Culture of Love and Honor
Foundations Week 8
As we conclude our Foundations Series, we will look at the one thing that sustains Revival/Reformation Culture long term, so that we do not lose the Kairos or Convergence Moment of the Holy Spirit that is coming to Refuge in a widespread corporate encounter. But we partner with it to become a movement by planting it in a culture of love and honor. So many moves of God become one time encounters, but not long term sustained movements of God because our hearts are not prepared to carry the supernatural glory of God long term. Only a culture of love and honor will carry a long term move of God.
At Refuge our church culture or our spiritual value system has been built on 4 theological foundations that prepare us host a generational reformation move of God.
1 – The Goodness of God
2 – Dominion Mandate
3 – Supernatural Lifestyle
4 – A Culture of Love and Honor
In this Session we will look at the definitions and demonstration of love, and the definition and demonstration of Biblical honor. Understanding Biblical concepts of love and honor prepare us to minister to broken and hurting people through the eyes of grace. As we know all of us are walking our healings over our entire lifetimes and the work of sanctification is continual as God nurtures us in His love and grace.
When we speak about love and honor we are talking about the relational side of our identities in Jesus Christ as children, Bride, sons/daughters, a holy priesthood, a royal nation, and members of One Body, the collective Church of Jesus Christ. See 1 Peter 2:4-6 and Revelation 5:10.
A culture of love and honor is one of freedom and celebration of who you are in Christ.
There are 7 Hebrew words and 4 Greek words for Honor in the Scriptures. The Hebrew word for Honor that mostly applies to mankind is the Hebrew word KABAD (Strong’s). The other Hebrew and Greek words describe honor that is due to the Lord. KABAD – To be heavy, to be wealthy, to be honored and glorified
Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother”
The Greek word that corresponds to KABAD is TIMAO – to honor, to show honor, to give recognition to.
Matthew 15:4 “Honor your father and mother”
Contemporary English Definition of Honor
Honor 1. Personal integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles 2. Respect: great respect and admiration 3. Dignity or distinction: personal dignity that sometimes leads to recognition and glory 4. Reputation: somebody’s good name or good reputation
Culture of Honor in Biblical Times
The principles of Honor and Shame were at the core of the Hebrew social fabric. Honor was the primary measure of social status in Hebrew culture. That is why the genealogies are recorded in Scripture. That is why the Gospels of Matthew, and Luke contain the genealogies of Jesus. So that the discerning Hebrew could see that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of being from the House of David, and take comfort in the Honor due His Name.
In Hebrew culture honor came to a person through 2 avenues.
a) Inherited Honor – The family’s origin in regards to the tribe, family, and reputation of that family in service or faithfulness to the Lord. IE Genealogies, land inheritances, Names of families etc.
b) Acquired Honor – Meritorious deeds or public performance that increased the family social position. The family social position was the Honor Base from which men launched out from in hopes of gaining more honor for the family, and for personal recognition. Women acquired honor by living holy and protecting the family’s name by the marriage covenant and child bearing.
c) Challenges to Honor – The public forum provided the platform by which honor was taken or acquired. An illegitimate challenge was ignored, a legitimate challenge required a response. This was usually at the gate of the city. See Ruth 4
Let’s look at an example in Scripture where Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees in an honor contest.
a) The honor of Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees. Jesus would lose honor for not healing on the Sabbath, and he would lose honor if He did heal. Jesus defeats the honor challenge by explaining God’s heart for hurting people. Real honor is always about honoring people and not our reputations.
Negative Shame versus Protecting the Heart
Negative shame exposes sin and brings condemnation, and protecting a person’s heart covers the sin that would result in loss of honor, and leaves an opportunity for reconciliation, restoration, forgiveness and healing.
Scriptural Example of Negative Shame
a) Noah sinned in a way that stole his honor, and uncovered his body, leaving him exposed. Noah also was acting outside of his identity as a one who was made in God’s image. So much of the attack of the enemy and the enticement to sin is caught up in removing our honor as children of God.
b) Ham saw the error and partnered with negative shame and exposed his father’s dishonor to his brothers. There is nothing worse than being shamed by our past deeds by those who take delight in telling everyone our sin, our shortcomings and all of the areas that we miss the mark.
c) Shem and Japheth covered Noah and demonstrated grace, and honor. They chose to esteem their father and relate to him per his destiny and calling as a man of God, a preacher of righteousness/intercessor who pleased God and delivered the human race from the flood.
d) Romans 8:1 – Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. e) We follow the example of Noah’s sons in Genesis 9, and the example of Jesus in John 8, and we cover the nakedness of our fallen natures. We will protect the reputations of others and allow God to convict and expose sin by His Spirit. We seek to protect the identities of people as children of God, and bring restoration by mercy, love and restorative ministry.
Honor at Refuge
a) Inherited Honor – All people are God’s creation. Therefore sinner or saint is due the honor of being made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27. We honor all because Jesus paid the price with His blood to redeem all who would say yes!
b) The person, who is in Covenant Relationship with God through the blood of Jesus, is called a child of God. Galatians 3:26, 1 John 3:1 – Therefore each person at Refuge is favored, loved and protected by the Lord. We relate to each other in this light.
c) Acquired Honor – We acquire honor for God when we do exploits for the Kingdom of God. Mark 16:15-18. When the people of God walk and demonstrate Kingdom Living, Jesus receives honor and glory.
d) We acquire honor by Holy Living, 2 Timothy 2:20-21. By living in purity, and holiness we demonstrate the seriousness and weight of the Scriptures to those who hold a lesser view of Christ.
e) Challenges to our honor – There are no legitimate challenges to the honor of a Child of God, a Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation.
Culture of Love at Refuge
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;
a) Love – Greek– AGAPĒ – affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love
b) This is love that contends to God’s highest purposes for people and relates to one another with that understanding.
c) This is, in my estimation, the most challenging aspect of our faith. It is difficult to walk out personally and just as difficult corporately in the context of a faith family. However this is a powerful manifestation of Spirit of God and Jesus said that we would be known by our love. John 13:35 – “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
d) We are seeking to create a culture of nurturing love and acceptance that is born as a supernatural grace from the Holy Spirit. Imagine the possibility of being a movement known by not only its supernatural power, but by its love and honor for people. We would completely change the expression of Christianity and its reputation in America.
Rosh Hashanah Activation
a) Rosh Hashanah – Head of the Year – The Biblical name for this day is Yom Teruah – The Day of Shouting/Praise – We know it as the Feast of Trumpets
b) The Scriptural reference to Rosh Hashsah is Leviticus 23:23-25 – It is the first day of the seventh month –TISHREI – Beginning
c) The symbolic significance of Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of God creating Adam and Eve, i.e. humanity made in His image, The Judgment at the end of the ages, and the eternal kingdom of Messiah to come.
d) The celebration begins by blowing the trumpet to shouts of praise and making the declaration “Shanah Tovah” or “blessed new year” as apples are dipped in honey to symbolize the expectation of God’s goodness and sweetness on your lives.
e) As believers in Jesus the Messiah we celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the reality that we are under the covenant blessing of Messiah as His Bride, the object of His love. Beloved, in Jesus, everyday holds the expectation of the promises of God and His blessing on your life.