Posts Tagged ‘Integrity

10
Jan
18

Blessed In Spite Of Suffering

We expect to be punished when we do the wrong things. What happens when we are picked on or punished for doing what is right? We feel persecuted and not blessed. Yet Peter says that we are blessed when we suffer for doing the right things. He says:

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” – 1 Peter 3:13-14 (NIV)

Even if we are threatened by punishment for doing the right things, we should do them anyway. We should always be eager to do good and to do what is right. Regardless of the consequences of doing what is right, we should live lives of character and integrity. God will have the final say and He is the One who will bless us when we do what is right. While we may suffer for a little while on earth, we will be eternally blessed in Heaven.
Advertisements
20
Jul
17

Lying Lips

God, in the Ten Commandments, says that His people should not bear false witness against their neighbors. This had more to do with legal proceedings than with being truthful, but the principle applies. God’s people should be truthful and honest. Solomon wrote about truth and lies in Proverbs 12:

Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. – Proverbs 12:19 (NIV)

Solomon also says:

The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy. – Proverbs 12:22 (NIV)

​God wants His people to be honest and to live lives of integrity. If you are tempted to lie today, consider what the Lord says. He DETESTS lying lips. Don’t make promises you do not intend to keep. Do not lie to your husband, wife or kids. Do not cheat at work. Live with integrity, honesty and character. When we tell the truth, God delights in it and He will reward it. When we lie, we only delay the inevitable trouble we are going to be in when the truth is discovered. So tell the truth today, even if it hurts, and God will delight in you.
19
Jun
17

The Best Policy

When it comes to honesty and integrity, James says that we need to be people who can be trusted. We shouldn’t have to “swear on a stack of Bibles ten feet high” in order to get people to believe us. He writes:

Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. – James 5:12 (NIV)

Jesus said that He is the way, the TRUTH and the life (John 14:6). As His followers, we need to follow His example and be people of the TRUTH. We should be honest in our dealings with people. We must be people of integrity and character because we wear the name of Christ. We who call ourselves CHRISTians literally are known by the name of Christ. If people cannot trust us and if they won’t believe us, then we are bringing dishonor to His name. This simply won’t do. We’ve got to be honest in our dealings with those around us. A wise person once said something to the effect of always tell the truth and you’ll never need to remember anything. Keep your promises and be true to your word today.
26
Aug
16

Praying For Our Leaders

Could you imagine living such a life of God-fearing integrity that someone wrote about it in the Bible?  That’s exactly what was written about a man named Hananiah.

I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel,because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do. – Nehemiah 7:2 (NIV)

Nehemiah knew that it was important to put someone in charge who had two very important character traits:
  1. Integrity
  2. A healthy fear of God

Nehemiah was going to return to his position under King Artaxerxes.  He had been in charge of Jerusalem for some time.  So before he left, he had to appoint people to run the government.

Could you imagine how things might be different if we had leaders who exemplified God-fearing integrity?  We have some very good leaders at all levels of government, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.  It seems that we hear about another instance of political corruption (especially living so near Chicago!) or another scandal involving a politician nearly every day!  We need leaders who have character and integrity.  Who will stand up and do the right thing no matter what!  Leaders who put their constituents’ needs before their own greed or desire for power.  We need leaders who fear God above all.  We need leaders who submit to the authority of Jesus in their personal lives as well as in their professional lives.
So pray for our leaders.  Pray for them each day.  Pray that they will have integrity.  Pray that they will have a healthy fear of God.  Before we complain about them on facebook and twitter, let us talk to God on their behalf.
PRAYER: Father God, I lift up to You the leaders of our country, our state and our community today. May they have a desire to know You. May they seek Your face and Your will each day. May they serve gladly. Protect them by Your grace. In this year of an election, may the men and women of Your choosing be elected to positions of leadership. Please bless our nation and our community. May we, in turn, bless You for You are the one true God and are worthy of all blessing, glory and praise. In Jesus’ name I ask these things, amen.
15
Oct
15

Too Many Words

In Proverbs 10, the proverbs actually begin.  Up until this point, Solomon’s teachings have been a call to accept wisdom and to pursue it rather than wealth or things.  There have been a few proverbs along the way, but this is where the “bumper stickers” really get going.  Notice the pattern of the majority of these proverbs.  There is a saying about the wise or righteous person and then a “but” and then what is true of a person who is wicked or foolish.  For example:

The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9, NIV)

What a great proverb!  The one who lives his or her life with integrity can walk and rest securely knowing that they have nothing to hide.  The one who tries to deceive others will be found out.  This is SO true!  As Christians, we need to live lives of integrity and character.  The world is watching us to see if we walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  Integrity is so important in showing Jesus to the world.
Now, the pattern is not without variation.  Look at this proverb:

When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Proverbs 10:19, NIV)

Also, very true!  But it is a different pattern.  This time, the behavior of the foolish is first and then contrasted by the behavior of the wise.  I like this proverb!  It goes along with James’ teachings in his letter in the New Testament.  Read James 3:1-12.  James says that though the tongue is small, it is “a world of evil among the parts of the body” (James 3:6, NIV).  If we could learn to control our tongues, we would be “perfect” as James says in verse 2.  But when we run our mouths – gossip, slander and lies (oh my!) – sin is very present.  May the words of our mouths be pleasing in the sight of the Lord today (Psalm 19:14).
PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to be able to control my tongue today.  Help me when I am tempted to lie or to gossip.  Give me wisdom to know when to hold my tongue.  I need integrity with regard to the things I do.  Thank You for Your forgiveness when I fail. Amen.

