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What Does It Mean To Honour God?

March 5, 2008

What does it mean to honor God?

In the Bible, God clearly states

“Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1 Sam 2:30)

Hence, a contrast can be drawn – honouring God is to not despise God. To despise is to feel a contempt for. To despise is of far greater a degree than to merely dislike. One can express a certain dislike for a person, but to despise may well be the purest form of hatred.

What is hatred then? In the Bible, it is also taught that to hate your brother is tantamount to committing murder.

“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19-21)

More than just that, we, as believers, have been granted the gift of eternal life, because God, who first loved us, sent His only son to die for us, redeeming our transgressions out of sheer love for us. Hence, we should also practice love and tolerance to one another, for this reflects God’s love for us.

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:14-16)

Back to the original question of what honouring God means, I believe it would mean loving your brother/sister, for starters. Of course, this is not limited to siblings. Loving one another through expressing tolerance, correcting one another, that we may all improve ourselves and learn from mistakes. Such small things are also considered as loving each other, and go some way towards honouring God.

It also means doing things that please God. Paul wrote to the Philippians,

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil 2:12-13)

Many times I have asked myself, and many have also raised this question – if salvation is free, why do we have to “work out our salvation”? If it may be summarised into a phrase, the phrase would be “as you are so freely given, so, freely give” (Matt 10:8). Salvation is given free. Hence, because of that, you are compelled, because of Jesus’ love, to also give freely unto others what you have received, through evangelism, through ministry (whether it be as a Musician, as a Church Cleaner, or as a Soundman).

Working out our salvation with fear and trembling does not literally mean I do stuff that pleases God because I am quaking in fear of Him. No, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling means to do what I do – stuff that pleases God, such as ministry, evangelism, loving one another – out of a deep reverence and love for God. It is when you serve with a sincere heart, that it honours God.

If I may put it literally, honouring God is making God smile. Why do you want to make God smile? It’s the same way you want to make your Dad smile. You want to make him smile because he loves you and cares for you, so you want to reciprocate that love in some way. When that reciprocation is successfully carried out, a smile is usually the easiest, most recognisable way to know that it is a success. Hence, to make God smile, it is the same. We want to honour God because God loves us, and we want to reciprocate that love in a way that we are good at, and in a way that will make God smile.

As you go about your daily lives, stop and think. Did what I say to my classmate just now please God, or not? Did it put a smile on His face? What can I do today to make God smile?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2008 1:34 am

    omg.. good work, brother

  2. January 9, 2009 12:52 am

    I found this on doing a search in google “Honor God and he will honor you.”.
    It was the 1st hit. THANX!

  3. January 9, 2009 12:55 am

    Thanks for the kind words Phil. I’m glad this humble blog has in some way ministered to you.

  4. April 20, 2009 10:59 pm

    i want to say that the whole stuff is just wonderful and inspiring. God bless you.

  5. April 20, 2009 11:00 pm

    God will bless you more for blessing others

  6. Lauren permalink
    July 26, 2009 6:15 am

    Thanks…… It is people like you who help me remain on the Path of God. I truly thank you.


  7. simon permalink
    August 6, 2009 12:32 pm

    ooh thanks,am blessed by your inspiring revelation.God bless fron Kenya

  8. Pst Martin Kanyagui permalink
    September 19, 2009 1:53 pm

    Honouring God means to obey his Word because in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God

  9. Passerby permalink
    December 8, 2009 3:51 am

    A lengthy answer to this question can be found in Timothy Bowes’ book, “To Honour God”.

  10. June 9, 2010 4:40 pm

    I also think that to honour God means to practice gifts that He has given you and to like you said love people…and it does not always have to be something typically church related like ministry or evangelism it can be something simple like spending time with your children and husband and doing things that makes them happy (i.e. loving your brother/sister) or writing a song or dancing or doing something God has made you to enjoy doing it primarily because we love God and we want to do it for Him

  11. August 30, 2010 4:16 am

    What a very good, affirming, and insightful post. Thank you for this.:)

  12. Thandeka permalink
    January 18, 2011 5:11 pm

    Thank you!

  13. Colin permalink
    July 1, 2011 12:55 pm

    Great perspective on honouring God, and food for thought. I found it encouraging to think about honouring God as “putting a smile on God’s face” by what you do or say. But, I believe it is so much more than this. Honouring God, in my humble view, is to put God in his rightful position in your life at all times and to ensure that He stays there. This means that in everything we think, say or do we put God first by devoting time to Him, by seeking Him – his guidance, his Word – by giving thanks to Him for all blessings, in all situations first (not later or last), by trusting him at all times (good times and times of darkness), by constantly reaffirming who He is (Almighty, Loving Father, Redeemer, Provider, Protector, Holy, Counsellor, Healer), by ensuring He is fully involved and included in everything we do. This is only really possible if we first believe and then continually look to God to nurture and develop our belief though our ongoing relationship with Him.

  14. November 17, 2011 9:24 pm

    I’ve been thinking and praying about what it means to honor God and to love Him. You have provided some great insight for me. Indeed, God provides for and works through people who are willing to humble themselves to learn from Him and follow the Word closely. Thanks for such a post!

  15. Joe permalink
    February 2, 2012 4:22 pm

    Thanks be to GOD and thank you soo much for your answers to ”Honouring GOD”. I believe there is more too that in addition, but to include, I will say to honour GOD is to reverence HIM in all our endeavours, and in the endeavours of others. In doing these our way of living should reflects the way of living in Heaven even tough we have the enemy to oppose us here on earth.
    Thanks be to GOD.

  16. itunu permalink
    March 9, 2012 10:24 am

    Thank u for this truth being shared,more of God in ur life.

  17. matthew Sule permalink
    October 5, 2012 11:32 pm

    I’m blessed by your message and may God take all the glory. However, honouring God includes subordinating oneself to Him, worshipping and lovingly obeying Him.


  18. Omenya permalink
    December 5, 2012 4:18 am

    Thank God for the great revelation. Purpose to our in my all. Glory unto His Highness.

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    I’ve really been trying to for some time but I never seem to make it. Thanks

  20. June 1, 2013 12:54 am

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  21. Seth permalink
    June 9, 2013 9:19 am

    I was sitting in my room with my eyes closed blocking out noise and praying to God what he wants me to. Including my life, school, and the way to praise Him.As I at there I envisioned Jesus walking up to me and tell me to honor Him. I was thinking what that truly meant. I found this and for a while now I considered college and what to do with my life. I saw your sentence about pleasing God with ministry, evangelism, and love for one another. and I knew instantly this is what He meant. Thank you.

  22. April 28, 2014 5:36 am

    First off I would like to say fantastic blog!

    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t
    mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to
    writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

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