Welcome to the sixth edition of Maximizing Ministry Part X. Today we explore The Fifth Commandment.
Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
As supreme creator, God gave people something unique: parents. God has no creator, being the beginning of all things (Revelation 1:8). Jesus said that those who do the will of His Father in heaven are his brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50). We can have biological as well as spiritual parents; and if we are abandoned of father or mother, the Lord will take us in (Psalm 27:10). Honoring our father and mother includes honor to our elders (I Peter 5:5-6, Leviticus 19:32) and those who instruct us in Godliness. When we honor our mother and father, God prepares for us long life.
God describes a vessel that glorifies His Father as one that bears fruit (John 15:8) and purges himself from dishonorable things (II Timothy 2:21). If we do this these things, we will be sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work.
To honor father and mother is the “first commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:2). The promise is that situations will go well with you, and that your days will be long upon the earth. Since we know that God cannot lie (), we can trust that this promise will come fruition when we meet the condition of the commandment. It is pleasing to God when we do this (Colossians 3:20). Parents hold a special place in God’s kingdom. To curse mother or father carries a penalty (Proverbs 20:20). God also intends for parents to give due honor in love to their children (I Timothy 5:8).
Honoring Mother and Father
Leadership. Parents should receive honor for fulfilling the will of God toward their natural and spiritual children. The will of God is that they train the children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:26). This includes teaching them the fear (reverence) and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4); correcting them when they are wrong (Hebrews 12:6); giving them tools proper for wisdom (2 Timothy 3:15); and instructing them in the laws of God (Deuteronomy 6:7). Children should be able to follow them as they follow Christ.
Obedience. God appreciates obedience more than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22). We mean this not in threatening terms as it is sometimes given – focusing on what you will lose if you do not obey. Rather, we mean to impart understanding that God desires obedience more than anything sacrificial. To obey God is to truly love Him. Your love is more important than anything you could place on an altar. God calls for obedience to Godly parents, who represent His authority in the lives of children. If our parents are un-Godly, we are still to obey them as much as so doing does not defy God. In the absence of earthly parents, we have the Holy Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26).
Double Honor. If we are blessed to have natural and or spiritual parents who teach us to walk in holiness, we ought to give them double honor, according to the Word (I Timothy 5:17-18). God will bring people into our lives to help us draw near to Him. Double honor is going beyond what you would normally do. If you have an overabundance of any good thing, consider giving your excess to those who are worthy of double honor. God has a precedent for doing exceeding great things for those who honor His faithful servants.
The Widow of Zarephath
8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
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