1 Peter 4:12-14
Honoring God through Jesus is much more than saying that we believe in Him or that He is the Son of God, it is living the consistent lifestyle that Jesus called upon us to live.
Most people who say that they believe are still living in the corrupt ways of this world with all its violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year, and this is not and can never be honoring God through Jesus; to the contrary, this is honoring Satan.
If we do not live the life that reflects the way we say we should live, we are seen as hypocrites, but if our lifestyle reflects the lifestyle that Jesus called upon us to live we will be believed and in the process we will be honoring God through Jesus.
Psalm 68:32-35, like all psalms, was written as a praise of God that is intended to help us understand who God really is.
32. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
Sing praises to the Lord,
The psalmist is calling upon all of us, including everyone else in the world to contemplate our need to accept God for who He is and to praise Him, and we need to remember that true praise like honoring is not just with our word or song, but with our whole being and lifestyle.
In other words, we need to be living in Godís heavenly will in order to truly show that our praise is real.
If we are part of the world system with all its violence, our praise can never be fully sincere, for our actions show that we donít really love and have empathy for the whole of His creation, for if we truly love, we will also love His creation.
33. To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times;
Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.
If we are born again, we should hear the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, and we believe that even non-believers hear His voice in what the world calls our conscience.
34. Ascribe strength to God;
His majesty is over Israel,
And His strength is in the skies.
And His strength and majesty are over the whole of His creation, for He spoke it all into existence along with the laws that hold it all together.
35. O God, Thou art awesome from Thy sanctuary.
The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people.
Blessed be God!
And Godís sanctuary is really the whole of heaven; furthermore, He does give everyone His strength and power, but most people donít utilize it, preferring to go along with the corrupt ways of this world.
Think about these things as we look at John 17:1-10, and what Jesus said to the people some 2,000 years ago as well as to us today.
1. These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee,
This is the same way that we believe that we should seek our relationship to be with our heavenly Father, for we should be filled with the Holy Spirit, living in His heavenly will, and glorifying Him in everything we do and say.
2. even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life.
Note carefully that this doesnít say that Jesus will give eternal life to everyone; instead it says that He ďmayĒ give it, which means that it is conditional.
Conditional on what?
We believe that it is conditional on whether or not we are living in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven.
We also believe that the gift of eternal life is not for those who willingly choose to live in the corrupt and violent ways of this world.
We are to be like Jesus in this world.
This is how we are to be honoring God through Jesus.
3. "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.
Again, we need to seriously think about what it means to ďknowĒ God, for people may know about who God and Jesus are and still live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world, but to truly know who God is and want to follow the ways that Jesus taught us to live, then we are the ones who receive eternal life, and not just because of this reward, because it is the only way we desire to live.
4. "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.
This Jesus did, but God has also charged us with protecting and caring for the whole of His creation (every human being, every animal, and the environment in which we all live).
5. "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
For anyone who may have any doubts about the whole Trinity being a part of the creation process, this verse should set them straight, for Jesus was with God His Father before He spoke creation into existence.
6. "I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word.
Likewise, we need to manifest God to the world around us in such a way that those who see and hear us would want to live as Jesus lived before the people when He was physically upon this earth.
7. "Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee;
The vast majority of the world today sure donít live this way, including most Christians and clergy.
We are to live in the heavenly will of God and do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption, whose violent ways are responsible for the suffering and death of millions of humans and billions of animals every year.
8. for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understood that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me.
The vast majority of people who call themselves followers of Jesus sure donít live like they have received the compassionate and empathetic word of the Lord for they remain a part of the corrupt world around them, and their lack of empathy can be clearly seen in what those people eat.
9. "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine;
And here Jesus makes the distinction between those who are truly born again and those who live in the world, and we all need to wake up to the fact that Jesus is not asking for everlasting life for the people who live as the world lives.
10. and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
And finally, Jesus tells us that all that He has is only for those who live in Godís heavenly will.
Either we are part of the heavenly realm, or we are part of this corrupt world; we cannot have it both ways; we either choose to live in heaven or we choose to live in hell; the choice is ours.
And because most people choose to live in the ways of this corrupt world, Jesus told us that broad is the road to destruction and narrow is the way to life.
Acts 1:6-11 gives us the account of the resurrected Jesusí last words before departing into heaven.
6. And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
Most people seem to want to know answers to questions like this, because they are not living in the heavenly will of God, because if they did, they would see beyond the restoration of Israel into the heavenly realm and be at peace with the Lord.
7. He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
And we have heard many people say that this happened in 1948 when Israel once again became a nation, but from looking at the way the people are living, it doesnít appear that this was what the Lord was referring to.
8. but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
This is where we are or should be today, but unfortunately most people are still living in the corrupt ways of this world.
9. And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Most people like to gaze at the spectacular, but relatively few want to live in the heavenly will of God.
10. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them;
And having two angels standing beside you is also spectacular, but are most of the people going to listen to them?
11. and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."
Most people in the world, including Christians, donít believe that this message is meant for them today, or they believe that they donít have to change their lifestyles until this happens, and they are wrong.
12. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
From reading above, it sounds like there were more people who witnessed Jesus rising into heaven than we are told of next.
13. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
14. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
These are the true disciples of Jesus.
This was really the start of the Way or what we know of today as Christianity.
In 1 Peter 4:12-14, Peter tells us part of what it means to be honoring God through JesusÖ
12. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
Letís look at this in terms of what it means to be a vegan, animal rights Christian, which we happen to believe is part of what it means to be living in the heavenly will of God.
We know many people believe and live this way all over the world, and most of them have been made to feel uncomfortable in their Christian churches because of their empathetic way of life, and they have even been mocked from the pulpit, and to us, this is one of these fiery ordeals.
13. but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.
We need to remember that Jesus was a Jew, and He was mocked because He spoke about living in the heavenly will of God and not like the world, which was the same way that most of the Temple leadership was living.
However, no matter how badly we may feel because of our fiery ordeals, they are not as bad as those that Jesus suffered, for His led to His murder.
14. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
We believe that we are following the way that Jesus wanted us to live, so in a way we are being reviled for the name of Jesus Christ, so as Peter says, we should feel blessed.
We should, because it is all part of honoring God through Jesus.
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