One of the routine checks at any doctor visit is a person’s vital signs: blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature. These numbers allow a doctor to quickly assess a person’s overall health before determining if more extensive testing is needed. Just as there are vital signs in the area of physical health, there are also vital signs concerning our spiritual health. Joy and peace are two major signs of spiritual health. When these vital signs are low, extensive tests need to be done to determine the cause. While there can be many factors involved when our spiritual lives seem to be dragging, one area of adjustment that people often overlook when doing a spiritual self-evaluation is … HONOR.
Give double honor to spiritual leaders who handle their duties well. This is especially true if they work hard at teaching the word of God. – 1 Timothy 5:17-19 (God’s Word Translation)
This scripture instructs us to give not just honor, but double honor, to our spiritual leaders. Since this is the case, it would benefit us to understand what showing honor means. Honor means: 1) to place a value upon something; 2) to estimate; 3) to esteem, especially to the highest degree; 4) to prize; 5) to revere.
When a craftsman is asked to give an estimate for a job, he is being asked to place a value on his own work. We place value on ourselves every day, and we should. In Romans 12:3, the Amplified Bible says, … I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment… Yet, we should have a healthy respect for ourselves and recognize our worth because Jesus sacrificed His life for us. We also should highly regard the men and women whom Jesus set in His Church as leaders.
In Ephesians 4:11, the New Living Translation says, Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. These GIFTS that Jesus set in His Church should be prized. After all, Jesus gave them to US. They are given by the Lord to help us grow and mature. Since Jesus placed these gifts inside of people, we have to learn to look past the man or woman and see the gift that Jesus placed on the inside of each of them. That gift is perfect, but the spiritual leader is not. If you are looking for a perfect leader, then your quest will never end. This is why we are not to place men and women on a pedestal—yet, there is a proper honor that is due them. It is an estimation of the value of their gift in our lives. They carry gifts chosen by Jesus to be given to us. If we value that gift, then we will value the one who presents that gift to us. Showing honor to people is a reflection of the value you place on the gift they are bringing to you on behalf of Jesus.
When my spiritual father, Kenneth E. Hagin, was living, I sought every opportunity to bestow honor on him. The picture featured on this article was taken during one of the last times he ministered in my church. To this day, I recognize that I would not be who I am or equipped to walk in the call God placed on me had I not placed proper value on the gift within him. God told me to stick close to him, and I did that to the best of my ability. I remember one time in particular that my family and I were sitting around a table with other ministers when they began speaking harshly against Brother Hagin’s family. Out of honor for the gift within Brother Hagin, I excused myself and my family from that setting. I refused to be a part of that criticism, and in doing so, my relationship with my spiritual father grew stronger and stronger year after year.
We are to value those men and women of God who have gone before us and paved the way because we are continually reaping the benefits from the labors of our elders. Whether young or old, we are all part of one Body. God intended for us to work together. We need each other in order to function and to be effective to the highest degree. God expects the elders to pass down spiritual truth as well as their experiences. This will encourage the younger generation’s zeal and excitement. God expects the younger generation to respect the wisdom of the elders and learn from them, being careful not to take the attitude that the elders’ time has passed. This blending of knowledge and zeal is an honorable endeavor; it will help bring the Church into the position of authority and power that Jesus intended for us.
Finally, I love how Paul commands us regarding honor in Romans 12:10 (God’s Word Translation), Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. It doesn’t get much plainer than that.
We will be returning to Ukraine next month and ministering in two separate ministers’ conferences in addition to some local churches. Thank you, my covenant partner, for your faithfulness to send us. Your harvest is GREAT! If you would like to sow into this trip, you can do so here and designate it for Ukraine 2019.
We have a Word study on honor available to you this month! This subject cannot be emphasized enough. Much will be lost in the body of Christ if it’s not properly prioritized. You can access this document and audio teaching through our Webb Ministries app or here on our website!