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008 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

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I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

III. HONESTY (See Lesson 006)

IV. SUMMING UP CONCLUSION

With integrity, uprightness and honesty so highly valued by the Lord and mature children of God. These virtues must surely have a very important role today in God’s children’s spiritual lives? And so in these concluding ‘summing up’ studies, we will very briefly introduce the vital areas of God’s dealings with man that these virtues play an essential role.

A. Integrity – Uprightness – Honesty Needed For…

1. Man’s Spiritual Birth (See Lesson 007)

2. God’s Children’s Spiritual Life With Him

In Romans 8 we have seen in this course that Paul teaches us the practical, day-to-day spirit life by contrasting it to the carnal life of those who have not been born again:

Romans 8:1-8
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul lists the two polar opposite lives that our world is divided into according to the Lord. This is because, from the Lord’s perspective, spiritually these are the two possible lives that all of mankind are divided into. Those who are God’s children and who are walking with the Him in integrity, and those who have not been born again and are not living in integrity – they are living in rebellion against the Lord.

The Lost – Live Without Integrity

The lost “walk after the flesh”, and they therefore “mind the things of the flesh”. i.e. Their lives are shaped by their fleshly / sinful passions (See 1 John 2:15-17 KJV). And therefore they are “carnally minded” – not only are their lives shaped by their sinful flesh, but so are their minds (Romans 8:6-7 above)! The carnal mind is at “enmity (in conflict) against God” (verse 7). This is because they are “not subject to the law of God”, neither can they be subject to the law of God. Not surprisingly they cannot please God! The Lord sees their lack of integrity. These lack integrity with the Lord primarily because they resist the Holy Spirit’s attempts to woo them to repentance toward God, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; John 16:8 KJV).

God’s preacher…

Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The inner working of the Holy Spirit…

John 16:8  And when he [HOLY SPIRIT] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The lost sinner either responds to the duel efforts to win them to turn them in integrity to be repentant towards God, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or they don’t. It’s up to each individual!

Those Who Have Been Born Again – Living With Integrity

The Spirit led child of God doesn’t walk after their sinful flesh, they WALK AFTER the Spirit (Romans 8:14 KJV). For this reason their lives ARE SHAPED by the Holy Spirit’s leading (“they mind the things of the Spirit” – meaning literally that they have a favourable leaning towards that which is valued by the Spirit / the Lord.) And therefore they are “spiritually minded”, which is “life and peace” with the Lord. Life that is infinitely higher than any other life possible in this world!

Those Who Have Been Born Again – Lacking Integrity

When a child of God does not live with integrity with the Lord, their lives are more like those who have not been born again. Through their initially having integrity with the Lord, they were brought to be repentant toward God, and have faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. This brought about their being born again. Then through careless in their spiritual walk, they ‘drifted’ into sin, perhaps little by little. And so little by little they lost their integrity with their Lord. Example: The Loadicean church, and our Laodinean age today. They made their Saviour sick to His stomach with their lukewarmness (See Revelations 3:15-16 KJV).  They are not walking after the Spirit, but the flesh. And so they mind the things of the flesh instead of the Spirit, and their lives are filled with the temporary things of this sinful world, instead of eternal things that are valued by their Father. The result is that, because they are not living in integrity with the Lord, they through rebellion, are in conflict with the Lord! They are “carnally minded” like the lost, and like the lost are not subject to the law of God, neither can they be! What a terrible place for a child of God to be! In conflict with their Father!

One of the serious consequences of such a wicked life is that these question their salvation. They don’t have the Spirit of God witnessing with their spirit that they are children of God anymore. And those who love them, and care for their spiritual lives, are also uncertain if they ever were born again! And this is what we have today. Churches that are filled with mostly lost, but also carnal born again. And no one but the Lord can tell the difference. The remedy for both is to respond to the inner working of the Holy Spirit, with integrity, and allow Him to lead them to be repentant towards God.

Conclusion

Without integrity the spiritual birth is not possible, and neither is the spiritual life of the child of God possible. All future spiritual progress hinges on whether or not we continue with integrity in our walk with our heavenly Father. And there is nothing more important than our spiritual life with our Father!

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

007 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord.

