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Have Honor

Sermon Series:

Words To Live By

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Proverbs 24:23-34


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And everyone in every venue said, Amen.

My name is Ryan. I'm the lead pastor here at Peace Church. I am blessed to be able to have a front-row seat of what God is doing here. But I want to start off by with this very strong and stark reminder to everyone here. We are here because Jesus Christ rose again. Every other religion's leader is dead, but ours is alive. So here's what I'd say to you, church, don't walk in and don't sit here like dead people. We follow the one who is alive, so you act alive. Are you excited about this day, yes or no? Amen.

Church, Jesus is alive, and I know that we are in February and so it seems like Christmas is a distant memory But I want to remind us about what we believe about Jesus that he is God the Son Who left heaven? Came and was born that little boy in that manger. He lived a perfect life So that he could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins So that we wouldn't have to pay the price for our sins. He did that for us upon the cross. And when he went to the grave, he took death with him. But he left the grave and death stayed there so that we could have life. And his resurrection is our guarantee and our promise for a new life in our own hearts, in our lives, in our spirits.

And I love what Hebrews 2, verse 9 says about this. I love how the writer of Hebrews puts this. He says, But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, saying that Jesus Christ humbled himself. He left the glory of heaven and was born. He was made lower than the angels. He took on human form. But now, listen to Now he's crowned, he's crowned with glory and honor. And because of the suffering of his death, so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone. What scripture is saying is that Jesus came with a mission. He humbled himself, and when he completed that mission by his death on the cross and his resurrection to new life, and his ascension back to heaven. Yes, he is our humble Savior, but he is crowned with glory. And what was that H word? Did you hear it? Crowned with glory and honor. Honor. And this is available, this salvation is available for everyone who puts their faith in him. But I love what it says here that he was clothed in glory and honor. He was first clothed in humility and coming to earth, but after being victorious, he is now clothed in honor.

But the thing about honor is our culture doesn't really talk about that word a whole lot. But we need to. And I want to spend some time today talking about honor. Because Christians, that's what we are called to. As we reflect Christ in this world, we reflect the one who's crowned with glory and honor, and speaking of Hebrews the last chapter verse chapter 13 verse 18 says pray for us for we are sure that we have a clear conscience desiring to act honorably in all things Romans 12 17 says give thought to do what is honorable in the all. So let me ask you a very difficult question. Church, this goes for you. Are you an honorable person? Do you consider honor as a marker of your life and how you conduct yourself in the world? Because honestly, when I look out in our world and I look at the lives of Not sure we're guilty of a lot of honor these days. I mean, people wearing pajamas out in public. Teenagers openly swear without any regard for who's around them. Drag queens reading Story Hour to kindergartners. I mean, you can't even hold a door for a woman anymore without someone accusing you of upholding the patriarchy. It just seems like our culture, in our culture, there's nothing that's universally held in honor or seen as honorable these days. Because everything offends somebody.

And so church, we just have to recognize the fact that we're called something different. And as I'm gonna make an argument for today, that something different is to walk in honor. So if you are just joining us today, and I know there's a number of people who are joining us today because of new members and for baptism, so bless you. Thank you for being here if you're visiting with us today.

Today we are closing up. We're finishing up a five-part sermon series we've called Words to Live By. Wisdom the world has lost. And this has really just been a verse-by-verse walkthrough of Proverbs chapter 24. So would you go ahead and turn there now? Because we're talking about wisdom right now here at Peace Church because let's just face it in 500 years when they look back at our time they're not going to say that was a group of wise people unless something changes and that something needs to be from and through the church and so as you're turning there let me just say a couple of things.

Number one, I'm not claiming to be a wise man. I'm claiming to be a man pursuing wisdom because what I want you to know is that wisdom is available. It's available to us all, and not just conventional wisdom, godly wisdom that has stood the test of time. And it's found in the book of Proverbs. And it's lasted for 3,000 years. The wisdom found in the book of Proverbs predates Plato, predates Confucius and predates English as a language, and yet we're still learning from it. And so, as we close up this series, we're going to look at these verses here. Proverbs 24: 23-34, is the last part of this chapter.

