Welcome to everybody at all six of our locations! We are thrilled that you are here at National Community Church this weekend. You are here on a great weekend. We have the privilege of welcoming two of God’s servants. Lisa Bevere spoke at the Beautiful Youth Conference that many of our women were a part of, including my wife Lora. I know that you were blessed by that. I got a phone call from John saying, ‘Hey, I am available that weekend to be in D.C.’ and I said, ‘Let me pray about it, Yes!’ There are some people that you meet that you want to spend more time with and you know that we don’t have a lot of people that we invite in to speak. We are very selective but there are some people that we feel like we need to open up our hearts and hear what they have to say. And John Bevere is one of those people. He is an author of bestselling books. We’ve got some of those books at all of our locations so pick those up. I always feel like, as an author, that a book is a way that someone can hang out with me for four or five hours, or if they are a slow reader, you can hang out longer than that! It is with such joy to be able to invite and introduce to you John Bevere!
Good evening! Everybody stand up! It is so great to be here in our nation’s capital! I have been looking so forward to this. Lisa and I have known Mark and Lora for a couple years. How many of you know you’ve got great pastors? You know it! He has helped the body of Christ worldwide with his books, amazing books. I want to thank you for sharing him with the world because he has touched the body of Christ so deeply. I’ve been looking forward to coming because this is a great city. This is a city that as I was praying this morning, I said, ‘God, give us wise, wise leaders, godly leaders, Amen!’ Because I want America to continue to be strong and we are only going to be strong if we keep reaching out.
Tonight, I want to ask you a favor, don’t see me as a guest speaker, see me as family. I’m born again! Anybody around here born again? That makes us family! So you’ve got Papa Mark and Momma Lora and you’ve got Uncle John in the house tonight! So let me share my own family with you. Here’s a shot of them. My wife of 30 years of marriage, some of you ladies might have been with her this weekend as she was doing the conference, and also you will see my youngest son, Arden, my oldest son, Addison, next to him is Julianna, my daughter-in-law, and then Alec next to Lisa, and then our second born son Austin is on the right, and then the two little ones. They are my G-babies! I am way too young to be Grandpa so it is G-Daddy and G for short! So we’ve got to highlight the G-babies. Here’s Asher sporting his new tie. Yes, he is as cute as he looks. And this is Sophia Grace. Let me tell you something, she is really, really special because she is the first girl born in our entire clan since 1967! So you better believe she is going to be one celebrated little girl, and of course I will be her favorite because I am G-Daddy who gives her anything she wants including my private stash of dark chocolate! So that’s my family and the more I come to love, the more I realize how much God loves us! Amen!
I want to pray and then get right into the word tonight.
Father, in the name of Jesus, thank You so very much for this church that You have raised up to be a bright light in this national capital and throughout the world. I’m asking that You would speak to us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
You can be seated. Tonight I want to open up with a Scripture and this Scripture has become very dear to me. Two entire books have come out of this one Scripture. John the Apostle is in his 90s when he penned these words. People that are that old can say a whole lot in a few words! John says, ‘Look to yourselves,’ so you know immediately, he is not speaking to the person next to you, he is speaking to you. ‘That we do not lose those things we worked for but that we may receive a full reward.’ Do you know that God is a rewarder? How does He introduce Himself to Abraham? He appears and says, ‘I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.’ What a way to introduce yourself to somebody when you are God!
The thing that really got my attention on this Scripture is that face that John doesn’t just say reward, notice he specifically says full reward. Now, for John to say full reward, that means there is a partial reward scenario and there is a no reward scenario. Isn’t it interesting that he doesn’t say live in such a way that you are going to get a partial reward? God wants you to receive the full reward!
What is God saying to us when He tells us through this apostle to live in such a way that we will get a full reward? Proverbs says the righteous will be rewarded in the earth. So I started meditating on this Scripture in the light of the gospels. So I was walking through the gospels meditating on this Scripture and I realized that in the ministry of Jesus, there were some people that received full rewards from heaven and there were others who received partial rewards and there were still others who got nothing. And the more I meditated on this, the more I realized there was a thread running through all these different scenarios and that thread is what I want o share with you.
