Now that I’ve gotten into a rhythm (mostly) of setting aside time to pray and seek encouragement for our network and community of friends here in Poland; I wanted to focus on some core ideas about what we feel, and have felt for a very long time, the mission God has revealed to us over the years. We have always felt there were five core ideas to the mission which we have on this website in more detail: releasing, equipping, affecting, connecting, and honoring (follow the links for Polish versions, then click “Polski” in the upper-right or on the menu on mobile devices) which creates the acronym REACH. I’m going to re-introduce each of these over the next five weeks using the same scripture and thoughts we wrote years ago but in a devotional format. I’ll be introducing them in the order that I believe they build upon, which funny enough is REACH spelled backward… so we will start with honoring.
19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.John 5:19-24 NLT
The emphasis here is that when we highly esteem and honor Jesus, there is no limit to what He can do in people’s lives. Our prayer is that we not be people who only honor God with our lips and words, nor we not be people who worship out of human-made rules (Isaiah 29:13). Above all may we always allow the space and time for people to encounter God freely, on their own free will. The inspiration for ingraining honor into our misisonal community movement in Poland comes from a teaching by John Bevere in 2013 – read and watch it here.
How do we honor the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Son, and all others look?
- By being servant-leaders, people who lead by serving, recognizing the upside down model that Jesus made with his disciples (washing the disciples feet, calling them friends) it is a “bottom up” model not a “top down”.
- By being quick to apologize, humble in our actions and words, and communicating to the best of our abilities that we are human and we will fail people, and also that Jesus will not fail, and that Jesus deserves all glory and praise.
- We ensure that what we say and do is honoring to God’s creation and work, and to all people’s stories and experiences while at the same time recognizing God’s ultimate plan to restore all things.
- We yield to the Holy Spirit and we honor relationship over status, do our best to have opportunity for one on one mentoring and discipleship, and know the right time to release and commission people into the next season of their life with God, with honor, equipped, and loved through the process.
The first layer of the foundation to a community centered on Jesus, is to center our HONOR on Jesus, give honor to Jesus in everything we do, and in our personal lives. Support one another, not demand of one another.
For your journey…
- How does honoring Jesus first create an environment in which miracles and life can be restored? – see Mark 6:1-6
- What are some stories in the Bible that you see how the act of honoring (God or people)?
- Think about a time when you’ve been honored by others, or perhaps a time that someone else was honored and it really touched you.
- How do we always honor, but not fall into the trap of “performing” to please others? What is genuine honor?