And this section really is indicative of what we see throughout the book of Proverbs. It's sort of a potpourri of wise sayings, just seemingly these randomly wise sayings. But as we read this passage together, I'm wondering, could you pick up a common theme? Like what's a thread? Yes, it's wisdom, but is there another thread that's woven through this passage? Let's read it and let's find out together. And so would you hear the word of the Lord, Proverbs 24. We'll start at verse 23 and we'll head to the rest of the chapter. Would you hear God's Word?

23 These also are sayings of the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.

24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”

will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,

25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,

and a good blessing will come upon them.

26 Whoever gives an honest answer

kisses the lips.

27 Prepare your work outside;

get everything ready for yourself in the field,

and after that build your house.

28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,

and do not deceive with your lips.

29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;

I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

30 I passed by the field of a sluggard,

by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,

31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;

the ground was covered with nettles,

and its stone wall was broken down.

32 Then I saw and considered it;

I looked and received instruction.

33 A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.

This is God's word. Let's pray and let's continue. Let's pray.

Father God in heaven above, Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth, and all wisdom and all truth are yours. So we humbly ask in the name of Jesus that by the power of the spirit and by the truth of your word that you would grant us wisdom this morning, that we'd be people marked by a heavenly honor and godly wisdom in a world of darkness. It's for your glory that we pray these things. Amen and amen.

So I'm just going to say right off the bat, today is a meat and potatoes type sermon. Today is just one of those meals that we need to have and just consume to stay healthy and spiritually alive. I know we like to hit on hot topics at Peace Church, and we're not afraid to venture into that realm, but sometimes we just need to have a healthy meal. And I think that's what this section of Proverbs gives us this morning.

So again, as we look at this collection of wise sayings, again, there are so many descriptors I think that we could say about this passage, but if there's one thing that I think is a unifying word that hits both the general thrust of this section but also hits at what is severely lacking in our day it would be honor and so the words to live by today if I could give you two words it'd be this have honor for those who walk in Christ have the honor and to have a heavenly honor we need a godly wisdom and that's something that we're going to talk about today. So here's the outline, if you'd like that ahead of time. Here's where we're going with this section. Wise people live honorably. And honorable people create a blessed example, they create a better society, and they create a beautiful life. Blessed example, a better society, and beautiful life. So let's look at our first section here. Honorable people create a blessed example. Christians in the house, you are to set a good example for the church and for the world. Your life, yes, is on display and you need to be setting a good example. Let me just give you a selection of scripture here real quick. 1 Timothy 4:12 speaks to the youth in the church and it says, let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example. You saw that just now With all of our youth making profession of faith and getting baptized and coming to Jesus and declaring their faith They're setting an example for the rest of us 1 Thessalonians 1: 6-7. The Apostle Paul commends the Christians there because he says this you became Imitators of us and the Lord so that you became an example to all believers.

Philippians 3:17 says keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

1 Peter 5:3 tells the elders of the church that they are to set an example quote not domineering over those in their charge, but being examples to the flock of course our greatest example is Jesus Christ himself, 1 Peter 2:21 says, For to this you have been called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you might follow in his steps. Christians, when we are honorable people, we create a blessed example. And these three verses show us some markings of this.