III. HONESTY (See Lesson 006)

Luke 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

A. Definition

There are 6 Greek words for “honest”, and “honesty”. 1. ‘kalos’ which means ‘morally good’ or ‘virtuous’ (See Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 13:7; 1 Peter 2:12). 2. ‘martureo’ which means ‘to bear witness’ ‘to have a good testimony’ (See Acts 6:3). 3. ‘euschemonos’ an adverb which means ‘decorously’ translated ‘honestly’ (x2), ‘decently’ (x1); (See Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12). 4. ‘semnos’ translated ‘honest’ (x1) (See Philippians 4:8). 5. ‘semnotes’ translated ‘honesty’ (x1) and ‘gravity’ (x2); ‘honestly’ (See 1 Timothy 2:2). 6. ‘kalos’ (‘o’ is omega in this case) which means ‘well’ morally usually; ‘honestly (x1) (See Hebrews 13:18).

IV. SUMMING UP CONCLUSION

With integrity, uprightness and honesty so highly valued by the Lord and mature children of God. These virtues must surely have a very important role today in God’s children’s spiritual lives? And so in these concluding ‘summing up’ studies, we will very briefly introduce the vital areas of God’s dealings with man that these virtues play an essential role.

A. Integrity – Uprightness – Honesty Needed For…

1. Man’s Spiritual Birth

In John 3 we have seen that the Lord Jesus taught Nicodemus about man’s vital need for a spiritual birth, in order for him to see and enter the kingdom of God. And that the spiritual birth takes place when anyone believed in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross by faith, with hearts of integrity.

John 3:14-15
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:19-21
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

i. Lacking Integrity

Those with no godly integrity do not come to believe in Christ for the spiritual birth (verse 20), “every one that doeth evil hateth the light (Christ)”. “Doeth evil” is plural number (grammatically) meaning that it is referring to multiple acts of evil, or habitual evil / sin. There is no “repentance toward God” in such a person (Acts 20:21 KJV). Their lack of godly integrity, in the eyes of the Lord, keeps them from responding to the offer of Christ to save them from the condemnation of their sin, or at least responding to Christ ‘in such an acceptable manner’ as to bring about their spiritual birth. These may even become active in a local church, but because of their lack of integrity, their lack of repentance towards God, the Lord sees their unacceptable ‘response’ to Christ as one of rejection, “hateth the light”.

ii. With Integrity

Those with godly integrity do come to believe in Christ and therefore have a spiritual birth (verse 21), “he that doeth truth cometh to the light” (Christ). “Doeth truth” is singular number (grammatically) and therefore speaks of a single action. Meaning that this person is an honest person, they are consistently honest. They consistently do what they believe to be right because they are people of integrity. And when presented with the Gospel of the substitutionary death of Christ for them, they respond – as they always do – with integrity. With their whole hearts! And are therefore born again.

2. God’s Children’s Spiritual Life With Him

(Continue in next study…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

 

006 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord.

III. HONESTY

Luke 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

A. Definition

There are 6 Greek words for “honest”, and “honesty”. 1. ‘kalos’ which means ‘morally good’ or ‘virtuous’ (See Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 13:7; 1 Peter 2:12). 2. ‘martureo’ which means ‘to bear witness’ ‘to have a good testimony’ (See Acts 6:3). 3. ‘euschemonos’ an adverb which means ‘decorously’ translated ‘honestly’ (x2), ‘decently’ (x1); (See Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12). 4. ‘semnos’ translated ‘honest’ (x1) (See Philippians 4:8). 5. ‘semnotes’ translated ‘honesty’ (x1) and ‘gravity’ (x2); ‘honestly’ (See 1 Timothy 2:2). 6. ‘kalos’ (‘o’ is omega in this case) which means ‘well’ morally usually; ‘honestly (x1) (See Hebrews 13:18).