So let me start off with Mark’s gospel the 6th Chapter where we’ve got Jesus actually coming to a city that is looking for the Messiah. They are anticipating his coming and they know it is the season of his coming. He comes to this city and we read in the 5th verse that He could do no mighty work there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and healed them. You have to understand, in other cities, He was opening up the eyes of the blind and ears of the deaf and causing crippled people to walk and even raising the dead. But He comes to this city and maybe a few headaches are getting healed or a bad back or a minor case of arthritis but not near the miracles that were happening in the other cities. What really got my attention were the words ‘He could do no might work.’ I remember when I saw this, I thought wait a minute, the Bible doesn’t say, I checked all the other translations, it doesn’t say He wouldn’t do any mighty work, I could handle that, but it said He couldn’t, which means He was restrained. The Amplified version makes it clear. It says He was not able to do any mighty work. I remember the day I saw this, I said wait a minute, Jesus, the Messiah, has the Spirit of God without measure, the Son of God, yet is restrained in this city?
So we’ve got to know what restrains Jesus because if we understand what restrains Jesus, we will understand what restrains us. So I started searching for the answer and I found the answer in the previous two verses. Look at what the people said in verse 3: Is this not the Carpenter, the Son of Mary and the Brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us? So they were offended at Him. Look at verse 4: But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, among his own relatives and in his own house.’ Everybody say honor. What is happening here? Jesus comes to this city in which He was raised in, Nazareth. It is the Sabbath and He enters the synagogue. When He went to the synagogue, everybody in that city is in that synagogue. He walks up on the platform and He opens up a book in the Old Testament, Isaiah, and He starts reading a very familiar portion of Scripture. Everybody in that synagogue knew that Scripture because it spoke of the coming Messiah. So He began to read this Scripture: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me for He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the pool, to heal the broken hearted, etc. etc, etc. Now, nothing is out of the ordinary until He closes the book and drops a bomb on them by saying on this day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing. In other words, I am the Messiah.
Now, when He said that, all of a sudden, there is rustling in the crowd and fathers are looking at their wives going, honey, isn’t this the kid that was in Sally’s math class? Or somebody else goes, hey babe, isn’t this the kid that made the table and chairs in our kitchen? What is happening here? These people had an image of how a Messiah was going to come and their image, interestingly enough, was developed from Old Testament Scripture because the same book of Isaiah also read: For unto us a child is born, a Son is given, the government shall rest upon his shoulders and of his kingdom, there will be no end. So they got an image of a warring, militant, conquering Messiah coming and delivering them from Roman oppression, reestablishing the throne of David and ruling forever and ever and ever. But when Jesus comes, it is one of their hometown boys. Now He has a bunch of prostitutes and mafia following Him and they go, hold it! This is not the way we expect Messiah to come. Now, it tells me something right there. Many times God will send you what you need in a package you don’t want. Why does He do that? He is God! So when Jesus does not come the way they expect Him to come, they withhold honor from Him. Everybody say honor! I have done an extensive study on the word honor there in verse 4. The literal definition of the Greek word for honor is a valuing. When you speak of honor to a Greek person, they will think of something that is valuable, weighty, precious, such as gold. How many of you know you don’t just put gold anywhere? You don’t put it in your junk drawer, you put it in a place of honor. Other definitions of this word are to appreciate, to esteem, to favorably regard, to respect. Now, in some of the Greek dictionaries, I discovered something very interesting, honor can be displayed in action, in word, even in thought, but all true honor originates from the heart. This is why God says in Isaiah 29:13: This people draws near to Me with their mouths and they honor Me with their lips but their hearts they remove far from Me and their reverence towards Me is taught by the percepts of men. God is saying his people have the words of honor, the actions of honor, the songs of honor, but they don’t have true honor because true honor originates from the heart and is an outflow of the reverential fear of the Lord.
So what happens is, Jesus, because He does not come to the city the way they think Messiah should come, they withhold honor from Him. The result is a few bad backs got healed, a minor case of arthritis, a headache but not near the miracles that were happening in the other cities. So they received a small, partial reward from heaven because of one word. Everybody say it, honor.
