21st January 2019

No New Year Honour?

“…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV UK)

Did you read about the theatrical knight who expressed his displeasure that the notation concerning his new Honour only mentioned his services to the theatre? The fact that it failed to cite any of his other many talents and achievements in other fields left him decidedly miffed. I suspect that most of us would be just chuffed to receive any Honour.

Then again, you might just have noticed that Christians in particular are not honoured for their services to Christianity, but rather what they have done for charity or young people—in other words, for what their Christianity has led them to do? All of which might leave us feeling that Christianity is left out in the cold. Not so. Our God recognises that we need encouragement and he has done just that for us. He doesn’t hand out OBEs or knighthoods, but he has a singular honour to give to you and me. This is not something just for the future, it is a ‘now’ honour—something immediate and of great significance in our Christian lives. “Now,” we are told by John, “are we the sons of God.” I’m sure we don’t feel as if we’re sons of anyone of importance, other than our own parents. But actually we are (1 John 3:2), and he holds out other honours for us in the future. Already, Paul goes on to add, we have half a foot in heaven. We walk with God in heavenly places, he tells us—actually we sit with him in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6). We are, as it were, already at home in the heavenly sphere. Again, it doesn’t feel that way, does it? Especially when we experience some reverse in life, or the kitchen sink is blocked or the car won’t start. But it is something to dwell on especially when we are a bit down.

You know, if a buff envelope popped through our letterbox sometime to tell us that Her Majesty had decided to adopt us as a son or daughter, nothing else much would matter. Suddenly we’d find that we had instant access to palaces, to important people, including the Queen. If we drove up to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace, we’d just be waved through. And we’d be there by right, not by some special invitation. And that’s exactly what our God has done for us, thanks to the sacrifice of our Saviour and the grace he extends to us. So, no honour given to you again this year? Wherefore, as Paul says, comfort yourselves with these words.

“Merciful Father, we are your children and you love us just as we love our own little children. Thank you for your unfailing encouragement, the promises of a magnificent future in your kingdom with you and, especially, for your passion on our behalf. We pray this in Jesus’ name.

Study by John Stettaford

About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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