Deacons must be men known for their honesty. Of the few qualifications required, having a testimony of being honest is listed…

Acts 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report (one Greek word), full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The child of God must be honest before for all people. Honesty must be their reputation…

Romans 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Honesty is to be a marked difference between themselves and the world…

Romans 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

As God’s children we have been changed. We have been turned from dishonesty and deceit, and have shown ourselves to be truthful before our fellow man, “in the sight of God.” If this is not our personal testimony then we are either sinfully resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit, or we have not been born again. Paul lists the very important example of honesty with the Word of God. The fact that Paul mentions this particular example of our need to be honest, means that this is an area of challenge for the child of God. We WILL be challenged in our walk to keep our selves honest in our handling of the Word of God. The biggest challenge will come from our sinful flesh. We will be tempted to be lazy in our reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 2:15-16, Joshua 1:8). And therefore not know His Word as we ought to. When discussing or debating certain truths in God’s Word we will be tempted to simply defend our belief than honestly considering the other person’s explanation. And there are many who care more about holding to their opinions than finding God’s Truth from the Word of God. We must be both honest before God and man. Lastly, when reading and studying we need to be asking the Lord to guide our understanding of His Word. Otherwise we will be limited to understanding what God’s Word means to us. We MUST learn what the Lord wants us to understand, believe and live from His Word. Do you see the difference? The difference between our own understanding and God’s actual Truth?

2 Corinthians 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Here honesty is listed among godly virtues that need to be in each child of God…

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It is one thing to have a reputation of being honest by others, but it is another when we are honest in the eyes of the Lord, Who sees everything, as we as when we have a “good conscience” in our dealings with people…

Hebrews 13:18  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

See also 2 Corinthians 8:21; 2 Corinthians 13:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Peter 2:12.

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

005 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS

Psalms 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart [INTEGRITY].

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines ‘uprightness’ in its moral use as ‘honesty; integrity in principle or practice; conformity to rectitude and justice in social dealings.’

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord. It could also be said that the consistently obedient child of God is morally simple and straight in character. i.e. Not just in outward action but right down to their character they are upright, and people of integrity. This is what is to be aimed from in spiritual growth. This is what the Holy Spirit is attempting to lead every child of God to in their walk / life with Him.

B. The Lord’s High View Of Uprightness (See Lesson 004)

C. Uprightness In God’s Children

When we see that God’s children understand the Lord’s very high value of “uprightness”, we expect to read of their very high value of ‘uprightness’ as well…

1. Job

Job valued the virtue of “uprighteness” and we see him claim that his heart, that his inner being is upright…

Job 33:3  My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

2. King David

King David’s response to the Lord’s high value of “uprighteness” in His children is passionate. Definitely not careless! …

2 Samuel 22:24-25
24  I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
25  Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

Who knows the hand of God in their life? Who knows the blessing of being blessed by being aware of the presence of the Lord? …

Psalms 15:1-2
1  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

… the child of God who walks / lives “uprightly” before the Lord, and shows this spiritual virtue by doing good (“worketh righteousness”), and being truthful in their inner being (“speaketh the truth in his heart”).

3. Solomon

King Solomon was very aware that his father, King David, was close to the Lord. And that he was loved by the Lord because of his ‘uprightness of heart with Him’ … among other godly virtues in his character.

1 Kings 3:6  And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

D. To Not Walk In Uprightness Is To Walk In Darkness

Keep in mind that we are looking to understand the Lord’s view of life and ourselves…

Proverbs 2:13  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

Leaving the ways of “uprightness”, being morally straight, is to walk in spiritual, and moral darkness. That is disastrous! No real child of God is okay with that!

Proverbs 10:9  He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

The child of God who lives “uprightly” before the Lord is on solid ground. The Lord Himself makes certain of that. The alternative is being someone who perverts their way, their life (morally, and spiritually crooked in the eyes of the Lord!).

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

As we saw before: if we are not His children who are people of “integrity” and “uprightness” before Him, then we heading for destruction because of our perverseness, our moral crookedness.

The alternative is that perverseness, moral and spiritual crookedness – according to the Lord – WILL destroy us! In the Lord’s view: those who are not upright and people of integrity are morally and spiritually destroyed, morally and spiritually wrecked! This is not talking about a child of God losing their salvation, but being completely spiritually defeated! And having no walk with the Lord at all! This view will not be according to the common person, who will see the morally, and spiritually destroyed person as someone just like themselves. Just a normal person. The Lord, we need to understand, we need to get into our thinking, has His own view of us. And the reality is that according to Him most people are destroyed in their character. That most of His children are lukewarm and make Him sick to His stomach! (Revelation 3:15-16 KJV). Their hearts and minds are very far from Him. They do not understand Him and His ways! They are passionately against Him and His ways!