The first thing that we see is that honorable people create a blessed example marked by fairness. Please keep your Bibles open in front of you today. Proverbs 24, verse 23, look at what it says. It says these are also the sayings of the wise, partiality in judging is not good. Brothers and sisters, do you know how much that statement just confronts everything about our world right now? I mean, everyone, both sides of the aisle need to be deeply challenged by this right here and right now. This is about fairness. And you know how this plays out in our society? This plays out by being fair, by looking at the facts of the matter. Not letting our emotions get the best of us, but looking at the facts of the matter. Not that we don't have compassion. We most certainly do. Christians are called to have compassion, but our judgment is not influenced by narrative, by hype, or what is trending at the moment, we are to look at the facts, not show partiality. And let me just say something here that's probably gonna get me somewhere between canceled and crucified. We are not to show partiality to those who are marginalized or to those who are powerful. We are to judge by the truth of the matter because Christians are people of truth. Yes, love. Yes, compassion. Yes, empathy. But we judge not with partiality, but by truth. Wise people who judge fairly because we are people of the truth. So I would say this to you, my friends, be cautious of the news and the media that you get, that they're not partial in their judgment, thereby making you partial in yours. Because wise people are people who are fair. The other marker of being a blessed example, yes, is fairness, but it's also integrity. Keep your Bibles open, verses 24 and 25. Whoever says to the wicked, you are in the right, will be cursed by peoples abhorred by nations. Abhorred means really hated. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight and a good blessing will come upon them. So our integrity stems from our wisdom and our honor, wisdom, and honor that guard against taking part in what is wicked, even if what is wicked is celebrated and popular or powerful. Rather, we take a stand for what is right in this world even when no one else does. Even when it leads you to be canceled. Because this is called integrity and God blesses that. Which is why we can say we are to be a blessed example.

So fairness, integrity, and the third thing we see here is honesty. Honesty. Go back to verse 26. This is an important one to make sure you don't misinterpret here. Verse 26, whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips. So obviously there's an imagery going on here. This sign of truthfulness has levels of intimacy and love. Because when you don't share the truth with someone, you might be kissing the other end, either out of envy, jealousy, or fear. But we are people who communicate truth, and that's like kissing the lips, which means it must be done in intimate ways, in loving ways. If your truth feels like a slap on the face, you're not doing it right. And I'm not saying the truth doesn't sting, but I'm saying our approach must be like a kiss on the lips. So Christians here's a challenge for us. We need to be able to receive honest critique and we need to be able to give it. Meaning we need to be able to have and handle those awkward conversations that we need to hear and have at times. So, friends, have friends who will have those conversations with you. If your friends never share things that you never want to hear, I wonder how deep your conversations really are. An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Let me just say this real quick, and this one is especially I'd say for maybe the married people here. Everything that's said needs to be true, but not everything that's true needs to be said. Wisdom helps to determine when and what you say, especially when you say it. And so when we do speak, make sure it's true and as intimate as a kiss on the lips, meaning it's done in love, not a weak and deceptive way like you're kissing, again, the other end. Because Christians, we are to follow the example we have in Christ. So honorable people create a blessed example marked by fairness, integrity, and honesty. And honorable people also create a better society. If I can say that, I'm going to say that.

Let's talk about what we mean. If you want to know if honor is a part of your society and just look at your culture? Do we show that we demonstrate honor? That we value honor? Because honestly, I don't see much of it these days. And I'm not saying there are not sparks of hope out there, we're all still made in the image of God, capable at times of doing great and godly things for one another. But do we even smile at each other anymore? Are we teaching our kids how to act in public? I mean, dads, are you teaching your sons about the respectful nod to another man? What's up? Or, that's what you say to a peer, or to another man out of respect.

Because men are to respect other men. Like, are we teaching our kids, especially our sons, like when a lady enters the room, you stand up because we honor women? Do we have honor as a value in our society I think a lot of us will say, well, that feels old-fashioned. Does that make it bad? Don't we want to be a society that has more honor? Honoring others out in public is just another way that we love our neighbor and create a better society. And wise and honorable people know this.

