Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Orange Moon Wednesday, February 28, 2024 "Honor All"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Honor All"



      When we must disagree, we must not dishonor.

      "Honor all men" (I Peter 2:17).

      If we could measure shame and degradation, and then find the human being most guilty of having cast all dignity to the wind, the Apostle Peter's mandate would remain.  We assign value - "honor" - to people based not on who they are, but rather on who God is, and who they are in context of Him.  

    "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:25-28).

    The Apostle Paul did not address these words to believers, but rather to philosophers who considered Paul a "babbler" and communicator of  "strange gods" (Acts 17:25).  He nevertheless spoke to them with respect, based on his conviction of their being "not far" from God and His desire that they should come to know Him through the Lord Jesus. The Apostle viewed the philosophers through the lens of Christ rather than the perspective of human eyes, thoughts, and evaluations.  "Henceforth know we no man no man after the flesh" (II Corinthians 5:16).

    Certainly, Paul did not ignore the fact and extent of human wickedness, particularly because it had led to the suffering, forsakenness, and death of the One he so loved.  "Him… ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23).  However, Paul learned to see human beings as those for whom the Lord Jesus suffered the cross.  He viewed "wicked hands" in the sacred light of nail-pierced Hands.  The Apostle honored human beings as the expression of honoring their Maker and the One who desired to be their Redeemer.  Indeed, that "most guilty" one mentioned can became a most forgiven one, and one who may love in a most devoted manner.

   "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged" (Luke 7:41-43).

    We do not ignore sin and degradation.  Nor do we fail to define and challenge evil in God's terms revealed in Scripture.  "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Timothy 4:2).  We do so, however, in the light of the cross whereupon the Lord Jesus revealed God's redeeming intentions for human hearts.   Honor all?  Impossible - unless we affix our hearts and set our gaze toward Calvary, where the One worthy of all glory bore the shame of our sin.  Through His lens, in plain view of His sacrifice "for all," Peter's command illuminates our eyes and hearts to see that those we may rightly view as the most guilty and degraded can become the most forgiven - and, the most loving (II Corinthians 5:15).

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

(II Peter 3:9)

Weekly Memory Verse

    Pray without ceasing.

(I Thessalonians 5:17)


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