In the New Testament Paul describes this same thing as being “carnally minded”

Romans 8:6-7
6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

This is the danger of ‘going-with-the-flow’ around us. And unless we PURPOSE IN OUR MINDS – EACH DAY, to make certain that we ARE going to walk with Him that particular day, we too will be caught up in the rebellious ways of the world. We will find, through carelessness, that we are not able to resist the rebellious passions of the flesh.

The Lord warns us of loving the “the things of the world” which in 1 John 5 are the three sinful passions / lusts of the flesh. Note the Lord’s warning about ‘loving them’, and note the future, the lack of a future, for the world and the sinful lusts of the flesh! …

1 John 2:15-17
15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Choose sides wisely! And not just in your head, but in your heart, mind and soul! So that your whole life reflects clearly which side you are on!

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

004 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS

Psalms 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart [INTEGRITY].

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines ‘uprightness’ in its moral use as ‘honesty; integrity in principle or practice; conformity to rectitude and justice in social dealings.’

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord. It could also be said that the consistently obedient child of God is morally simple and straight in character. i.e. Not just in outward action but right down to their character they are upright, and people of integrity. This is what is to be aimed from in spiritual growth. This is what the Holy Spirit is attempting to lead every child of God to in their walk / life with Him.

B. The Lord’s High View Of Uprightness

As we previously saw how proud the Lord was of Job in the following Scripture, here the Lord describes Job as being blameless in character and behaviour before Him. And the Lord also uses the word, “upright”, to communicate His pleasure in Job’s morally ‘straight’ life before Him.

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Again, a familiar Scripture 1 Kings 9:4, where we looked at the challenge the Lord gave to king Solomon at the beginning of his reign over Israel. Where along with Integrity, Solomon is challenged with walking ‘uprightly’ before Him. These character virtues are very, very important to the Lord for the character of the man who would lead His chosen people. Solomon would need to be able to lead the Lord’s people to keep their focus on the Lord Himself, and not just on religious practice. And that would take an accurate witness before them. A witness who walked in “integrity of heart” and in “uprightness” before the Lord and before the Lord’s people. Who can calculate the value of such a witness in the Lord’s purposes?!

1 Kings 9:4  And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

In 1 Chronicles 29:17 King David worshipping the Lord acknowledges that he knows that the Lord has pleasure in His children’s moral uprightness. And knowing that the Lord sees the truth of his heart, claims that he worshipped the Lord in uprightness. i.e. David’s worship was pure – as the Lord required His children’s worship to be. Here we have more than the Lord’s approve in uprightness, but that the Lord has pleasure in uprightness! No wonder it so was important to king David that he was upright in heart before the Lord Whom he loved so much!

1 Chronicles 29:17  I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

The upright child of God will stand out in today’s world where there is less and less restrain in the indulgence of fleshly pleasure. This kind of child of God will stand out in the local church today! Where the Lord is sick to His stomach of His lukewarm children today…

Revelation 3:15-16
15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In Revelation 3:13-22 the Lord gives His counsel to the Laodicean, last day’s church. And in verses 15-16 the Lord rebukes the spiritual state of His children! This is what today’s child of God is up against. Not just making sure that the wicked world around them does not drag them down in its wicked, fleshly ways. But to also not allow the wicked, fleshly ways of typical church folk to not dictate their spiritual walk either!

The lines are drawn! On which side do we live? On the Lord’s side of integrity and uprightness, or the world, carnal Christians, and lost church folk? Today’s child of God very often must be willing to walk alone with the Lord. There being little or no support and fellowship with others who will be led by the Holy Spirit into a walk of integrity and uprightness! Our Father is worthy of our living alone with Him in our spiritual lives if need be. The faithful child of God will find life, alone with the Lord, is far more blessed that in the company of many carnal fellow believers. Believers whose constant carnal company makes it impossible to walk in integrity and uprightness with the Lord.