If you go to Luke’s gospel the 5th Chapter, you’ve got Jesus teaching in a very large house. The Bible says that in this house, there was a multitude of teachers and preachers, so probably a couple hundred. And the Bible says as He taught them, the power of the Lord was there to heal them. Who is them? The teachers and the preachers! God never wastes anything. If the power of the Lord is there to heal them, that means at least one of them needed to get healed. When you’ve got a couple hundred people in the room, it is usually a half a dozen or a dozen. But none of them got healed. It wasn’t until some men tried to get into the meeting but they couldn’t so they went up on the roof and broke up the tile roof and let down a paralytic on ropes and the Bible said when Jesus saw their faith, He said, Men your sins are forgiven you. And when Jesus said their sins were forgiven, the teachers and the preachers fought this. I want to paint a picture. They are not looking at each other say this is ridiculous, or can you believe this guy. No, they are just thinking it. Who is this who thinks He can forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins. The Bible says Jesus knew their thoughts. He said, which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or get up and walk so that you may know the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive, He said to the paralytic, Get up and walk. And the man gets up and walks out. The Bible says all the teachers and preachers were greatly amazed. They were greatly amazed but none of them got healed. Even though the power of the Lord was originally there to heal them, none of them got healed. Why? Because they dishonored Jesus in their thinking, they received no reward from heaven even though the power of God was originally there to heal them.
If you go to Matthew’s gospel, the 8th Chapter, you’ve got an officer of the Roman army. He is a Centurion. He looks at Jesus and says, ‘Jesus would You please heal my servant? He is dreadfully tormented.’ Jesus looks back at the guy and says, ‘I’ll come to your house and heal your servant.’ The officer immediately goes, ‘No, no, I’m not worthy that You should come under my roof.’ Wait a minute? Not worthy? This is the conqueror speaking to the conquered. Remember? Roman had conquered Israel. This is an office of the Roman army speaking to a Jewish carpenter. Do you see the honor he is showing Jesus? This is like a four star United States Marine General looking at a waiter in Iraq saying I’m not worthy of you to come under my roof sir. So, do you see the honor he is showing Jesus? Then he gives the reason. He said, ‘Because I also am a man under authority and because I’m under authority, I’ve got authority. So all I have to do is say one word and my soldiers instantly obey me, because I’m under authority, therefore, I’ve got it.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, I recognize You under your Father’s authority, so I know all You have to do is say one word and that devil has to leave my servant like my soldiers instantly obey me when I say a word.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled. When Jesus marvels, that gets my attention! He looks at the people and He says I have not seen this much faith in all of Israel. Do you know what Jesus just said? He said I have not found this much faith in all of Israel, which means He was saying that this Roman officer had more that than John the Baptist or Mary or the twelve or anybody else. Now, we are all men and women of faith. We know the Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, right? I would be willing to bet and I would win this bet, this Roman officer heard far less Scripture than John the Baptist, yet he had more faith than John the Baptist. Why? Because of his understanding of honor and authority, he received a full reward.
Now, you take this all through the gospels and I don’t have time to do it tonight but you can read it, and you will discover that those who honored Jesus greatly got a full reward from heaven. Those who withheld honor from Him got a small partial reward. Those who dishonored Him got nothing. You take this all the way to one week before He was crucified and He makes the most amazing statement in Luke’s gospel 13:35, He said, this is Jesus speaking, “You will not see Me again until you say blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” In other words, He is saying I’m going away. I’m going to be crucified next week and you are not going to see Me again until you say to the One I send you, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. In other words, I’m going away and you are not going to see Me, Jesus, again until you honor the One I send you in my name. Why is that? Jesus says all over the gospels, here is one example, John 13:20 and I’m going to replace the word ‘receives’ with ‘honor’ because they are one in the same: He who honor whomever I send honors Me, Jesus, and he who honors Me, Jesus, honors the Father who sent Me.
God gives us this spiritual law in I Samuel 2:31: Those who honor Me, I will honor them. Those who lightly esteem Me, I will lightly esteem them. How would you lightly esteem God? By lightly esteeming the one Jesus sends us, we lightly esteem Jesus. By lightly esteeming Jesus, we lightly esteem the Father. And the Father says in return, I will lightly esteem you. Not a good idea when you need a prayer answered.
You will find this all over the gospels. Here is another example in Matthew 10, Jesus said, ‘He who receives or honors you honors Me, He who honors Me honors Him the Father who sent Me.’ Now look at verse 41, ‘He who honors a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophets reward.’ What was the first Scripture we read? So that you receive a full reward. Are you getting it? Keep reading. He who honors a righteous man in the man of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. Keep reading. Verse 42, whoever gives one of these little ones a cup of cold water honors them, in the name of a disciple, surely I say to you he shall by no means lose his reward.
