Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Posts tagged ‘Integrity’

The Path to Integrity

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-03-25
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 4:10-15 (Voice)

Text:

10 Hear my words, my son, and take them in;
    let them soak in so that you will live a long, full life.
11 I have pointed you in the way of wisdom;
    I have steered you down the path to integrity.
12 So get going. And as you go, know this: with integrity you will overcome all obstacles;
    even if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Tighten your grip around wise advice; don’t let it slip away.
    Protect Wisdom, for without her, life isn’t worth living.
14 Do not start down the road of the wicked—
    the first step is easy, but it leads to heartache
    do not go along the way of evildoers.
15 Stay away from it; don’t even go past it—
    and if you find yourself anywhere near it,
    turn your back and run as far as you can in the opposite direction.
OBSERVATION:
Wikipedia gives the following meaning to ‘Integrity’: Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.” That sounds like a pretty close match to what the Proverbs is describing in these focal verses today, I feel!
APPLICATION:
I believe that many strive to live a life of integrity even if they know nothing about the promises of God to bless us as we strive to live in the wisdom of all that He has taught us. Often this may occur because of the upbringing of the individual, or because of someone that they are looking up to in their life. For the child of God, we have the Word of God to guide our actions, thoughts and principles, and we have the power of God to help us overcome obstacles that may try to hinder our walk to consistent integrity. When we accept Jesus as Lord of our life, He places the Holy Spirit within us to guide us along the right path. He is our Helper and our Guide when puzzled about which path to follow; He is our Comforter and Protector when trouble comes our way; He is our Deliverer when tempted and we call on Him for help. So with that kind of support within us, can you think of any reason why we can’t follow the Word of God and the will of God for our lives? Friends, if ever our employers should find employees of integrity, that they can trust wholeheartedly, or if ever our friends could find and trust people of integrity that they could depend on and trust with sharing their heart, it should be in those who have honestly invited Jesus into our heart and committed ourselves to allow Him full control over our lives. Jesus has always been, and always will be considered a person of integrity, for He is the only Perfect One, so having Him as our Lord and Savior, we too can be people of integrity. It’s your call friend. As for me, I choose to be a man of integrity, God being my helper!
PRAYER:
Lord, in a world that seems filled with strife, backbiting and lack of trust in each other, I reaffirm my desire to be a man of integrity, with the help of Your Holy Spirit. I pray for commitment of this attribute for my readers, my family, my friends and my coworkers. Lord may this lost world see more of You in more of us. May we be known as people of integrity because of whose we are! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Your Ashamedness vs God’s Ashamedness

Friday, 2016-11-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 9:23-26

Bible Text: 23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me. 24 Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will save it. 25 It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are destroyed or lost. 26 Don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching. If that happens, I[a] will be ashamed of you when I come with my divine greatness and that of the Father and the holy angels.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

While on the way to a business reception I remember being challenged in the presence of about 4 others, why is that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages and whether it was related to my religious beliefs. I’m not sure if the businessman was starting to think that he might be ashamed of me while at the reception if I was one of the few not drinking, but I believe it was intended to question my Christian stand on the subject of drinking alcohol. There are many other stories I hear of individuals being challenged with similar questions. At times, I believe it opens the door for entertainment while the Christian is put on the spot about a belief that may be contrary to the worldly beliefs of others in the group, but I also believe that many times Satan is using his messengers to challenge us on our beliefs so that we may question our selves and possibly sweep our God-infused beliefs ‘under the rug’. Friends, there are many times that it is safer to blend in with the rest, than to stand out like a sore thumb, all alone in believing something contrary to the crowd. Might I suggest that this challenge is our ‘cross’ that we must carry every day? Let’s compare for a moment. Jesus carried a cross all the way up to Calvary that He knew He would be hung on to die. He also knew that, as the Son of God, He had all power to reverse the whole crucifixion, for we know that previously He had disappeared from a crowd of witness during His earthly ministry. He had miraculously turned water into wine, caused the blind to see and brought the dead back to life. Was there something about this crucifixion that was more difficult or impossible than any of the miracles just mentioned? However, remember when He prayed to His Father in the garden? In response to His own pleading for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, Jesus said to His Father “none the less, may Your will be done”. Now let’s consider our ‘cross’ that we are called to carry every day. Like Jesus, we may commit to Him in private that we are determined to carry our ‘cross’ each day. However, like Peter, I believe we often cave in to the popular thing to do – the joys of partying and going along with the crowd, even if it takes us into choice areas that we would never agree to, if we sought to do the will of God withough any worldly pressures. Friends, I believe this all boils down to two things: First – Popularity – which means that we want to be super popular with the organizer of an event where we may have to compromise, or we just allow Satan to misguide us into putting God into a ‘box’ – a segregated comfortable ‘box’ we call the church, or even in the privacy of our home. We want to fit in with the crowd. However, Secondly – is Integrity – which means that we will stand firm to our commitment to serve God in season and out of season; at church or on the byways and at our parties or worldly events. Friends, if we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, then transgress to living like the world, are we not saying that we are ok being a Christian in private, but publicly we are really ashamed of standing up for what God really teaches in His Word? Please allow me to be the first to tell you: that is not being a person of integrity. If you commit to something, or someone, let it exude from your mouth, your actions and every aspect of your life. If it’s in you, it will exude from you! I feel like these verses basically say that when we choose to be popular,  or feel ashamed to be obedient to God, we are showing that we are ashamed of Him. Isn’t that the same as saying that you are really not sure that you want to commit to God for all aspects of your life?  God declares that if this happens, He will shun us when He returns, for He will be ashamed of us. Is that what you truly want to happen? I pray that each of you reading this devotional today will stand firm and practice obedience to everything God teaches you to say and do, God being your helper!

