Awaking from a comfortable night's rest, strengthened and refreshed in body, before rushing into the business of the world, a few moments may be spared to ask a necessary question, How shall I honor Jesus today? That we should aim to honor the Savior, I suppose no one will deny, seeing He has redeemed us by his precious blood, called us by his everlasting gospel, sanctified us by his holy Spirit, and thus delivered us from a dreadful but deserved hell. Our obligations to Jesus are infinite, and our gratitude to Jesus should be deep, constant, and operative. I can honor him today. If I do not, I shall dishonor him, and if I dishonor him, I shall grieve the Spirit, bring guilt on my conscience, and injure his sacred cause. Let us, then, seriously inquire, How shall I honor Jesus today?
First, I must DEDICATE myself anew unto him. I must surrender myself, body, soul, and spirit--into his hands. I must present my time, talents, and property at his throne--beg his acceptance of them, and beseech him to give me grace to hold them for him, look upon them as his, and use them for his glory. The Savior not only purchased our persons--but our all; so that not only are we not our own--but nothing that we possess is our own. We are the Lord's, and all that we have is the Lord's. But we do not sufficiently realize this. Therefore, we do not feel as David did, when he gave to the building of the temple such stores of wealth, "Of your own--have we given you." If I hold all I have as the Lord's, if I daily dedicate all I have to Jesus--then I may dismiss my cares, encourage my confidence, and let the peace of God rule in my heart. Holy Spirit! give me grace, that, morning by morning I may afresh dedicate my person, property, and all I value--to my Savior's service, and day by day use all to his praise.
Second, I must look to him for all I NEED through the day. Needs will arise--but Jesus will supply them. There is not a blessing we need--but Jesus has it. Nor is there a blessing Jesus has--but He is prepared to give it to us, if we are prepared to receive it. He says, "All things are delivered unto me by my Father;" and again, "If you shall ask anything in my name--I will do it." It is, therefore, both my privilege and duty to go to Jesus for everything I need. And if I go to him first, if I go to him in faith, if I ask of him with confidence--I honor him. But when I look to creatures instead of him--when I depend on means, instead of expecting from him through the means--I dishonor him. If I would honor Jesus, I must look to him for all I need, both temporal and spiritual. I must carry everything to Jesus, whether great or small. I must make everything a means of communion with Jesus. So shall I pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.
Third, I must IMITATE Jesus in all I do. He is proposed to us in his Word as our great example; we should therefore strive to imitate him. My object should be to think as Jesus thought, to speak as Jesus spoke, to feel as Jesus felt, and to act as Jesus acted. Often, very often, should we pause to ask, "Is this like Jesus? Would He indulge such a temper? Would he employ such language? Would He encourage such thoughts? Would He do as I am doing?" Or, if at a loss what to do at any time, we should ask, "What would Jesus do? How would Jesus act in this case? What would Jesus do under these circumstances? What would Jesus say? What temper would Jesus display?
This would often send us to his Word. We should become familiar with his life. We should be well acquainted with his character. And what a preservative it would be! What humility it would produce!
Jesus wishes us to be like himself. He has left us an example that we should follow in his steps. He says, "Do as I have done!" If, therefore, I would honor Jesus, I must make it my study, and I must daily seek grace that I may imitate Jesus in all I do, at all times and in all places. O to be like Jesus in my family, in my business, in the church, and when alone with God! If we do not make it our aim and daily prayer to be like Jesus on earth--can we expect to be like Jesus in heaven? Are we not here made fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light? "Whoever claims to live in Him--must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:6
Fourth, I must SPEAK of Jesus to all I can. Jesus loves us to think of him, and to speak to him; but He loves to hear us also speak of him. We should speak of him to sinners--that they may come to him for life. We should speak of him to backsliders--that they may return to his fold. We should speak of him to believers--to stimulate, encourage, reprove, or comfort, as the case may be. If I speak of anyone at all, surely I should speak of Jesus. I cannot speak of him in vain. It must be useful in some way. It must accomplish some important end. How much there is to talk about, if we only set our hearts upon talking of Jesus. What fine opportunities often offer, if we were only prepared to take advantage of, and improve them. We should talk of Jesus to all about us, to all we meet with, to all we visit. We should talk of his glorious person and finished work, of his gracious words and wondrous deeds, of his holy life and painful death, of his triumphant resurrection and graceful ascension, of his prevalent intercession and anticipated advent. We may sometimes speak of his wrath--but much oftener of his love. We may talk of his invitations to sinners, and how he wept over them; of his promises to believers, and the delight He takes in them.
O! for grace to speak of Jesus, to speak for Jesus, to speak like Jesus!
Finally, if I would honor Jesus, I must WALK with him. I must have him for my companion. I must make him my friend. I must go nowhere--if I have not reason to believe that Jesus will go with me. I must engage in nothing--if I cannot expect Jesus to look on and sanction me. I must prefer the company, the smile, and the approbation of Jesus--above everything beside. This would be making him my ALL. This would be treating him as He deserves. This would be like an endeavor to render again to him, according to what He has done for me.
O Spirit of Jesus, come down into my heart, fill me with your grace, and teach me to make the honor of Jesus the great end of my life, the great end of every action.
Reader, do you wish to honor Jesus today--every day? If so, this is the way--walk in it.
My soul mourns before God, that I have honored Jesus so little. Let us pray, pray right heartily, that God will give us grace, to dedicate ourselves to him every morning, to look to him for all we need day by day, to imitate his beautiful example in all we do, to speak of him to all who will listen to our conversation, and to walk with him in peace and holiness.
O! what blessed encouragement we have to honor Jesus, seeing he has said, "Those who honor me--I will honor; but those who despise me--I shall despise."
Sinner, beware how you despise Jesus. None can save you, but him. There is no hope for you but in him. If you despise him in time--He will justly punish you in eternity!
Christ is my everlasting all, To him I look, on him I call; He will my every need supply, In time, and through eternity.
On him by faith, my soul would live, From him, my life, my all receive; To him, devote my fleeting hours, Serve him alone with all my powers.
Let others choose the sinner's road, That leads the soul away from God; This happiness, dear Lord, be mine, To live and die--entirely thine!
Soon will the Lord, my life appear, Soon shall I end my trials here; Leave sin and sorrow, death and pain, To live is Christ, to die is gain!