When I was growing up, I remember being held accountable for grades based on the actual grade. I was supposed to earn certain grades. Bottom line. I do things differently with my children. I want them to do their best, whether their best is an A or a B or whatever—I want them to know that whatever they do, they are to give their best effort. If they feel that they did their best, then they succeeded. If not, then we have a problem.
I have always tried to give everything my best effort. I’m sure you heard the phrase do your best because that is the best you can do. That’s what I always aimed to accomplish. The best. In Proverbs, “the best” is used when describing the things we produce. The Bible says that we are to honor God with “the best part of everything you produce.” This means, NO LEFTOVERS! Leftovers are not best unless we are talking about spaghetti.
To truly honor God, you bring before Him the best part of everything. He does not need your offerings. He doesn’t need anything from you or I—we need it! We need to be able to let go of the best part of everything so we can cling to God. He is better. We choose God over these temporary items because we have a desire in our heart for Him. If you are still handing over leftovers, ask God to open your heart so you open your hands and bring Him glory.
“Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” – Proverbs 3:9 [NLT]
As we run with Jesus, we continue to build godly relationships.
Godly living starts at home. If you aren’t living godly at home, you won’t succeed in godly living outside of the home.
Paul speaks about the importance of godly relationships in numerous letters.
- Husbands & wives
- Parents & children
- Masters & slaves
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
– Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]
- 18 – Wife put your husband first
- 19 – Husband love wife
- 20 – Children obey parents
- 21 – Parents don’t be hard on children
Husband and Wife (Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 5:22-33)
Loving leadership equals mutual respect – Ephesians 5:21
Husband sacrifices (Christ like sacrificial leadership by husband will keep the ultimate good of his wife in view at all times)
Wife submits (honors & affirms his leadership, helps him exercise role in family)
He loves her. He wants the best for her. She knows this and she submits.
- Wife does not practice absolute surrender – that is only to Jesus.
- Wife is not naturally or spiritually inferior
Parents and Children (Colossians 3:20-21, Ephesians 6:1-4)
- Children obey parents in everything as it pleases the Lord
- Parents don’t provoke less they become discouraged and give up
- Parents parent with firm loving guidance – not dictatorship
- Parents encourage – children obey
Bible Study Questions:
1) Read Ephesians 5:31-33.
What does verse 31 say husbands should hold fast to?
Verse 33 says that the man shall ________ the wife and the wife shall __________ the husband. What does this passage mean?
Which command is harder or are they both equal?
2) The Bible says that the man is to love his wife and the woman is to honor her husband. How does love and honor go hand in hand?
3) Regarding parent child relationships, both have responsibilities. Parents are called to ____________ their children. Children are to _______ their parents.
4) How does encouragement and obedience go hand-in-hand?
This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:
Believers, children of God, are considered “God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted” (1 Peter 2:9 MSG). Today, the big questions we should ask ourselves: Are you speaking out for Him? Is your life telling others of a difference He has made by your example? Are you praising God with your words and deeds?
The word excellencies is translated from “ἀρετάς” which literally means “virtue.” The only other time it is used in the New Testament is in Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). This same word is used in Isaiah 43:21, where we read: “the people I formed for Myself that they may proclaim my praise” (NIV). The New Living Translation states, “I have made Israel for Myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.” Eugene Peterson’s translation describes them as “people custom-made to praise me” (MSG).
If we are to “tell about the excellent qualities of God,” it is not simply by the words we speak, but by the actions we take in life (GW). We show forth praises by our profession of Truth and by a good example. Let us examine the words we speak. Let us examine the actions we take. Are we telling people about the “excellent qualities of God” or telling them something very different? Are we professing the Truth or spewing something else?
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 [ESV]
When I walk Max, I try to walk in a particular direction depending on whether it is morning or afternoon so as to not have the sun shining directly in my eyes. When the sun is in full force, it can be near blinding as you are trying to walk forward. I have enough trouble walking when I can see everything.
Today’s passage talks about bad behavior blinding people. The people were so blind that it never occurred to them to consider how to honor God with their lives; they never gave it a thought. Sadly we can spend a great deal of our time considering other things, though each day we should consider how to honor God with our lives.
Each day we can act in a way that will bring God glory or we can live for ourselves. Each day we can decide to follow God’s will or to take another path guided by our selfish flesh. Each day we can walk closer to God or take a few steps back. Today, I pray that you will ask the question, “How can we honor our God with our lives?” He alone deserves honor, glory and praise. Let us honor Him with our lives.
“It never occurs to them to say,
‘How can we honor our God with our lives,
The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn
and maintains the rhythm of the seasons,
Who sets aside time each year for harvest
and keeps everything running smoothly for us?’
Of course you don’t! Your bad behavior blinds you to all this.
Your sins keep my blessings at a distance.”
– Jeremiah 5:24-25 [MSG]