How to Attract God’s Favor and Blessing
Sermon from the book, Honor’s Reward preached by:  Carolyn Sissom
Mother’s Day, May 10, 2008
(Ephesians 6: 2-3) “Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
First commandment with a promise!  There is a spiritual law we must know and understand.  Scripture makes this declaration:  “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119.89)
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”  (2 John 8)
God is a Rewarder (Heb. 11:6).  This is a truth we must establish deep within our hearts.  In fact, He loves to reward.  How did he introduce Himself to Abraham?  “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. (Gen. 15:1)  The ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether…in keeping them there is a great reward.” ( Psalm 57:2), “I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me.”  God is a Rewarder and loves to reward His children! 
John Bevere, “As a father of four sons I discovered a portion of this delight.  I love to see their eyes light up with gratefulness, and watch fulfillment settle upon them as they bask in the afterglow of a choice made well and rewarded.  However, I also learned it is unwise to reward bad behavior.  By rewarding those who don’t deserve it or have not earned it, you destroy the power of incentive; and incentive is a good thing.  My boys know I love them, but over the years they’ve grown to understand the difference between my love and pleasure.  God loves each of deeply and His love is perfect.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be times when He’s altogether pleased with our actions or choices.  God rewards those He is pleased with, which are those who heed His counsel.” (Page 6-7)
“Notice the Apostle John says “that we may receive a full reward.”  While I meditated, the word  “full” jumped off the page.  I thought if there is a full reward, then there is a partial reward, and even a no-reward scenario. 
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him, for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5: 9-10)  Our sins will not be judged, for the blood of Jesus eradicated the eternal punishment ascribed to sin.  Rather, we will be rewarded, or suffer loss, for what we did as believers.  Our deeds, words, thoughts, and even motives will be inspected in the light of His Word.  The temporary things on which we built our lives will be devoured, which will result in loss and the eternal will be purified into everlasting rewards. (1 Cor. 3: 14-15)
These Judgment Seat decisions are called, “eternal judgments” (Heb. 6: 1-2), which means there will never be any alterations, amendments, or changes made to those decrees.  Therefore, it can be concluded that what we do with the cross of Christ determines where we’ll spend eternity; however, the way we live thereafter as believers determines how we’ll spend it.
It is wise therefore to look diligently into what Scripture says about eternal judgments and rewards.
Godly patterns carry the promise of reward at the Judgment Seat, but their blessing reaches us in this life as well.  We read, “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promises of the life that now is and that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8)
Good is from God.  “Do not be deceived my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father. (James 1: 16-17)  God desires to reward us with His benefits here and now.  His rewards carry no backlash with them.  We are gold, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” (Prov. 10:22) and again, “The trustworthy will get a rich reward.” (Prov. 28:29 NLT).   The rich reward is the full reward.
Continuing to ponder the Apostle John’s words, for there to be a full-, partial, and no-reward scenarios in our future, then it stands to reason that, too, would apply to this present life.  Upon reviewing the life of Jesus this became evident.  As He walked this earth encountering mankind, there were some who received the partial reward, others who received nothing, and those who attained full portion rewards. 
In Jesus’ hometown, “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”  Why not?  This was the city Jesus grew up in, they did not honor Him.  They were offended at Him, “But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives and in his own house.” (Mark 6: 2-4)
Honor means appreciation, esteem, favorable regard, respect.  Dishonor means to not show respect or value; to treat as common, ordinary or menial.  A stronger form of dishonor is to be treated shamefully and even humiliated.
All true Honor originates from the heart.  This is why God says, “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from me and their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men.” (Isa. 29:13)
Jesus – the Son of God, the Son of Man filled with God’s Spirit without measure—is sent to heal the sick and all who were oppressed of the devil; but He cannot fulfill this commission, not because it wasn’t God’s will for all to be healed in that city, but because they restricted Him by withholding honor.  They treated Him as a common local.  Therefore they received a very small partial reward (just a few of the sick were healed).
A no-reward situation was after Jesus healed the paralyzed man on a stretcher who was lowered down from the housetop.  Jesus saw their Faith and told them their sins were forgiven them.  The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason saying, who is this who speaks blasphemies?  Who can forgive sins but God alone?  These teachers dishonored Jesus only with their thoughts.  They spoke among within themselves.  They didn’t speak aloud shameful, critical, or degrading words, but rather they were contrary only in thought.  Jesus healed the paralytic.  He arose, took up his bed and walked.  All of the preachers and teachers were amazed and Glorified God, but none of them were healed!  They received no reward because they dishonored Jesus merely by way of thought.  These Pharisees already developed a pattern of dishonoring Jesus.  They had mocked and disdained Him and many times attempted to publicly shame Him.  It is recorded, “So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely…that they might find an accusation against Him” (Luke 6:7)
These men went beyond withholding honor to the place of dishonoring Jesus.
