How to Use this material
- Learn it for yourself and take its message to heart.
- Answer the questions and reflect on them, especially on God’s Word, and what it means to your personal life.
- Share this material with the people around you. God wants to use your life, so others would come to know Christ! Feel free to share to them this material.☺
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” – Psalm 24:1
Play a game of charade using influential people like presidents, advocates or celebrities.
These people are known for doing something good; something noble and therefore praised and honored by most of us. But we know someone who did something really great for the whole world and deserves to be praised and honored with everything we’ve got and that is Jesus.
Reflect on the lyrics of the song Amazing Love (You are my King) by Chris Tomlin.
- Hook: Do you have people you look up to? How did he/she earned your respect?
Honor refers to the value we personally place on something or someone. It is to regard or treat someone with respect, admiration, love and awe. But what does it mean to honor God? There can be a lot of ways. We can honor God by acknowledging that everything is His and not ours. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Everything is the Lord’s, whatever you have, whoever you have. Your clothes, your gadgets, your money, your friends, your family, even the littlest things that you have. We can honor Him with our money, giving what is rightfully His (Proverbs 3:9). We can honor God with our body by being sexually pure (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). We can honor God by being fully devoted to Him (Romans 14:8). We can honor Him by bringing praise (Psalm 22-23). We can honor Him by respecting and acknowledging that He is great and He is God.
But honoring God outwardly is not enough. We should all the more honor Him from the inside. The Lord says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13) It is possible to honor God with the things we do yet still dishonor Him with our hearts. It is possible to go to church every Sunday and yet go back to your normal routine from Monday to Saturday. It is possible to read your Bible day and night and yet not apply it to yourself. It is possible to worship God, lift your hands, even cry and yet do not worship Him at all. So let us check our hearts. Why are you reading your Bible? Why are you praying? Why are you attending church services every Sunday? Why do you give your tithes and offering? Why are you attending CGs? Why do you fellowship with other believers? Why do you fast? Why are you studying hard? If your answer would be just to please human beings, check your heart again. The things you do should be all because of your overflowing love for God. Because you honor God and you love Him, nothing more; nothing less.
Honoring God is not just external issue but also internal issue. You can do everything externally; not doing bad things to others, not cheating or stealing, read your Bible every day, go to church every Sunday (or even on midweek), fast for few days, obey the laws but can never be really honoring the Lord. So how is your heart? Is your heart right with God? The Bible says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Do everything for His glory. Always ask yourself in everything, “Am I going to honor God with what I do, say or think?” The answer would be between you and the Lord.
- Look: Based on our discussion, in what ways do you think you have dishonored God intentionally or not?
- Took: What do you want to be more cautious about or how do you think you can honor God more through your life?
Think of the things in your life that dishonors the Lord. Reflect and repent. The Lord hears and is always ready to forgive a heart that is sincere. Pray for your life to be glorifying to the Lord. Pray for a heart that honors God.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
– (Deuteronomy 5:16, Ephesians 6:1-2)
If Mom Knows… If Dad Knows…
Ask the group to think of something they’ve done or is still doing that their parents don’t know about and how they would react if they knew.
Mention things that you are thankful for particularly in your family. Lead the group in prayer.
- Hook: What do you usually argue about with your parents?
“Parents know best.” The phrase we all know but sometimes take for granted. Have you ever experienced regretting because you did not follow your parents? They told you not to do this, but you ended up doing otherwise. And you’ll tell yourself, “I should’ve listened to them,” or “I should’ve done what they told me to do.” We all experienced these. Obeying our parents is not something children just do. In fact, it is commanded in the Bible in Colossians 3:20; “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” When we obey our parents, we, not just please them, but we also please the Lord.
There is difference between obeying and honoring. To obey means to do as one is told; to honor means to respect and love. Children are to obey while under parents’ care, but the responsibility to honor parent is for life. We should not just obey them because we are ought to and commanded to do that. But we obey them out of love and respect to them.
May we all be reminded that as we grow old; they are growing old as well. We know that our lives are just temporary here on earth. We should not take our parents for granted just because we know that they are always there for us. Do something that will actually honor them. Make them feel how you love them. Give them flowers, write a letter, kiss them goodnight, go to shopping together, treat them breakfast, and tell them you love them while they can still hear those words.
Obeying our parents is our main task when we are young, but honoring them should continue even beyond their death. One way to honor parents is to provide for them in times of financial need or when they are ill and unable to take care for themselves. Honoring involves all that sons and daughters do with their lives – the way they work and talk, the values they hold, and the morals they practice. What are you doing to show respect to your parents? Are you living in a way that brings honor to them?
