The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3
Choosing to live as Christ is a decision we must make with every decision, every word and every action. We must Live as Christ on Purpose!. Last time we talked about the tongue. Today we talk about integrity.
What does integrity mean? “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” In short, to be Christ like.
In todays fallen world we are told it's ok to step on another to get ahead, to cheat, lie and steal to get a head.
God says we must be upright, trustworthy, faithful, true and acceptable. One might say “I don't care what others think” but as one of Gods children, we must. We should never be a stumbling block to the weak in spirit.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
God has much to say about our integrity,
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4: 25-27
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 2 Corinthians 8:21
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. Proverbs 12:22
What does your actions say about your integrity? Are you trusted among your peers? Are you a man or women of your word. Are your work ethics God approved?
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:3
What does God see in you? What does your peers, co workers, friends, family see in you? Are you a women/man of your word? Are you trustworthy? Do you radiate Gods reflection? Do you live as Christ, on purpose?
Living for Christ, On purpose
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
The world offers many distractions and temptations. We have to choose each moment to live for Christ on purpose. Today we address the tongue. Between classmates, coworkers, family members, the trash talking gal behind you in line at the grocery store, the bully at school or the gossiper sitting behind you at the restaurant, it's hard not to be pulled into this harmful life style. Used to, it seems, that profanity was saved for the uneducated, the street kids and thugs and those who are immature and want to sound tough among their peers. Now we hear profanity come from the mouths of Doctors, lawyers, College professors and yes even some Pastors. When did it become acceptable to talk like a common thug? If that alone is not enough to give us pause, we deal with bullies, slanderers, gossips and so forth. While we can not control what the world acts or speaks like, we can control how WE act and speak. Scripture is VERY clear on how we are to act as children of God.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7
and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or course jesting which are not fitting, but rather give thanks. Ephesians 5:4
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 1 Corinthians 15:33
If anyone thinks himself religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. James 1:26
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45
"THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS"; "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." Romans 3 13-18
I can list many, many more verses to address the tongue. God is serious with matters of the tongue. A quick search led me to over 30 verses! If God takes matters of the tongue seriously, then so should we!. What do you struggle with? Profanity? Slander Gossip? Lies? What ever it is you can choose different..Choose to Speak as Christ would. Choose Christ on Purpose.
I needed to run a quick errand and didn't want to redress myself since I didn't need to get out of the car. There I stood with a shirt full of dog and goat hair, banana smoosh spot from a hug I got after kids made banana bread and a few more unknown smudges LOL. I was a mess and didn't realize how bad! So with baggie work jeans (hey they are comfy) wearing my dirty shirt, I slipped on my shoes. What a sight! I grabbed my sweater and zipped it up, hoping to hide the messy shirt. While Driving it hit me how often we do the same thing with our lives. Cover our sin, our pain and sorrow with a clean outer shell. It's an illusion of being fine. But under that clean shell the suffering remains. I saw a church skit one time about selling "press on faces." They had one for every occasion. "Run into an acquaintance" face, "In laws come over" face, and one we all may have worn one time or another, The "Church face". The skit was hilarious, but the truth behind it was sad. Like my sweater, covering up what is really there, beneath the falsehood, the lie, my shirt was still dirty. What is your cover up? Laughter?, Being gruff? continuously doing for others? Hiding?
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
Have you heard this before? " If you aren't breaking any laws, you should not worry if there is a police officer behind you"
How about this? If you aren't breaking any of His Laws, then you wont worry when you stand before Him."
We are called to be children of the light. Yet so many live like a child of the world. It's not easy to Live our Faith. There are so many worldly things that drive a wedge between our spirit and our flesh. When told of 2 beast living in man, one who looks to destroy and the other full of kindness and compassion, a boy asked of an old man, which beast will win, the old man answered, " the one you feed" Feed the flesh and the flesh will destroy the Spirit. Feed the Spirit and have the strength to over come the flesh. The world offers lies, joy for the moment but GOD offers eternal joy, joy that never ends. Feed The Spirit.
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" Ephesians 5:8
It's easy to be "Christian" when you are among Christians. But what about while in the world? Sometimes we don't get to choose who we are around. Jobs, school and other out in the world activities can be filled with opportunities to shine. Ask yourself, "Do I shine or do I allow myself to fall in favor of the world?" Am I the same person in church as I am out of church? Do I change my way of talking according to who I spend my time with? What about my way of acting? DO I SHINE? Well, Do you?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
Christmas was never suppose to be about trees and presents, decorations and lights. Christmas was never suppose to be a time filled with sadness and despair. Christmas IS about Hope, Charity, Peace and Promise. God sent his son to become man..to live among us and show himself, the fullness of true love. To bring peace, joy, hope charity and promise.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Miracles. Have you seen any lately? With busy fast paced lives, I fear we miss them all too often. But God is still in the miracle business. A dear friend recently suffered a stroke. But within 2 hours she was in surgery having the blood clot suctioned out. Today, only a week or so out she is 100% back to normal. That is a miracle!! But when visiting her she told me that the true miracle was if she had the stroke while in bed, no one would have found her or thought anything strange her napping, instead she fell in her living room where she was quickly found. The events of that day is nothing short of a miracle. God sees us, knows us and is working in our lives to fulfill his will. We can all too often focus on the stroke and miss the miracle. As we get together for Thanksgiving, lets dig deep in our hearts and remember the miracles we have seen. Lets thank God for everyone we remember!
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1
Give the gift of listening!!
We are often so eager to speak we run right on top of another speaking. We speak louder to be heard. If we all would stop, wait and listen, we will have our turn, and conversation will become relaxed. The reward is you may hear something you would otherwise miss. Listening is a gift we give others..it says " you are important".
"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. " James 1:19