So what is Jesus speaking of here? He is speaking of the three levels of human beings you will ever come in contact with. Every human being you ever meet falls under one of these three categories, those who are above us in authority, our leaders; those who are on our level of authority, our peers; and those who are entrusted to our care whom Jesus refers to as little ones. Honoring each of these levels of authority brings a certain reward from heaven. Why? Because Jesus said you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it to Me and what you’ve done to Me, you’ve done to the Father and the Father will do to you.
Let’s talk about these three levels of authority and the reward that comes from each.
First of all, prophet. You can easily span this out to the other three areas of authority because prophet specifically speaks of church authority but you can easily span it out to the other three areas of authority that God placed over our lives. God has placed four areas of authority over each of our lives. Let me take a little step back here. The Bible says all authority is of God. A lot of Christians don’t like that Scripture because they have had mean, cruel, dishonest authorities. Let me make this really clear. The Bible says all authority is of God. The Bible does not say all authority is godly. The authority is of God, the behavior may not be. The Bible is filled with ungodly authority. Their authority was from God but their behavior was not. I have discovered something. I have preached the gospel in over 50 nations and I have discovered that Americans are some of the hardest people in the whole world to communicate the things of God to. And it is simple, we are a people trying to understand kingdom principles with a democratic mindset. Democracy is great for America, but if you try to relate to God with your democratic mindset, you and God will not even connect. He is a King! He is a real King, not a figurehead king like that lady over in England. He is a real King! He has rank, order and authority. So if you try to relate to God with your democratic mindset and you and He will not even connect! Amen!
So what are the four areas of authority that God has delegated over our lives? First of all, civil. That would be the President and Vice President, Senators right down to the policeman on the street. The next one would be family authority. The husband is the head of the home, wives are to submit to their husbands and children obey their parents. The third one the Bible talks about is social authority. That’s our bosses, teachers, coaches, etc. The final one Jesus specifically referred to when He said prophet is church authority.
Let’s talk about civil authority. What does the Bible say? Romans 13, For rulers, civil authorities, are not to be feared by those who do good but by those who do evil because they are God’s servants working for your own good. I was in the gym in Colorado Springs where I live a few years ago. I was working out and I started witnessing to this man and woman working out next to me and it turns out he was a policeman and she was a policewoman. When I found that out, I looked at them and said, ‘Man, the respect I have in my heart for you two is enormous because the Bible literally says you are God’s servants.’ Well, the policeman goes, ‘Dude are you serious?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ He said, ‘I’m going to tattoo that Scripture on my back!’ Sure enough, two weeks later, he pulled up his shirt and there is was! So look at verse 7, pay them what you owe them, pay them your personal property taxes and show respect and honor all the nice ones. Does it say that? No! It says all of them. We are supposed to show honor to a mean, cruel dishonest authority? Let’s let the Bible interpret the Bible. I Peter 2:17 says to fear God and honor the king. Do you know what Peter is saying there? How can you fear God when you can’t respect the person He has places his authority on that you do see? Do you know who the king was that Peter was writing about here? Herod Agrippa I. Do you know who Herod Agrippa I was? He was the king of Judea who murdered Christians in cold blood to gain political favor with the larger segment of the Jewish people. How in the world are you supposed to honor a king who is murdering Christians in cold blood? It is not easy but you’ve got to see beyond the man’s behavior and honor the authority that is on him. See, in America, what do we say to leadership? You’ve got to first earn my respect. Fear of God doesn’t say that because the fear of God doesn’t judge by the seeing of the eye or the hearing of the ear. It judges according to righteous judgment. Fear of God doesn’t say you have to first earn my respect to a leader. Fear of God says I see the authority that is on you, therefore you already have my respect because I am under your authority, not your behavior. Amen.