This does not mean that we do not attend a Biblical, local church. It only means that we limit our fellowship time with those who will not turn from living in disobedience to their Father.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

003 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY

A. Definition (See Lesson 001)

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

B. The Lord’s High Value Of Integrity

The Lord’s high value of integrity cannot be overstated, or exaggerated, as we will see from the following Scriptures…

1. Example 1 – 2 (See Lesson 001-002)

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

C. The Lord’s Spiritually Mature Children’s Value Of Integrity

With the Lord, having such a high value of His children’s integrity, we must surely find, in those children who are mature in their walk / life with their Father, also a very high value of their being found with integrity by their Father?

1. Job (See Lesson 002)

2. King David (See Lesson 002)

3. Solomon

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

The opposite of integrity is perverseness! The Hebrew word here ‘seleph’ means ‘crookedness’, ‘crooked dealing’. When we are not innocent (don’t have integrity) before the Lord we are ‘perverse’ (crooked, corrupted) before the Lord!

Proverbs 19:1  Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

‘Integrity’ and ‘perverseness’ are polar opposites. We are either the one or the other! There is no in between!

‘Moral innocence’ means to be ‘plain’ and ‘simple’ morally. Everything is either right or wrong. There are no gray areas between right and wrong. And with those of integrity there are no excuses made, nor sort for, nor are attempts made to evade the Lord’s know will. If it’s God’s will then it MUST be done! Even if there are times that God’s will seems to guarantee suffering, or that it will bring unhappiness to His child. The child of God who has integrity trusts their Father with their safety, and with their happiness when obeying Him. Even when obedience seems to guaranty the loss of these. As in the case of our New Testament example…

4. Mary

Godly Mary showed her integrity, when she yielded to the Lord so that she would be impregnated with baby Jesus by the Holy Spirit. This would surely have seemed to guaranty that she would be condemned for being pregnant outside of marriage! And just before her own marriage to Joseph! But her godly words were, “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” i.e. ‘Lord, I’m yours to use in your purposes, and I trust you with my safety, and I trust you with my future happiness.’

Is our Father not worthy of such integrity in His children’s personal responses to Him?! Even if our integrity with our Father may bring hardship into our lives for the short time that we are still in this world? And before we go Home to be with the Lord in the eternal glory and comfort of Heaven?

To God’s experienced child, by the Holy Spirit, they know that any sufferings in this life cannot be compared to the glory of the eternal life with the Lord in Heaven…

Romans 8:16-18
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

A consistent, innocent (integrity) walk with the Lord WILL produce this type of godly hope in a child of God. This child of God’s faith will grow, and so will their hope…

Hebrews 6:18-19
18  That …, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

In our unstable world, in our breaking world, all need the solid hope that only Almighty God can give. And only with the child of God with integrity is that possible! We CAN each get to be a person of integrity! Little by little each day of committing to walk honestly with the Lord. Not letting failures stop us going after this godly goal of becoming a person of integrity before the Lord. Always getting up again straight away and loving the Lord by putting failures behind us immediately.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

002 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

B. The Lord’s High Value Of Integrity

The Lord’s high value of integrity cannot be overstated, or exaggerated, as we will see from the following Scriptures…

1. Example 1 (See Lesson 001)

2. Example 2

Do you recall how the Lord boasted of His servant Job? Can you or I comprehend just what an incomprehensible compliment that is?! Almighty God, holy and unchanging, boasting of His pleasure in someone?!

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

What were the character qualities that the Lord boasted of that He found in Job? “Perfect” (mature, complete), “upright” (‘straight’, to be considered next…), “one that feareth God”, “escheweth (turn from) evil”. And then special mention of, after all that Job had been through, that he still held firm to his “integrity”! It should not surprise us, to again, find “integrity” and “being upright” in a short list of virtues that the Lord boasts of finding a favourite servant.

The LORD used satan to put His faithful servant through a trial of fire to advance him in his walk with Himself. And because of his integrity, Job learned the hard learnt lesson and grew in his walk with the LORD. And so it is recorded, Job 42:12-16  “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.  13  He had also seven sons and three daughters.  14  And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.  15  And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.  16  After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations”. As the LORD planned, Job grew to be a greater witness to the one true God!

Surely it is clear that the Lord’s value of finding the virtue of moral innocence (integrity) in His children is supremely high! And it is surely because when ‘moral innocence’ is in one’s character, then their personal response to the Lord when He reaches out to them, and when He commands them through His Word, assures Him that He will receive the pure, unadulterated response that He, Holy, Almighty God, requires!

