’t realize this isn’t a new event.

The pursuit of the destruction of anything Godly, but especially the people of God, is as old as the garden of Eden.  The result of God’s children’s actions in that idyllic setting was fear, blame shifting, and rationalization of their behavior.  What are the three clearest signs, that nothing has changed since then?  Fear, blame shifting, and rationalization of behavior… is the ubiquitous nature of sin around the world right now.

So… what is “supposed” to be the defining evidence of the true Christ-follower?  I suggest that the “NATURE” of God is what is bestowed upon the true person of faith, and is evidenced when one becomes a CHILD of God.  That evidence is LOVE.

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:16  And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

So what is bestowed upon every child of God?

The right to become God’s children, living in the love of God, sharing the love of God, and one day when we graduate to the next life, living in the presence of the love of God… eternally.

There is no greater honor, right, or gift.



No Applause Please

Daily Post: Homage


Respect: the deep admiration for someone or something because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Honor: esteem, defer to, look up to, respect.

Reverence: regard, acclaim, admiration, honor.

Homage, respect, honor, reverence… all three.

Recently, I attended a small theater, where a man and his wife, both musicians, gave a sterling tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter.  The man said up front that it was not their intention to do an “imitation,” but rather to pay homage to an entertainer who made a huge impact during his days as a performer.  While the couple dressed in compliance with the famous duo, and did in fact look quite a bit like Johnny Cash and June Carter, it was his voice in particular that I thought captured the night’s performance.  Whether I was watching him play that guitar and sing, or if I closed my eyes and only used the memories from my youth, I heard the voice so easily recognizable as he sang, “I keep my eyes wide open all the time…” (I Walk The Line, 1957).

Thunderous applause rang like waves through the building, filled with folks who grew up on country music, and loved the Johnny Cash songs.  The tribute was a huge success, and I thoroughly enjoyed being there.

This morning I’m going to worship at our church, then teach a bible study class.  I expect no applause, I’m not a performer on a stage.  Too many people already saw me that way when I served as pastor for all those years.  It’s what we do I guess, we put leaders up on a pedestal and we see them differently than just people “like us.”

Today’s lesson is from Philippians chapter 2, where Paul gives the motivation for being in unity as a church, the means to measure how well we’re doing the job, and the perfect model for what that should look like.  In this process, Paul also does a great job of paying homage to the One who is truly deserving of our respect, honor, reverence and worship.

Philippians 2:8-11
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Should we minister, serve, and give with the motivation to be exalted, praised, and honored by our peers?  If that is all we have, in the words of Jesus, “they have their reward.”  We do it, because in our guts we know, it’s all we can do.  We do it consistently and persistently, because the Spirit of God enables and equips us to minster, serve, or give.  And we do it humbly, knowing it is a great privilege, not earned or deserved.  Our purpose for existence is to glorify the name of Jesus.  When we take that respect, honor, or reverence for ourselves, we have literally robbed God of the homage He alone is due.

Just bend the knee.  No applause please.

If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.