Spiritual Guidelines, Day 4 - Monday Morning Devotions

This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)

You can read the devotion below, or listen to it here.

Through this series, I am addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.

Today we will focus on these words: "You shall honor your father and your mother."

Last month you were encouraged to remember your mother who, by the grace of God, gave birth to you. This coming Sunday you are encouraged to remember your father, who was given an integral role in begetting you. God gave your father and your mother the role of being responsible for your physical, mental, emotional as well as spiritual well-being.

A song writer once put this command to music, "You shall honor your father and your mother," here are the words:

"You are to honor and obey  Your father, mother, ev'ry day.
Serve them each way that comes to hand; You'll then live long in the land."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]

Paul wrote these words to the Christian believers at Ephesus: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Dr. Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God: We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

 Please note two things: first it does not say that the honoring, serving, and obeying one's parents is conditional or in response to their earning or deserving it. No, one is to love and cherish them as well as honoring, serving and obeying them as if they were God Himself. And the second thing of note is: this honoring includes other authorities as well, including teachers, employers, law enforcement and government officials. The good news is that where we have obviously failed, Jesus did not. He not only honored his step-father Joseph and his mother Mary, but also His heavenly Father. He offers you His payment for your sin and a place in God's family, now and forever.

This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]