 

08
Oct
15

Honest To God?

James 5:12 (NIV)
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
James was the brother of Jesus and he echoes his brother’s words that He spoke in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.​ – Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)​

What is the big deal about swearing oaths?  Is it really a big deal to say, “I swear it’s true!”  Will I be condemned for saying, “I swear on a stack of Bibles ten feet tall!”?  What about marriage vows or swearing an oath in court?  Am I in trouble for promising to God that I will be faithful to my spouse until death do us part?  The answer is no.
In Jesus’ and James’ day, people casually swore many oaths to indicate that they were being honest.  If someone swore an oath in the Lord’s name, it became binding because they were making God a partner in the oath.  Other than that, many oaths were not binding and people would worm their way out of them.  The issue here is honesty.  Rather than swearing up and down that what we’re saying is true, we should live lives marked by honesty.  People should be able to take you at your word.  Are you an honest person?  Or do you make up stories to make yourself look good?  Are you a truthful person?  Or do you have to remember every lie you’ve told to avoid getting caught?  Do you live with good character and integrity?  Or do you try to get away with things when no one is watching?  As followers of Jesus, we need to do better when it comes to honesty and integrity and that’s the truth.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are the very definition of Truth.  Help me today to live with honesty and integrity.  I am sorry for the lies I’ve told.  Help me to be truthful and honest.  I need Your forgiveness and ask that You would convict me of the need to be truthful in every circumstance.  Thank You for Your Truth.  In Your name I pray, amen.
20
Aug
13

Praying For Our Leaders

Could you imagine living such a life of God-fearing integrity that someone wrote about it in the Bible?  That’s exactly what was written about a man named Hananiah.

I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel,because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do. – Nehemiah 7:2 (NIV)

Nehemiah knew that it was important to put someone in charge who had two very important character traits:
  1. Integrity
  2. A healthy fear of God

Nehemiah was going to return to his position under King Artaxerxes.  He had been in charge of Jerusalem for some time.  So before he left, he had to appoint people to run the government.

Could you imagine how things might be different if we had leaders who exemplified God-fearing integrity?  We have some very good leaders at all levels of government, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.  It seems that we hear about another instance of political corruption (especially living so near Chicago!) or another scandal involving a politician nearly every day!  We need leaders who have character and integrity.  Who will stand up and do the right thing no matter what!  Leaders who put their constituents’ needs before their own greed or desire for power.  We need leaders who fear God above all.  We need leaders who submit to the authority of Jesus in their personal lives as well as in their professional lives.
So pray for our leaders.  Pray for them each day.  Pray that they will have integrity.  Pray that they will have a healthy fear of God.  Before we complain about them on facebook and twitter, let us talk to God on their behalf.

Nehemiah 7

New International Version (NIV)

7 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levite swere appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel,because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do. 3 I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.”

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. 5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:

6 These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town, 7 in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah):

The list of the men of Israel:

8 the descendants of Parosh 2,172
9 of Shephatiah 372
10 of Arah 652
11 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab) 2,818
12 of Elam 1,254
13 of Zattu 845
14 of Zakkai 760
15 of Binnui 648
16 of Bebai 628
17 of Azgad 2,322
18 of Adonikam 667
19 of Bigvai 2,067
20 of Adin 655
21 of Ater (through Hezekiah) 98
22 of Hashum 328
23 of Bezai 324
24 of Hariph 112
25 of Gibeon 95
26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah 188
27 of Anathoth 128
28 of Beth Azmaveth 42
29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth 743
30 of Ramah and Geba 621
31 of Mikmash 122
32 of Bethel and Ai 123
33 of the other Nebo 52
34 of the other Elam 1,254
35 of Harim 320
36 of Jericho 345
37 of Lod, Hadid and Ono 721
38 of Senaah 3,930

39 The priests:

the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua) 973
40 of Immer 1,052
41 of Pashhur 1,247
42 of Harim 1,017

43 The Levites:

the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel through the line of Hodaviah) 74

44 The musicians:

the descendants of Asaph 148

45 The gatekeepers:

the descendants of
Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai 138

46 The temple servants:

the descendants of
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
47 Keros, Sia, Padon,
48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,
53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
56 Neziah and Hatipha

57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

the descendants of
Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,
58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
59 Shephatiah, Hattil,
Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon
60 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon 392

61 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:

62 the descendants of
Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda 642

63 And from among the priests:

the descendants of
Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name).

64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole company numbered 42,360, 67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. 68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules, 69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests. 71 Some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver and 67 garments for priests.

73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns.

 




%d bloggers like this: