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On My Honor!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

1 Samuel 2:30

"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.' "

A few weeks ago, Joyce and I were having lunch following our Sunday morning service. Sitting just two tables away from us was a man who had shaped my character as a young man. It was Bob Manley, who had been my Troup Leader when I was in the Boy Scouts.

Bob lives about five hundred miles away from us, so it was a delightful surprise to run into him like that. I mentioned to him that I still recall the Troup Meetings and especially the hikes in the rugged mountains of Idaho.

I still recall the oath that each scout is required to memorize: "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help others at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

Wow! It was sixty years ago that I first memorized that oath. As a Boy Scout, I reached the rank of "Life," which is one rank below "Eagle," the highest rank in Scouting. I recall at the start of each Troop meeting, we used to recite this "Boy Scout Oath." I must confess that I had to go into the Boy Scout website and confirm the wording. After all these years it is hard for me to remember too much of anything.

These words are positive and strong. They are words that Scout Master Bob Manley stressed with great meaning. They were words that were not to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, we all too often experience those in our society who fail to honor their oaths or solemn covenants.

It is disappointing to let people down, but oh, so much worse to fail to honor God. Today's Scripture is a vivid reminder of two things: If we honor God, we will receive honor; if we fail to honor God, we will experience His disdain. To displease God is the most dangerous actions a person could ever take.

Many years I made a solemn covenant with God. I vowed that I would read the Bible at least 5 minutes, each and every day. There have been a few times in these intervening years that I could not keep the vow, such as being in a hospital ICU recovering from surgery.

In those times, I felt the presence of God so strong, it was almost as if I had the "Living Word" with me as I silently recited memory verses in my mind. Feeling His presence during these moments seemed especially sweet to me as I experienced Him with me.

Caution!!! It was only for those unique times when I felt released from my covenant. As soon as I was able I was back in the Book once again. While my vow was for just 5 minutes a day, I have seldom spent less than one or two hours each day. God will not be angry if we spend more time with Him than we vowed.

So the primary oath or covenant of honor is with the Lord. The next is with people around us. It may be parents, a husband, a wife, children, a neighbor, pastor, teacher or anyone that we have given our word to, and must be honored with our fulfilling the covenant. Anytime we promise to do something for a person we must keep that promise just as if it were a vow made to the Lord.

I recall the words of Jesus when He was challenged by a group of doubting, faultfinding priests and pharisees, to give the greatest commandment. Without pause He told them that it was to love of the Lord our God. He added the second without even being asked. He said it was to love your neighbor as yourself. I had the chance to do that yesterday.

Remember that phrase in the Boy Scout Oath? "To help other people at all times." That is part of honoring our oath and our covenant. We might describe our honor in this order: GOD, FAMILY, COUNTRY, and OTHERS. Be a Covenant keeper, an Oath bearer, and be honorable before God and your fellow sojourners on the path of life.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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