The Honor Due to God

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The Honor Due to God

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25-28. HDTG 1.1

There are very many degrees of service which we may render to God, but there is only one that is acceptable to him, and that is undivided service. God requires that all the faculties both of body and mind shall be consecrated to him; he will accept nothing less. We are to regard ourselves and all our talents, both of mind and means, as belonging to him without reserve. It is a rare thing to find one who realizes the full extent of the claims that God makes upon us. Our minds have been so warped by selfishness that it is difficult to even conceive of such perfect service as the law requires, and much more so to do it. It should be the great object of every person to have his spiritual discernment so quickened that he may be able to comprehend the completeness of service that God requires of him. It could not be any more forcibly stated than it is in the text above quoted, but to understand and carry out all the details is the work of a life-time. HDTG 1.2

But it should be constantly borne in mind that God does not make this claim upon us arbitrarily, and without sufficient reason. He claims no more than is his just due. In Revelation 4:11 we find the basis of God’s claim upon his creatures as follows:— HDTG 2.1

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” HDTG 2.2

It is because God has created us that he has a right to our service. This fact is made very prominent in the Bible. Why should we serve Jehovah, rather than the gods which the heathen worship? Because God created us and all things that we enjoy, and they did not. Paul says: “There be gods many and lords many, but to us there is but one God, the father, of whom are all things, and we are in him.” 1 Corinthians 8:5, 6. The psalmist says: “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:2, 3. Not only does he give to all “life, and breath, and all things,” but “in him we live, and move, and have our being.” If we had made ourselves, or could by our own aided efforts maintain our existence for a single moment, we would be under no obligation to any being; but since we are indebted to God not only for life, but for all that is necessary for its continuance, common gratitude requires us to render him all the service of which we are capable, for it is impossible for us to do as much for him as he is done for us. HDTG 2.3

Some may cavil at the expression, “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created;” but such persons forget that what is for the pleasure of God, is for our highest good. They forget the possibilities of a life which he has given us; that is only preparatory to a life that shall never end, a life filled with joys of which it is impossible for the mind of man to conceive. It is the Father’s “good pleasure” to give us the kingdom that shall have no end. The service of which the lawyer spoke, and of which Christ approved, is summed up in one word, “godliness,” and of this Paul says that it’is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8. It is only because men lose sight of what God is doing and propose to do for them, that they refuse to render him the service which is his due. HDTG 3.1

But love to God must be expressed in some tangible form. The love that consists merely of a dreamy sentimentality, and indefinable “good feeling” that is dissipated by a call to the performance of some duty, comes far short of the love that will win eternal life. True love consists in doing, not in simple feeling; and words and protestations of affection are of little value unless accompanied by corresponding deeds. Said the Saviour: “If ye love, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. And again: “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 7:46. The apostle John also says: “And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 1 John 2:3; also, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3. When the lawyer quoted, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” etc., the Saviour replied, “Thou hast answered right; this doand thou shalt live.” There is something for us to do as well as to feel. A person can no more love God and fail to manifest it by deeds, than he can live without breathing. HDTG 3.2

But before we can manifest our love to God by deeds, we must know what would please him; and he has therefore specified the ways by which he would have men express their love for him, so that they can have no excuse for taking a course of which God disapproves, under the impression that they are pleasing him. Following are two of the ways in which we may honor God and show our love for him:— HDTG 4.1

1. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:13, 14. HDTG 4.2

2. “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9, 10. HDTG 5.1

By these two texts we see that God requires us to devote to him a portion of both our time and our means. Of our time he requires one-seventh; of our means one-tenth. We shall proceed to show that these requirements are exactly similar; that the same reasons exist for each; that both are explicit and unconditional; and that the same degree of guilt attaches to the neglect of one as to the other. In comparing them we shall give a few leading facts in regard to the Sabbath, and then consider the tithe in its various relations. HDTG 5.2