Thinking this morning about love, honor and grace. There is so much to say about these three subjects and how they interact....
Natural love finds value and bestows love on that valuable thing. Kindness is returned for kindness. Beauty is appreciated and desired.
"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." - Luke 6:32 NKJV
In the world honor is for the successful, talented or wealthy.
"You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." - Leviticus 19:15 ESV
But God loves everyone equally and calls for honor for those that function in a particular role that he has established.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16 KJV
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you." - Exodus 20:12 NKJV
Love can be confused with honor. We love equally but we do not honor equally. We do not honor someone for a role when they are not functioning in that role.
An employer can say to every employee, 'You are a valued employee.' but they can not say to every employee, 'You are doing a great job.'
Grace assigns roles to people that are not performance oriented ones and then honors people when they step into that role. God bestows honor on us outside of our performance. All we do is show up.
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." - 1 Corinthians 12:27 KJV
We can think of membership as paying a fee and getting the same privileges as everyone else who pays the fee but that is not what is meant here. All members have equal access but not all have equal roles.
"Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" - 1 Corinthians 12:29 ESV
But all are believers, all have the privileged of prayer and all are ministers of reconciliation. Every 'joint supplies'... meaning that every relationship adds something important and needed.
Can God honor our prayers if we don't pray? Can he give us powerful words if we do not walk in our call? Do we get wisdom if we don't meditate or study? Will we be edified if there is no one around us to build us up? No, no and no.
God made us to be a light on a hill. Today is a day to be who God made us to be. We step into our role, whatever it is, by grace and God will honor us in the role that He has given us. His unending supply of love will give us a capacity for what grace has made us to be.