This final way of showing honour will change your life forever. You show someone else honour by honouring them with your substance.
Proverbs 3.9 says “honour the Lord with your substance”. Now, you need to read post 1 and find out that you cannot do this if you do not honour with your attitude. But an honour that is attitude only is never full honour. An honour that does not become tangible is not full honour.
We will never outgrow the need to honour other people who are impacting our lives with substance. The Pharisees taught that you could if it inconvenienced you, but Jesus said no – that’s a tradition that kills the power of God’s Word. We still have people today teaching and preaching against honour and against tithing to the local church.
Our church family used to host a Bible College belonging to another ministry. We were always very careful to honour that other ministry, and the people who came to that college who were not from our church, we honoured them. One day I was in the college to pick someone up and there was a lady from our church came up to me to give me a testimony. On the Sunday I had a prophetic word for her about her finding a new job and getting a pay rise. this was only Tuesday evening and already every part of the word had come true and she was now earning a lot more than she ever had in her life. I praised God with her and another student came over, and pointed at me “Do not give this man or his ministry a penny from your increase. He is only a lowly pastor, give all the tithe to this Bible College, it is the true teacher in your life”. Well, there is so much wrong in that it would take a week to point out every deviation from Scripture, but the root of it was a lack of honour. If honour cannot turn into honouring with substance it is not real honour! Sadly, that lady listened to the voice leading her to show no honour. She gave a grand total of 3 pence (yes, I was accurate there) to the church that year. That is a failure to honour! Now that lady is not even going to church. That’s a tragedy.
It’s not even the substance that matters, your gift is something that matters to you. The substance is to you. Ministers with large ministries, with great book sales and CD sales, they probably do not need your gift. You are giving it because you honour them, the honour is the key!
God does not need your money! He is not hungry, he is not in need. But He receives our offerings anyway to enable us to honour Him! I don’t need any more food, in fact, I need less food, but when someone wants to bring me food, I receive it to let that person show honour. I have three sons in their late teens or early twenties, food does not go to waste in my house. You do not give to God because God is starving, God does not eat food! God does not spend twenty pound notes! Have you ever thought of that? God needs nothing we give to Him, He absolutely does not need your tithe. And I don’t either, I know how to abound and I know how to abase. You need to tithe to Tree of Life, Tree of Life does not need your tithe.
When you honour someone with your substance, make sure it is from the top not the bottom. In Malachi, people were bringing animals to sacrifice to the Lord that were blind, lame and sick. They were giving from the bottom, not the top. If you want to know what giving from the bottom looks like, tell your church you need new toys for the children’s ministry. Your church will become a giant skip for all the broken, useless, grubby, mangy toys that no one would ever give their own children. Malachi’s warning to bring from the top is still important to us today:
And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person, saith the Lord of Hosts (Malachi 1.6-8. KJV)
Think about your offering – if it was how you acted and showed honour at work, would your boss appreciate it or not. It amazes me how people who can turn up for work on time five days a week stroll into church fifteen or twenty (or 30 or 40) minutes into the service all the time! They do not honour the church service or God! They just honour their boss and the money he gives them! Don’t give the church some broken piece of crockery, out of date chocolate no one can eat is not a suitable gift for your elders or pastors! If you don’t want an animal in your flock, why would you then give it as a gift? A lack of honour!
One of the greatest examples of honour in the whole Bible, if not the single greatest act of honour by a human, is when the woman with the alabaster box of ointment breaks it and pours it on Jesus (you can read it in Mark 14). That was worth a year’s wages according to the NIV Bible. The average London wage today is £37000. That perfume was worth tens of thousands of pounds and this lady showered all of it on Jesus!
Don’t wait until someone dies before having a no expense spared attitude to them. Give extravagantly today to honour the people who have influenced you and mentored you.
One thing we do at Tree of Life is we always give a generous honorarium to the ministers who come to the Tree to feed our people. The honorarium you give is a sign of honour! I have been in churches where I was given a can of coke for ministering. I had a precious evangelist come to us for a meeting and we raised an offering of several thousand, which I know will be used for crusades in much poorer nations. He mentioned he had just been in a much larger church than ours for a whole conference speaking every day more than once a day and they gave him £80. That did not even cover his expenses. That is not honour. That kind of action destablises a church.
Sadly, that much larger church has fallen apart, and Tree of Life is still giving. Again, it’s not about money, it is about honour. There are some speakers who normally have a minimum fee for speaking that right now Tree of Life Church could not afford, but they still come and waive that fee because we honour them. But for a church our size we punch far above our weight because we want to honour those ministers because we know what they bring to us and how they help all our people – especially our leaders. It’s like a whole Bible College for our leaders when we have guest speakers. It’s awesome!
The expenses, the rewards, the honorarium – all of that is an indication of the honour shown to you by that ministry. When there is no substantial gift there is no honour. I know one speaker who preached two nights in a church who told him “you are a man of faith, believe God to look after you”. That minister will be fine, but that church will not survive.
You need to think about the people who bless you and honour them with your substance. If you think that is wrong, you need to read your Bible. If you think it is inappropriate, that is because your thinking is based on ignorance.
In the next post, I will look at several signs of dishonour. Thanks for finding out about the five ways to show honour.