Let's look at the picture that Solomon paints for the type of man that he wants his son to be. Again, Solomon wrote and compiled the book of Proverbs. He says he wrote it to his son. Let's break this down. What are some markers of this? Honorable people create a better society marked by responsibility. Look at verse 27. It says, prepare your work outside. Get everything ready for yourself in the field and after that build your house. Okay, so what Solomon is saying here is actually quite simple. Don't overcomplicate this. Yes, he's speaking from an agricultural society, but again, don't overcomplicate this. What he's saying is to take care of first things first. He's saying to live within your means. He's saying to be a responsible person. Live according to the reality of your life. Buy what you can afford. Make sure that your home is relative to your income. Make sure that your farm is appropriate to the amount of land that you own. And listen to me. I know this goes against the American dreamer spirit. I mean, I was that 22-year-old who left everything and moved to Nashville to be a songwriter. This goes against the American dreamer spirit here, but responsible people create a better society. And I am not saying, please hear me on this, I am not saying don't be a dreamer, but I am saying don't be a fool. And sometimes our world confuses those two. I'm not saying don't be a dreamer, I'm saying don't be a fool. Because responsible people build a better society. So, get everything ready and then build your house. Which leads to the second thing.

First marked by responsibility, but a better society is also marked by justice. Verse 28, be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.

Okay, do you see what this passage is saying here? It's saying don't be a social justice warrior that is quick to condemn everything the media tells you to condemn. It's saying be someone who stands for actual justice in your world. A justice that's not rooted in narrative or talking points, but a justice rooted in truth. Don't be deceptive with your lips. Don't push a false narrative about people or each other. It's like we said earlier, everything that we say needs to be true. It doesn't have to be accepted. But everything we say needs to be true. Because a better society has justice as a defining marker, a justice driven not by deception or bigoted narratives, but justice driven by truth. And I'll tell you what about our society. One thing I know in our world of 24-hour news, we are so quick to hear a story and then jump right to judgment, even though we weren't even there. And I'm not saying that some things aren't obvious at the front, but I am saying that I agree with the Word of God here. Don't be a. Don't be a witness against your neighbor without cause and your assumptions about what you heard are not cause. AKA, don't cast judgment. Let us be honorable people who create a society marked by wisdom, honor, responsibility, and justice, but justice, interesting, goes with this next part, marked by forgiveness.

Marked by forgiveness. Look at verse 29. Solomon says to his son, do not say, I will do to him as he has done to me. I will pay the man back for what he has done. So this is interesting here. On the one hand, there's a very clear call for justice, but then right here, there's a clear call for forgiveness. But the honorable wise person can do both and is capable of both. What forgiveness does is it stops the cycle of retribution? The Bible calls us to this take the higher road knowing that ultimately God will tamp God will handle the evildoer this is connected to what Proverbs says early in verse Chapter 20 verse 22 says do not say I will repay evil wait for the Lord and he will deliver you So yes, this is a call to take the higher road, but it's a call to trust God. The evil man does not get away with it in the end. We have the righteous judge who will see to that. Trust God.

But we just have to look in the mirror, the mirror of our society, and we have to ask, would we rather live in a society marked by retribution or forgiveness? Look in your own hearts. Would you rather have a life that holds on to bitterness or enjoys the freedom of forgiveness? What would you rather have? Because this final section is a look in the mirror. It's a look in the mirror of our own hearts, seeing if wisdom and honor is there. Because this last section I think shows us that honorable people create a beautiful life marked by contrast, humility, and diligence.

First contrast, look at verses 30 and 31. Now I'm gonna tell you before we start reading this passage, this is a very easy one to misapply. So let's just walk through it slowly real quick. It says, I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was overgrown with thorns, and the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.

Now this may sound like Solomon is looking down on his neighbor, sluggard being, of course, the lazy man. But he's not looking down, he's simply pointing out the obvious to make a point that wise people are in contrast to the sluggards of the world who don't even take ownership of what they have. Honorable people create beautiful life because we take care of what God has given us. Not, oh man please hear me on this, not that we're prim and proper people who keep up with the Joneses who never have dirty windows. That's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is not being lazy people. We don't sit on our duffs when there's stuff to do. That's a little bit of a middle proverb there for you. But notice he's talking about a sluggard here, an intentionally lazy person. He's not talking about the single mom working two jobs who can't get around to mopping her floor. It's the sluggards he's drawing a contrast to. And yet, and yet he's humble enough to learn from them.