The People of Nazareth withheld honor and received a small or partial reward.  The Pharisees dishonored Jesus in thought and received no reward.
Then there is a Roman officer, a centurion, who pleaded with Him to heal his paralyzed savant, who was dreadfully tormented.  Jesus agreed.  “I will come and heal him.” (Matt. 8:7)   The centurion responded Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.  For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.”  The Centurion recognized the authority of God on Jesus.  When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel. (V 10)  Jesus announces this Roman officers had more faith than John the Baptist and Mary the Mother of Jesus.  What made this faith of his so great?  It was the coupling of the honor he showed Jesus and his understanding of authority.  The hearing of God’s Word that produces Faith coupled with Honor receives a Great Reward.  This man received his full reward because he rendered honor and understood authority.  His regard for authority revealed a foundation of respect in his heart.  So the root of his motivation was honor.
Honor is an essential key to receiving from Heaven.
Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 2:30)
This principle is particularly highlighted just before the Passion; Jesus was at the house of Simon the leper in Bethany.  As he reclines on the table, a woman approaches Him with an alabaster box of costly spikenard oil.  After weeping to wash Jesus’ feet, she dries them with her hair, and then breaks open the spikenard, and pours it on Jesus’ head.  She honored Jesus by lavishly anointing Him, but not all rejoiced at this outpouring.  Some were indignant.   Jesus gave a sharp rebuke:
“Let her alone; why are you troubling her?  She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me….surely I tell you, wherever the good news (the gospel) is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Many did great things in the days of Jesus, but none were honored in this manner, or to this degree.  Her desire was to honor the Master, but this outpouring of anointing positioned her to be honored by the Master.  The honor principle will always apply, always remain valid.  God says, “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1 Sam 3:30)
Jesus said, “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23)
Bro. Bevere goes on to tell of his crusades in Africa and all of the miracles and healings that take place.  The people and ministries of Africa show great honor to the Ministers of the Gospel.  He said These friends in Africa treated him and other ministers with such high esteem.  They were seen as men and women of God and treated as Royalty.
The places where it is easiest to minister with the greatest impact and miracles, where it is easiest to preach; and the strongest presence of God are in various developing nations, prisons and military bases.  Why? Because most often they show honor and revere authority. He says, I remember when I discovered it really had nothing to do with me as the minister, but rather the people’s reception.
There are times we will be insulted or disdained, when that happens, we are to leave our honor in the same way we are instructed to leave our peace. We are to honor governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Rom13: 1-2)
Civil authorities are appointed by God and are working for Him in honoring them we honor Him who appointed them; God in turn will honor us.  It’s the honor principle.  In regard to social authority we read:
“Let as many as are servants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor.” (1 Tim. 6:1)
If you are truly born of the Spirit of God, you will recognize and esteem authority.  In fact, show me a person who has no regard for authority and I will show you a person who is not a child of God.  To know God is to know Authority.  God and His authority are inseparable. 
The reward for honoring those in authority with  supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for those is a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and reverence. (1 Tim. 2: 1-2)
There are two types of persecution.  One is self-inflicted; the other is for righteousness sake. 
Let’s look again at the scripture, “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. (Eph. 6:2-3)
The reward of honor is twofold and clearly spelled out in this verse.  First, it will go well with you.  You will experience success in life, along with peace, joy, love and health.  You will enjoy a rewarding life.  Secondly, you will live a long life on the earth.  You are promised not to die prematurely of some fatal disease, car wreck or other unforeseen accident.
If we speak this promise in faith, we establish what he has already spoken in our own lives.  We are the second mouth which establishes it here on earth.  We can look disease straight in the face and declare God’s covenant promise of living a long life, and it will have to flee.  We can confidently speak safety in our travels, home or anywhere else danger lurks.  We can confidently say, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.  *Ps. 3:6) For with long life God will satisfy me, and show me His salvation.”
We can also speak the promise of it going well with us, If we are facing difficulty, situations that appear to be bleak and hopeless, we can boldly say, “ I’ve honored my mother and father, God’s covenant promise to me is that it will go well with me!  In Jesus’ name I command the walls of lack, strife, depression, ill circumstances to back off and give way.”
We can do this with any covenant promise of God.  the only difference between those who walk in abundant life and those who suffer lack is what we’ve spoke out of our mouths.  God says, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” (Deut. 30:19)
We can agree wither with God’s covenant promise or satan’s curses of lack, sickness, and death.  It’s so simple many stumble over this truth.
“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
(1 Tim. 5: 17-18)
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase
.” (Prov. 3:9

He who honors you honors Me, and he who honors Me honors Him who sent Me.  He who honors a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.  And he who honors a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  And Whoever honors one of these little ones with only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)
Peter says,  “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to your wife, as to the weaker vessel.” (1 Peter 3:7)
“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband.”
Conclusion:  All true honor comes from the heart.  “
A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” (Prov. 29:23)
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
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This text is a partial book review of Honor’s Reward by:  John Bevere

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