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this today, my mind goes back to the sign that I see near the exit of many churches ‘you are now entering your mission field’, for daily we leave the comfort of our homes, and the safety of our commitment to you, to be bombarded by the practices of the world and the dictates of it’s leader. Lord, I pray that daily we can mimick Your words to Your Father and commit ourselves in saying:  not my will oh Lord, but may the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart and the actions we take, be pleasing to You and represent Your compassion for our lives and witness, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Teach With Your Life

The Holy Bible   (The Message – 1 Timothy 4:11-14):     Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

Thoughts:   Paul instructed Timothy on things to be leery of. I believe that God ordered that these instructions be included in His Message to us because they equally apply to us. In these verses, I heard God saying:

  • We have a responsibility to get the word out – the Word of God, The witness of all that He has done in our lives;
  • We are cautioned that people might be prejudiced against us – it might be age, it might be color, it might be gender, or anything else that they feel might serve to block us from imposing, or sharing our message with them;
  • We must be careful to also minister to believers – Paul knew that the primary way to get through to believers would be to teach them through our actions, our words, our demeanor, our love, our faith, our integrity – just our straight out attitude and character. If Jesus is not shining through us in our outward life actions, does He truly reside in our heart?
  • Keep on keeping on – a message I’ve heard consistently over the past few months. Paul is also advising that we stay at our posts, doing what God instructs us, in spite of what the people around us may do to deflect or reject us;
  • We have a special gift – share it! This can be from a talent standpoint, or simply from a standpoint of having the gift of God’s Son inside of us and a deep desire to share Him with others;
  • Keep our gift dusted off – this reminds me that I am to stay in the Word, attend church services and training, and do my very best to be current in my relationship and experiences with the Lord. Sharing something with someone that happened to you over 10 years ago gives the impression that your God must be dead. Why hasn’t He been active in your life experiences this week? Also, witnessing about something that has occurred in your life, versus something that happened in a friend’s life, is way more powerful. So be attuned to all that God is doing for you personally.

Prayer:   Thank You Lord for the plan You had for Timothy; the plan You had for Paul to encourage and minister to Timothy; and the plan You have for my life and the lives of my readers. Thankfully You are a ‘personal’ God who loves us individually in unconditional ways. You chose us to be Your children; Your followers; Your messengers; because we have family, friends and loved ones that will listen to us and watch our very actions. Lord, may they see Jesus very evident in our life, our word, our demeanor, our love, our faith and in our integrity. In fact, may the love of God be so evident in us that others would have a desire to also have Him become a part of their lives. Just as Timothy went on to win the lost to You, may You also see results from our very existence here on this earth and particularly from our personal witness. This is my desire today Lord, and I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my King, now and throughout eternity, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:   If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Importance of Integrity

The Holy Bible

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

(Bible Translation and Location: The New International Version – Ephesians 6:14a)

Thoughts:

In this chapter of Ephesians, Paul is warning the church, and I believe that since Paul’s words are inspired by God for our benefit, that we also are being warned, to be prepared for challenging times. I find it interesting that the first thing we are warned to have in order, is our integrity. For Paul says that it is vitally important that we represent Truth, and that we will stand for Truth in every circumstance of life. I believe it is outstanding how the New Testament backs up and supports those things prophesied in the Old Testament, for in Isaiah 11:5 we were told that “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” and this was referring to Jesus Christ! Now, if we are to be ‘little Christs’, how much more important it is that we also always have Truth as our foundation? I believe that it all boils down to integrity, for if we had found where Jesus didn’t always stand for Truth, we would have lost all faith in Him as our divine Savior. Do you suppose that the reason we may not be winning the lost for Christ is that we have lost our integrity in their eyes? Are they seeing someone different outside the four walls of our churches than they see when worshiping with us in church? God saw integrity of vital importance for His Son, Jesus, to have prevalent in His life. Paul saw it of super importance in his life. May I challenge you to join me in also making this of utmost importance in our lives? We will be put to the test daily friend. Be sure that the world can clearly see whose you are in every scenario, if you ever expect to be a witness to them for Jesus.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us the way of truth, and for living a consistent life of truth, in spite of the circumstances that You were forced into by very evil people. Most of us have never been pushed to the limits that You have, because we want so badly to please others, and are so filled with greed, that we often cave in to the ways of the world. Please forgive us Lord, and raise up a multitude of saints that will stand firm for what they believe in Your Word and let the world know what it truly means to be a follower of yours. This may sometimes place us in unpopular situations, because we may have to go to the back of the line, or our choices may cost us more money. Father, please help us to always evaluate our decision based on our loyal servitude to You vs being more concerned about this old world, Satan or even our friends. Please fill us with boldness and confidence to stand for Truth in every circumstance of life, so that there will be no doubt about whose we are. Only You can give us this strength dear Jesus, so I ask all this humbly in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

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