Happy 4th of July to my friends in the U.S. I hope you are celebrating with family and friends. Happy Canada day for my Canadian friends who celebrated on the 1st. It was good to be home and to minister at Alife yesterday. I am looking forward to a good day with family as we celebrate the 4th of July. More than my freedom as an American I appreciate my dependency upon Christ. This is what makes me truly free!
Jesus compared our relationship with Him with that of being branches on a vine. God honors the vine by pruning it. God honors us by pruning us. He cuts away the things that are dead. He trims back the things that grow quickly, but will not carry the weight of the destiny of the future. That is part of a culture of honor.
John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:5-6 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Pruning is an honorable thing to do for the vine. The objective is to prune it for its own destiny and purpose. I have fruit trees in my garden. I also have grape vines and with grape vines you cut a lot off vines every year. Last fall I cut my grape vines way back. Now they are grapes growing to maturity everywhere on my vines. During the dormant season I went to my apple trees and I examined how they were shaped. I cut off the branches that were not matching the destiny of fruit so that the other branches would be able to bear more fruit. In that process I was honoring the destiny of the tree. There are branches on the tree that if I don’t tend to them would grow straight up. If I have feelings for the branches of the tree that are beyond the feelings of a creator, or less than the feelings of a creator, and I will look at that tree and I say, “I will never cut a branch off this tree.” I might think that I am being kind and I don’t want to hurt anything, but I am being less than a creator in my thinking. In my own life God honors me by removing things that are not beneficial to my destiny. He shapes my attitudes. He shapes my desires so I will bear more fruit. It is the same in a family. A family’s attitudes are shaped. A family’s attributes and characteristics are shaped so the family will fulfill a family purpose. That is honorable. God honors the vine by pruning it. God honors me by pruning me. He cuts away the things that are dead and trims back the things that grow quickly, but will not carry the weight of the fruit of the future. That is part of a culture of honor. So I pruned my trees last year in my garden and now I have many apples and pears, but some things were cut.
When we talk about honor we are not just saying anything goes. We are talking about relationship. When we talk about honor we are not just talking about kind love on the surface. We are talking about a relationship filled with destiny.
In Malachi chapter 4, we find the last verse of the Old Covenant prophets before the prophetic voice of God was silent for 430 years. There were historic things written, but nothing was said prophetically after this. This is the last word that was prophetically spoken concerning destiny of humanity. The next word that came from God was the word made flesh in the form of Jesus Christ.
Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
God does not want the earth to be cursed. He desires to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children to the children to the fathers so that there will be generational blessings of life in the earth. He wants to eradicate and cleanse the earth from all curses of dishonor. A culture of honor creates an environment where fathers live for the future generations and the future generations live to fulfill the destiny of the fathers. Jesus said a scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of God is like the head of a house who draws from their treasure things that have never been seen, heard, or thought before and things that were antique and lost before their time.
Matthew 13:52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
When someone realizes the purpose of life is God’s kingdom they accept the responsibility of who they are. They are then able to say, ‘here I am’ and they are able to unlock things that have never been and give continues destiny to things that were before. This is a culture of honor. Honor is a force of life that leads to the generational blessings of inheritance, but honor begins with God.
Ted J. Hanson