Back when I first started traveling, I was in a church in the Midwest in the early 1990s. This church had about 120 people for 10 years. They weren’t growing. I stopped going for a couple years then a couple years later, they asked me to come to the church and they said they were going to have over 1,000 people. I said to my assistant, ‘That’s not the same church.’ She said it is the same church. I said, ‘They were at 120 people for 10 years and now they have over 1,000? Book me, I’m going!’ So I go and sure enough, 1,000 people. They are in a new building. I asked the pastor what happened. What broke it open for you? He said, ‘I got so fed up of hearing my people complain about our city officials and trying to cut corners paying taxes, I went to the mayor of the city to find out what the greatest need was in the city that they couldn’t afford in their budget. It was a $25,000 fireman mask.’ He said, ‘So I got up on Sunday morning in front of my church and I put up Romans 13 and I looked at my church and I said how dare you speak against God’s servants the way you talk about our city officials. How dare you try to cut corners paying taxes to what rightfully belongs to God’s servants? Now we are repenting as a church and we are going to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. The city needs $25,000. I want to receive an offering for God’s servants, the city today.’ He said, ‘I received $25,000 from that 120 people. I called the mayor, he knew what I was doing, I go down there with some of my elders, the major gathered the city officials and I opened up my Bible and read the Scripture, you are God’s servants, and we want to honor you. Here’s a check for $25,000, buy your fireman’s mask.’ He said, ‘We did our building dedication nine months later and every city worker came to that building dedication. A bunch of them got saved. It was the very ticket that broke up in the whole city. We honored the authority of God in the city and God rewarded our church by opening up the city to us. That is honor’s reward.’
The next one is family. Ephesians 6 says honor your father and mother. It is not a suggestion, it is a command. You can see the reward is attached right to this command to honor your parents. What is the reward? What is the promise? Number one, that it may be well with you, and number two, that you will live a long life. Do you understand that you have a covenant promise with God that if you honor your mom and dad, you can say to cancer, get out of this house? I have honored my mom and dad, I will live long and I will be successful. I don’t know about you but that excites me! The problem is, we live in a nation that trains us to dishonor our parents. You saw those four boys up there, those are four of the most godly boys I have ever met in my life. When they were toddlers, there were certain G-rated movies, I didn’t see PG, I said G-rated, we forbid them to watch. Why did we forbid our kids to watch those movies? Because all through those movies, the people in those movies, the kid actors were speaking so disrespectfully and so dishonorably to their parents. I forbid those movies. I would rather you watch movies with righteous killing in it because that is all over the Old Testament but you are not watching these movies. There were some people who thought we were being too extreme but I don’t think so because Deuteronomy 27 says you are cursed. If your neighbor says you are cursed, no big deal. But if God says you are cursed, that’s a bad day. Cursed is he who dishonors his father or his mother. God put the Ten Commandments in order of importance. I’m not going to take the time to establish that but it is in the Book. First being the most important, tenth being the least important. Murder is pretty serious, it is number six. Adultery, that’s really serious, it is number seven. Stealing, that’s number eight. Do you know what God puts above all three of those, dishonoring your mom and dad. Could it be that God sees dishonoring your mother and father as a more serious offense than murder, stealing or adultery? I’m not justifying murder, stealing or adultery. But I personally believe that God sees dishonoring your mom and dad as a more serious offense than murder, stealing and adultery.
Next one, social authority, bosses, teachers, coaches. Let as many of your servants, students, employees, athletes, under the yoke count their own masters, teachers, bosses, coaches, worthy of all honor. I was playing a golf course, a two hundred million dollar golf course on the coast of Florida two years ago. The second most beautiful clubhouse I’ve ever seen. There are no members of this golf course. It is owned by one man. It is his personal golf course. Only his friends play there. It was remarkable. Mayor Bloomfield of New York was on the putting green. Jim Leland, the coach of the Detroit Tigers, was next to me at lunch and next to him was Tom Brokav. Playing this golf course, I was getting ready to hit a shot and I look at the guy who manages this man’s golf course, he has 35 staff members under him that just take care of the grounds. He was a Christian and I said to him, ‘Allen, you need to take care of this golf course as if Jesus owns it, not Mr. H.’ He said where did you get that from. I said, ‘The Bible says you serve your employers not as men pleases but as unto the Lord.’ He said, ‘It does, doesn’t it. That totally changes my attitude on how I’m taking care of this course.’ And I beat him that day, it was a good day.
