“It says in the Old Book: ‘He that honors me; I will honor.’ Good luck” (Jackson Schultz). Thus begins the final race in the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric Liddell was passionate about making sure everyone knew who he was serving, because he knew that he had the ability to give God honor in every area of life. His father challenged him to make sure that God was honored in his running by telling him: “You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don’t compromise… Run in God’s name and let the world stand back and in wonder.”
Over the past few weeks, God has been teaching me a great deal about service that honors him. It seems like God has something new to teach me about God honoring service everywhere I turn: personal devotions, sunday school, readings with Erin (my wife) and sermons.
A couple days ago, I was reminded of the fact that God will reward true, quality service at the Bema of Christ. On that day, God will judge every Christian for his actions during his time here on earth (2 Cor. 5:10). Paul gives us a picture of what will happen at this judgment in 1 Cor. 3:13 saying: “his [a Christian’s] work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” At first, it appears that Paul doesn’t give an explanation for the difference between quality work and work that isn’t quality. However, if we take a look at the broader context of the chapter, we see that Paul gives ample explanation. We discover that the Paul is addressing people who are struggling giving credit to people rather than God, even to the point of causing disputes in the church. Paul’s rebuke to this church is that they need to give God the honor for all the work and think of themselves as God’s servants who are joined in God’s work. The test of quality work is simply to ask: Did God get the honor? Or, Did someone else get the credit?
Sometimes it may seem like the splitting of hairs to make sure that God gets the honor, but the Bema of Christ reveals that ensuring God’s honor has lasting implications for even our eternal future. In what way could you give God honor today? I believe that God made you for a purpose, that purpose is his honor, and he as gifted you for that purpose. To use your gifts for anyone else’s glory is to hold God in contempt, but to serve in God’s name, is to honor him.
Author: Pastor Zach Kemper (Valley Bible Church, VA)