What are the things you think that dishonor your parents? Are you willing to change? Pray for changes in your life. Pray for a life that not just honors your family, but also honors the Lord. Pray that you would be obedient from now on. Pray for love to overflow in your life so that it will outflow from the inside out.
Honoring Your Body
“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Welcome everyone and ask them how their week was.
Reflect on the lyrics of the song “Refiner’s Fire”.
- Hook: Have you experienced lending something but the borrower broke it or lose it? How did you feel?
Imagine borrowing something from someone; say it’s a rest house. Your friend lends it to you with your family for three days and told you to feel at home. What will you do? Will you not take care of it? Will you try to break something? Or you will just really act as if the house is yours? You wouldn’t mind the real owner of it? It’s the same with your body. Your body is not yours anymore. It’s the Lord’s and we should do what pleases Him. We should take care of this body and honor God with it.
The Bible is clear in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 to: Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
What did Paul mean when he said that our body belongs to God? Many people say they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. Although they think that is freedom, they are enslaved to their own desires; humans’ selfish desires. But when we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Therefore, we no longer live with our own bodies. God bought us “with a high price” and it is His death that freed us from sin.
Imagine being chased by an aggressive dog. What will your initial reaction be? Are you going to run? Are you going to cry for help? Are you going to be still? Are you going to let the dog run to you and bite you? Or will you try to play with the dog? Now, imagine that dog is the sin. What will you do? Cry? Be Still? Let that sin approach you and play with it? Or you can run as fast as you can from that sin? Paul told us to flee, run, shun, and go away from sin. So whenever you are tempted; flee from sexual immorality and run to Jesus!
Anything we do against God and others is sin. What are the things you have done in the past? What are the things you told not to do again but did anyway? What are the things you do that dishonors God with your body?
Now that you know that your body is not yours, what are the changes you will do? The Bible is clear in Romans 12:1, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Is your body pleasing to the Lord? Are you being a living sacrifice for the Lord? Remember, we honor God when we take care of our body. Not just being pure physically but also in eating healthy foods, exercising, and having enough sleep. Besides, we cannot do His works and ministries if our body is sick and unable.
Your body is a gift from God. He lends it to you and it’s your responsibility to manage it well. What are you doing with what He’s given you? When you honor God with your body, you are actually saying, “God, this is not mine, this is Yours. Do whatever you want with it. I will be a living sacrifice.”
Pray for God’s forgiveness. Pray for your body to be offering to the Lord and be a living sacrifice. Pray for a life that only pleases the Lord; doing what honors Him.
Honoring Your Leaders
￼“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
Play a simple game of “follow the leader.” The leader will initiate movements and the member to his/her right will imitate first followed by the next member, then the next and so on.
Name three things that you are thankful for this week. Lead the group in prayer.
Do you remember the first time you knew or accepted Jesus Christ in your heart? Who invited you to that service or Bible study or fellowship? Do you still remember that person? Do you still remember the preacher who was preaching? Do you still remember the person who shared Jesus to you?
We all have that person we are thankful for who exerts effort to lead us to Christ; a friend, a classmate, a workmate, family, total stranger or a preacher. We all have that person who not just introduced us to Christ but is also helping us to grow closer to Him and live a life like Christ. The Bible tells us that we are to show honor to those who are spiritually instructing and discipling us: 1 Timothy 5:17, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”
Preaching and teachingare closely related. Preaching is proclaiming the Word of God and confronting listeners with the truth of Scripture. Teaching is explaining the truth in Scripture, helping learners understand difficult passages, and helping them apply God’s Word to daily life. The Bible says that these people are worthy of double honor. However, sometimes, we take them for granted.
From a leaders perspective, they are to see themselves as servants who when they have done their work humbly say, “I have just done what I was supposed to do.” But from the perspective of the people, however, they are to be honored. They are not greater than the congregation, as some think, but they are just like us; humans, in need of prayers, struggling, and all.
Think of how you can honor your leaders who work hard in preaching and teaching. When was the last time you thanked your CG leader for taking care of you? For discipling you? For not giving up on you? When was the last time you appreciated your pastor for preaching the Word every Sunday? When was the last time you complimented those who work hard in leading other people to Christ? When was the last time you took effort to really pray for your leaders, pastors and your church?
Get a piece of paper and write down the person who introduced Jesus to you; your CG leader; your pastors; and pray for them. Ask forgiveness if you have taken them for granted. Pray for your church. Pray for your leaders. Pray for more leaders to emerge. Pray for yourself to be like them; leading people to Christ.