Guarding Your Heart Series- “Whatever is Honorable”

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“FINALLY, BROTHERS,

WHATEVER IS TRUE,

WHATEVER IS HONORABLE,

WHATEVER IS JUST,

WHATEVER IS PURE,

WHATEVER IS LOVELY,

WHATEVER IS COMMENDABLE,

IF THERE IS ANY EXCELLENCE,

IF THERE IS ANYTHING WORTHY OF PRAISE,

THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.”

Philippians 4:8

My younger sister was recently told her privileges of TV and freetime had been suspended because she had abused her grounds to speak freely, and moved into disrespectful territory. The God-given authority, her parents, whom she should honor, had reminded her that she over-stepped her boundaries and dishonored them. Her response, which got her in even more trouble, was “SO DON’T HAVE ANY RIGHTS!?” She’s 11.

I don’t like politics.  I don’t like to vote. I don’t know much about how the government actually works. (Does anybody really?)

However, I know that the reign of God and the acceptance of His absolute authority in the hearts of men is a concept that many people, and even Christians despise. Even those who participate in political talks, who are Christian, rarely speak of Jesus as Lord and King, in the literal, everyday context.  Christian jargon uses phrases like, “Jesus is Lord”, “Jesus is King”, “King of Kings”, and “Jesus is Lord of my life” way too loosely without a life that matches the words, although they are all true.

Do you know what it means to make Jesus the Lord of your life? It means that your life has to be a theocracy. Theocracy is a form of government in which the people and land are governed by a god, gods, or a ruler with direct connection with the divinity. Moses and the Hebrew people are considered a theocracy in social studies.  Moses spoke directly to God and conveyed God’s law to the people. Simple. However, what about your personal life? The example of Moses is an Old Testament or “old covenant” example, meaning that before Jesus came to earth in human likeness to pay the price for sin through His death, burial and resurrection, those who wanted to follow Yahweh could not have direct access to His ways or words without going through the prophet of God or priest.  Jesus is has three primary offices he holds of Prophet (Luke 13:33), Priestest (Heb.4:14), and King(Eph.1:22; Col. 1:16-17). (You can check this post for further study and explanation of the threefold offices of Christ.) Jesus executes these offices perfectly and in them we see the ruler of our hearts.

We must submit our lives to His authority as King and ruler of everything in our lives (James 4:7). Those phrases are just words without actually submitting to the lordship of Christ in our lives.
So what is honorable? Whatever is honorable or noble is what we are discussing in this post, so what does the lordship of Christ in my heart have to do with what I should think on? The Greek word here is semnos meaning venerable, honorable, grave, serious, dignified. I love word studies because they give you a deeper meaning of the original word where our English languages sometimes fails.  This word is derived from the Greek word sebó which means to worship.  Honestly, I was a little confused at how we went from thinking of honor, to worship.

This word really means that we should think on whatever is worthy of worship with a sense of weighty awe, reverence, and grave sobriety.  Whatever is of noble stature, exalted in moral character and uprightness, is what we should meditate on.  Jesus is worthy of our worship (Ps. 96:9). Jesus is to be reverenced and feared (Deut. 13:4; Ps.33:3). Jesus is royalty and therefore, He is honorable (Zechariah 14:9).

In America, we have a democracy. A democracy is a form a government where the people decide who represents them and govern the society.  As an American, I can say that I am VERY unclear about how a monarchy is run.  A monarchy is the form of government where there is one ruler, who rules the government well, and wise, and is the sole decision maker.  American Christians have no idea what this means. We are very spoiled believe that our decisions are our own and we are entitled to live how we please. We want to marry how we choose. We want to speak our minds. We want our own way. We love to tell people that they cannot tell us what to do. We love to say “This is America!” or something about our rights when confronted with any hint of tyranny, like my sister, who believed the parents she should honor, had taken away her freedom and turned from loving to tyrannical.

Tyranny is the form of government where the ruler has obtained the office of a monarch, unnaturally or unlawfully and has corrupted the office. We can sometimes live like we think God is the tyrant, not the monarch. He loves us and wants to protect us. He is kind, gentle, loving, and gracious. He is also just and will not tolerate anything trying to be a tyrant in your heart. No spouse, no job, no vanity, no thing will overthrow Him in your heart. He won’t allow it. He is jealous and has clearly stated that there will be no other god in your life before Him.(Exodus 20:5, 34:14)

Surrender your heart to Him. He is a kind and merciful King. He can rule your heart better than any tyrant or democratic government ever could. When your id, ego, and superego (psychological voices of reason in your head) try to make the decision-making in your life democratic, remind them that this is not a democracy. What the King says in His Word, the Bible is what is going to govern all your decisions. Remind the voices around you that you are not of this world and that you will not entertain other options that are contrary to the Bible, or against your King’s laws. We cannot live a “when in Rome” lifestyle. We are called to live like we belong to another kingdom.

The ruler of your heart must be the King, Jesus. There are no other options in his Kingdom and He will never share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11).

Jesus is honorable, noble, upright, and worthy of worship. Nothing in my life requires that kind of attention, but Him. Spend time in quiet, solemn, meditation, where you think on the goodness and wonder of God. Take time daily to worship Him with a serious, reverential attitude. Think on these things and the peace of God will bee with you. Phil. 4:8

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