Which is the second marker, humility. In verse 32, he's looking at this slugger, he's looking at this scene, he says, Then I saw it and I considered it, I looked and received instruction. It's not that he walks by him, scoffs at him, says, get a job, and then walks on with his own merry way. He looks, he humbles himself, he looks at the situation, and he says, Lord, what do you want to teach me? He doesn't raise his nose, he doesn't scoff, he looks at this and says, God, what can I learn? I want to be humble enough to learn. And he says, I looked and received instruction.

Why? Because honorable people are wise. They create a beautiful life marked by humility, not arrogance, not pride, not entitlement, not self-righteousness, but humility. And humility is many things, but I'll tell you this, humility is the ability to learn from anyone. And that's wise. What we learn, what Solomon learns, and what we need to learn is diligence. Look at 34, 33, and 34. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber and wants like an armed man Basically what Solomon is saying is you let your guard down. You get comfortable with your comfortable life and you could lose it all in a moment In church, I'm here to say to Christians in the house. We've gotten comfortable with our comfortable lives and It's beginning to wash away.

And so, the question is, are we going to respond with wisdom and honor or not? Because we are to set an example. We are to show the world that a faith-filled, wise, and honorable life is a beautiful life. It's a beautiful life marked by contrast, humility, and diligence. The question I want to come back to though is what are you living your life by? And is honor part of that? Do you live honorable lives? Because here's the hard truth, here's the reality the Bible tells us. We don't live by honor, we live in a life marked by sin. Following our own desires, not learning from others, but scoffing at them, and doing everything the Bible tells us not to do. We don't have a society that talks about honor.

Do you know why? Because we don't want to talk about the opposite of honor, which is dishonor, disgrace, and shame. And yet this is exactly why Jesus Christ came to the world. To take our dishonor and our disgrace. Or to sum it up, he took our sin upon himself, on his own shoulders, as he the shame of the cross.

Did you know? Did you know that when they crucified someone, they crucified them naked? Jesus, despite what all the sculptures show, Jesus Christ was crucified naked, and hung up there for all the world to see. See, when we talk about Jesus taking on humility. Like we're not just saying that he was a baby born in a barn. We're saying that this perfectly righteous person was crucified naked, taking your sin and your shame. It should have been you hanging up there naked on the cross for all the world to see.

But Jesus took our sin and our shame and paid the price for it so that we wouldn't have to. So that our lives now don't have to be marked by disgrace and dishonor and shame and sin, but it can be marked by righteousness and honor because we are to reflect Christ in the world who took our shame and by doing that was victorious in his mission who is now crowned with glory and honor and that's what he gives to us when we place our faith in him. When we place our faith in Jesus we get his righteousness and now we are to reflect him in the world.

So whatever shame you think you have in your life, hear me, Christ paid for that on the cross. So bear your sin and your shame no more. Lay it at the foot of the cross and embrace what Christ has done for you. He did it in love, in faith, in obedience, and in honor. And so, church, as we close up this series and we go forth from here, we need to live differently than the world. And part of that is by having honor.


Would you please stand?

Would you bow your heads and pray with me?

Father, we come before you here and now. Lord, we come before you. We're thankful, Lord, that Jesus is now crowned with glory and honor because he did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He died the death that we should have died. He paid the penalty that we should have paid. And Father, we agree with Scripture. Help us to live into the passage that says that we are now to look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame. Rising victorious is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. So, Father, I would pray here now, that we would be people who do cast off our sin and shame before the cross, embracing the righteousness of Jesus, looking to Him for our model of honor, and reflecting Him in this world. So Father, as we sing these words, be Thou my vision. Father, I pray that we do not look to the world, we don't look to the American dream, we look to the Savior for how to reflect honor in this world. Be with us now as we lift up these praises to our precious Savior. It's in His name we pray. It's in His name we pray. Amen and amen.

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