C. The Lord’s Spiritually Mature Children’s Value Of Integrity

With the Lord, having such a high value of His children’s integrity, we must surely find, in those children who are mature in their walk / life with their Father, also a very high value of their being found with integrity by their Father?

1. Job

Job 31:6  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

2. King David

Psalms 7:8  The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Psalms 25:21  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Psalms 26:1  A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

Psalms 41:12  And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

001 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY

What we want to take from this study is the Lord’s very high value of integrity. And how integrity is intimately connected to all areas of the Christian Faith and practice.

1 Kings 9:2-7
2  … the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
3  And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
4  And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
5  Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
6  But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
7  Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

Romans 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul teaches in Romans 6 that the child of God’s attitude towards sin must be that they “reckon” (consider, see) themselves “to be dead indeed to sin”. Take the sin of murder for example. Most people consider themselves to be dead to that kind of sin. They don’t ever consider committing murder. Now as they grow in the faith, and learn to let the Holy Spirit lead them (Romans 8:14 KJV); they learn to, by the Holy Spirit, “mortify” (put to death) the deeds of their bodies. i.e. The sinful ‘acts’ committed by giving in to the sinful passions of the body…

Romans 8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

As a result, more and more sins will move into the ‘reckon-to-be-dead-to’ sins list. And those particular sins cease to be a problem to their spiritual walk as they were before.

Spiritual growth like this will develop their practical integrity with the Lord. They will be more and more ‘innocent’ in their dealings with the Lord, and in their approach to life. They will become simple. More and more they will only do that which is right, that which pleases the Lord, and less and less that which offends Him, that which is sin. Paul in Romans 8 would call such a person “spiritually minded”, where the Old Testament would call them people of “integrity”.

B. The Lord’s High Value Of Integrity

The Lord’s high value of integrity cannot be overstated, or exaggerated, as we will see from the following Scriptures…

1. Example 1

1 Kings 9:4-5
4  And if thou [Solomon] wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
5  Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

The qualities and qualifications that the Lord lists, as His requirements for Solomon the new king of Israel (the nation that the Lord used as a showcase nation to the world, of the blessedness of the nation whose God was Jehovah – a huge responsibility!), He chose, “integrity of heart”, and, “uprightness” [to be discussed next], in obeying all that the Lord commanded Him, as well as in the keeping of the Lord’s statutes and judgments (the Law of Moses), as THE required qualifications! This means that God’s children have to have integrity of heart, and uprightness in their character, in order to be able to sufficiently walk blamelessly with God in His revealed will!

Why is this? Why is integrity, innocence, so important in God’s people? It’s because the Lord is a God of integrity. And because He is holy and He never changes, cannot change, integrity in His children is vital to Him…

Leviticus 19:2  Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

Malachi 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

In order for the Lord to accept anyone, or anything that is in conflict with Him He would have to change. And that cannot, nor will ever happen. And so with the Lord Himself there is integrity. Everything is judged to be either acceptable to the Lord, or unacceptable. He cannot ever compromise! This is the epitome of the integrity, this is integrity uncompromised! Therefore integrity is not only highly valued by the Lord, but it is vital to Him. Integrity is an uncompromising must to the Lord! Therefore God’s children MUST be people of integrity!

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

010 INTEGRITY WITH GOD’S WORD

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Almighty God has, true to His nature, not taken any short cuts in anything that He has done for us. He provided the perfect sacrifice in His Perfect Son for our salvation. He has provided the perfect guide in the Holy Spirit to woo us to salvation as the Gospel is preached (John 16:8, 1 Corinthians 3:6). And then the Holy Spirit indwells and leads the obedient child of God into the spiritual life with their Father. In life with Him that is real, that is discernible and bringing hope that is an anchor to the soul (Romans 8:14; Hebrews 6:19).

And then in keeping with how our Father does all things, He has kept His Word perfectly preserved so that we will have unblemished revelation from Him.

Psalms 12:6-7
6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

What good would it do if the Lord only kept His Word in the original languages? He has kept His Word in the original language copies, as well as through translation into the international language of English. I have documentation available that took a faithful child of God about 4 decades to prepare. Helping us to know the history of the Bible texts and versions. This is available upon request in electronic format.