Church authority, here is the one Jesus was specifically referring to when He said prophet. Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. Now, when I read this Scripture, I think of two men specifically. First would be T. L. Osburne who went home two months ago to be with his reward. Lisa and I almost went to work for T.L. and Daisy Osburne back in 1987. At that time, they had already led 62 million people to Jesus. I’m not talking about television ministry either. I’m talking crusades mostly in Africa. In one service, they would have three to five hundred thousand people. T. L. me this personally and emailed me to confirm it. He said, ‘John, in one service we would see hundreds of deaf ears open up just like that. In one service we would see scores of blind eyes open up. In one service we would see cripple people who had never walked before would start walking.’ I think of a friend of mine, Ryan. I was having lunch with him one day and asked him if he saw great miracles? He said, ‘Oh brother! Hundreds of blind eyes open up and deaf ears opened up and cripple people walking!’ I look at these two men that I know personally, they come back to America, in their American meetings, same man, same message, same anointing, and in their American meetings, a few headaches get healed, maybe a bad back or a minor case of arthritis, but not near the miracles that happen over in Africa. Why? One word, it’s called honor. I have been to some of these nations in Africa and the Middle East, sometimes it almost scares me the way they treat me. I remember just two years ago, I spoke to 2,500 pastors and leaders in the Middle East. They came from everywhere, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran. I remember when the plane landed, we were getting off the plane and all of a sudden there was this big delegation down there at the bottom, they grabbed me, ‘Mr. Bevere, we are so glad you are here!’ Everybody was going one way and I went one way and they put me in this gorgeous room and they brought me really good food and nice drinks and then they said, ‘Are you ready to go to the hotel?’ I said, ‘We’ve got to go through customs and immigration,’ and they said, ‘No no.’ And then this parade brings me to the hotel and they put me in the finest hotel in the city. You cannot believe what God did in those meetings. It was mind-blowing! One time I was walking out of speaking to 10,000 people in Kenya. My delegation walked me out, they don’t let me carry anything. I feel like I should have had my iPhone saying no thank you because they asked to do so many things for me. They put me in a chair that almost looked like a throne, three people bowed to me, one had a basin, one had a towel and the other one had a pitcher. They were there to wash my hands before I ate lunch! I was like, I can wash my own hands! But the Lord said don’t you dare not let them do this. I remember one time in Africa I was speaking to 3,000 senior pastors. Associate pastors weren’t allowed. After that meeting, someone served me dinner and they were walking away and the leader said, ‘Do you see who just served you dinner?’ He said, ‘The head person of the entire national security for this nation. I said, ‘What? He just served my dinner?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Aren’t you the man of God?’ We don’t get it in America. In America, we’ve confused worship with honor. Forever and ever and ever we will worship our God and no one and nobody else, but forever and ever and ever, we will give honor to whom honor is due because God loves honor. Forever and ever and ever, I will give honor to my mom and dad because God loves honor. Are you with me?
Let me just say this. I go to these nations in the Middle East and do you know they literally put their life on the line to come? They are on the edge of their seats, anticipating every word, writing like crazy, leaning on the edge of their seats anticipating every word. I come to America and they sit there like this. So they get their eyes opened, we get our headaches healed. You figure it out!
In fact, look what Paul says. He says let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. The only place you are going to find double honor in the whole Bible, it is not with government leaders, not with social leaders, not even with your parents, it is with church authority. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word of God and doctrine. I look at Dr. Cho who has 830,000 members in his church. I have played golf with him and hosted him, let me tell you something, that man started a church in an Asian dump and today he has over 50,000 millionaires and billionaires in his church. When I hosted him, 20 businessmen traveled with him. They will not let him pay for anything. They stand in rooms until he comes in and then they sit down. I walked him into a restaurant in Orlando, Florida and there are 20 Korean businessmen decked out in suits standing up at attention, and I was thinking to myself, why are they standing, and then I watch him sit down and then they all sat down and the fought over who pays for his lunch because they want the honor of blessing him. But in America, ‘that’s pastor so-and-so, he pastors that church National Community Church, he is cool.’ So Dr. Cho has changed the whole nation. I was there last year doing a national conference. He has changed the whole nation, the culture, everything. We spend billions of dollars on the gospel and are we really changed? It’s all about honor.
Are you starting to get this?
