Summary: Why is it so hard to honor others?
INTRO: A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert-like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessing, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”
“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”
“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”
“Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”
“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”
Thought: When you honor others, they will be blessed.
Today I’m going to be continuing talking about honor but before I do this, let me review what we’ve learned so far for those who missed.
-Honor means to put value to something, it’s precious, weighty, to respect.
-Dishonor – treat as common, ordinary, disrespect, no value.
Things we learned:
: When we honor someone, honor will go before us as a guide. (Romans 12:10)
: We are to outdo one another in showing honor.
-Literally to take the lead, we are to show others how to do it.
: Honor is something you give and not take. (Matthew 23:6)
: We also learned that we can move from a vessel of dishonor to a vessel of honor by cleansing (separating) ourselves. (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
TITLE: Honoring Others – Part 2
TEXT: Hebrews 13:18
I. Background. This letter was written to Christians who were struggling in their faith. They were wavering because they were being persecuted for being Christians.
A. The author, who probably was the apostle Paul, was asking for prayers from them (his team).
1. What was he asking them to pray about?
-Interestingly: a clear conscience and to live honorably in every way.
2. I just want to focus on the second part, to live honorably. It seems to be at the forefront of this man.
Question: How many of us ask others to pray for us to act honorably? Not too many.
-We usually pray about our needs, wants, and desires.
-But to ask others to pray for you to act honorably shows us that the author realized it’s not about him, it’s about others (their needs and wants, not his).
Basically what the author is asking, could you pray for us that we could continue to put others needs above our own in every way.
3. The implication is that it was hard for them to do this, to have a desire to honor others.
II. Why is it so hard? Let’s take a look at some who wanted to follow Jesus and learn what it is in us that makes this difficult. Jesus gives us a key about being a disciple or not being a disciple.
A. Cost of following Jesus – Luke 9:57-62. [Read]
1. Notice there is a hunger to follow Jesus.
: The first man - I’ll follow you wherever you go. Jesus’ response has a clue to what the issue was that was going to hinder this man.
-That was security. In order to be a disciple of his, your security has to be in Christ if you’re going to make it, not houses, paycheck, your abilities.