Folks, having God’s Word in our hands only gives us the potential to know His Truth revealed in His Word. In a previous study we saw that we each have to make diligent effort in reading, studying and meditation on God’s Word in order to get His Truth into our hearts, minds and lives. We need to clearly understand the task before us. It is not enough to read, study and meditate on God’s Word to gain better knowledge and understanding of what the Lord has revealed in His Word. We need to understand that we have to do better than trying to understand what we read. We need to get to what the Lord intended to communicate through each passage.

Fifty people independently reading, studying and meditating carefully on God’s Word for ten years, will definitely result in the fifty people dividing into a number of groups. This is because there will not be agreement in all fifty people in their understanding of what was studied. Why is that? It is because each will declare what they have got out of God’s Word, what they have learnt and discovered.

And this is where integrity with the Lord towards His Word comes in. In order to get to the mind of the Lord regarding what He intends to reveal to us through His Word. We need to firstly be honest and diligent our study. We need to be honest and diligent enough to ask the Lord to lead us into HIS TRUTH by His Spirit. This is one of the goals of the Lord through sending His Spirit into the world.

John 16:13-14
13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

And the Holy Spirit did guide the disciples / apostles into God’s Truth for the church. The result being the New testament in our Bibles. And the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers is striving to lead all God’s children into His Truth that is revealed in His Word (Romans 8:9). So that we don’t have to rely on our academic ability to try and discover exactly what the Lord wants us to understand from His Word. In the next study we will have a look at the unity in God’s Word, revealing how in each age of God’s dealings with man since Adam and Eve. That the Lord required His children to believe and live with Him precisely as He instructed them.

What incomparable security to the heart and mind such a life with the Lord brings! Being able to know precisely what our God and Father expects from us. So that we without any uncertainty may know when our lives, actions and walk with Him is acceptable in His eyes or when they are not.

What glorious joy and hope filled David’s heart and mind as he lived responsibly before his God. And took pleasure in knowing that when the Lord examined him that He would find David conformed to His revealed will in His Word.

Psalms 26:1-3
1  A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
2  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
3  For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Such an abundant life with the Lord is available to every one of us who will deny their selfish passions and walk with the Lord in integrity.

009 INTEGRITY WITH GOD: UPRIGHTNESS

1 Chronicles 29:17  I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

1 Kings 3:6  And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

The most precious knowledge that the Lord reveals to us through His Word is Himself. Nature in its beauty demands that we recognise that an Almighty Creator is responsible for our existence, but only through the Bible do we discover just what the personality of God is, what kind of Person God is. What does He value? What is He against? What is He will for us? All these we find in the Bible.

In our Scripture David talks to the Lord before the congregation of Israel acknowledging that the Lord examines our hearts. That He wants to see our character, what type of persons we are. And even tests our hearts to prove its quality (“triest the heart”). And that He, Almighty God has pleasure in discovering uprightness in us. We must at this point ask ourselves, ‘Do I value the Lord’s opinion of me, of what He discovers in my heart?’

Once the Lord actually bragged to satan about someone who loved Him supremely. Notice the qualities the Lord emphasised …

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

What does “uprightness” in the Bible mean exactly? The word ‘upright’ means for example to stand up straight. And when used of our character it means the same as ‘honesty’, or ‘integrity’.

What I would also like to bring out here is one of the Lord’s goals in His Spirit’s working in us, towards our being upright or being people of integrity. And that is that our uprightness must be consistent. To the Lord Who examines our hearts – which is better? Seeing uprightness in our hearts only once a day, or consistently throughout the whole day?

The perfect example that we have been given to follow, the Lord Jesus, would He not have been perfectly consistent in uprightness?

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Luke 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

I’ve never reached that goal in my walk. I have to confess each day that I have fallen short.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But because I love my Father, and HIGHLY value His opinion of me. I try as hard as I can – asking for His help to do better, and better with time.

Each time I fail to be upright, or honest, or any other sin for that matter, I confess the sin and get immediately back to striving to please my Father. I have learned not to indulge in self-pity when I fail. That too is sin. No, I believe the Lord when He promises to forgive me when I confess my sin. I put it behind me and with as much determination I can muster, I get on with living to my Lord’s glory before man!

The Lord bless you in your efforts to put Him first, and to please Him ahead of all others!