Let’s go to the next one. He who honors a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s what? Let me tell you this one story that will illustrate this. I was in south Florida, I had just spoken and was done with the meeting and a guy comes walking up to me, a nice dressed man, and he said, ‘Mr. Bevere, can I talk to you?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ He said, ‘I own a company where we make specialized fountains for landscaping and there was a company, the largest landscaping design company in all of south Florida, and that company, we had done some fountains for them and they owed us $117 and they weren’t paying us and that is a lot of money for my company. So I was really angry. I was bad-mouthing the company and the owner, and then I heard you preach on honor. When I did, God really convicted me, so I went back to my employees and told them I had been wrong to bad-mouth the company and the owner and I don’t want you to do it anymore and I’m not doing it anymore. I am repenting right now before you. Then I drove down and met with the owner of that company and said, Sir, I’ve talked bad about you to my employees because you haven’t paid the bill that we’ve sent you over and over and I just want you to know that I am the one who is wrong and I will not do this anymore and I’ve told my company that we are to say nothing but good things about your company. You owe us $117 but you just write us a check for what you owe us. I went back and felt good about it and week later, I got a check from that company for $11,000.’ Then he said, ‘Two and half weeks later, I got the largest job my company has ever gotten, blew every other job out of the water, it was a two and a half million dollar job. Four weeks after that, I got a seven million dollar job.’
I have discovered that the greatest rewards I have ever received are when I honored those who dishonored me. Jesus said love those that love you and honor those that honor you, what reward do you have?
Let’s go to the next one. Whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water honors them in the name of the disciple, surely I say to you he should by no means lose his reward. Now Jesus is talking about those entrusted to our authority. He is talking about our wives, our children, our employees, our team members, our church members. The Bible says husbands honor your wives as the weaker vessel. Weaker does not mean she is beneath you. It only means she can’t bench press as much as you. That’s all it means. In fact, do you know what the Bible says guys if you don’t speak to your wife in a manner of honor? It says heaven will not listen to your prayers. That is a miserable place to be that heaven is not listening to you! Hey John can I pray for you? No thanks I see the way you talk to your wife! Heaven is not listening to you right now!
I could talk to you for hours about the rewards I’ve received in honoring my wife, Lisa, the rewards I’ve seen in honoring my sons, the rewards I’ve received in honoring my employees. It goes right down to the waiter in the restaurant to the store person. One of my favorite stores in the world is Whole Foods. I’m like a kid in a candy story when I go to Whole Foods. I remember one time I was walking through Whole Foods, it’s a big health food store with about 60 employees and I was with a dear friend and we were in the store for about 20 minutes and he looked at me and said, ‘John, does everybody in this store know you?’ I said, ‘Yes, I think they do.’ I don’t want them to know I’m an author. I don’t want them to know I’m a speaker or a minister. I just want them to know me because I talk to them. I show respect to them and value them. Like Richard, in the meat department, I found I liked this certain kind of cheese, it was about $30 a pound, so I bought a half a pound and I brought it over to him and said, ‘Richard, take this home and have it with your wife.’ He looked at me like, dude thanks. One time I was with the manager and I asked if he had tried the mountain harvest bread. He said no so I bought some for him to try. One time I was checking out and the girl said oh I love that. I said have you had lunch yet and she said no, so I ran and got another one and bought it and gave it to her and told her to have it for lunch. I remember one time I was checking out and I always go to the certain girl at the checkout line. This girl has no Caucasian skin visible. She was covered with colored tattoos, literally covered her entire body that was exposed. She had 15 piercing and her hair was usually four or five colors. She would have fluorescent yellow next to bright red next to purple next to orange. So I would go through her line and I would go, ‘Your hair looks amazing today!’ And she would say thanks and I said ‘How do you keep the blue from not blending in to the fluorescent yellow?’ And she would light up and start telling me about it! I remember one time her line was a little too busy and I was in a hurry so I went to the shorter line and she closed down her line. She put her closed sign up and came running over to me and said, ‘John, my grandfather died and I’ve got to go live in Denver with my grandmother.’ She was crying and she said, ‘Do you know what I’m going to miss most of all? I’m going to miss you, your wife and your boys. I love you guys so much.’ She didn’t even know I was a pastor. So I gave her some books, some of Lisa’s stuff, and ministered to her.
Why do we honor people? To get the reward? No! A million times no! That’s the benefit. The reason that person is because God paid the most expense ransom price in the whole universe for that one individual. That’s how valuable they are to God. Amen!
Now, your greatest temptation is going to be to go out and treat everybody nice. Can you do that? It might last a week. You’ve got to cry out for true honor to come into your heart. Did you get something out of this today?
I want you to bow your heads and say I have not walked in this type of honor and I want this honor in my heart. Let’s all pray this prayer.
God in heaven, forgive me for not valuing men, women and children the way You value men, women and children. Today I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and from this day forward I will value those that You place in my life, men, women and children the way You value them. I am asking You to put honor in my heart, in Jesus’ name, Amen!