Sunday Service | Mt. Zion Church | 2 April 2017
MP3 file: 20170402MP_PowerToLiveWithIntegrity.mp3
What an excellent calling we have in Jesus! And of course, that excellent calling also equipped with heavenly power so we can live in our heavenly calling. Jesus emphasized this brilliant calling during His sermon up at the mount. Jesus’ followers are not supposed to live in the value from this world. He gave us the power to do more. Our words are supposed to do more gracious works in others. Our words are supposed to always seasoned with salt Col.4:6, always edify and revive others. Our words are not supposed to kill anyone no matter how worst condition we may have Mt.5:21-26.
Jesus called us to live in holiness. God don’t only count up any sin that already revealed into action. God also see anything happen in our heart. Any sin starts from inside the heart. God call us to be holy from our heart and mind, He also give us power to control our mind and keep holy moreover in this last days where the temptation of sin can be found plentifully anywhere! Christians also supposed to be faithful in their marriage. Practically, there are not any reason can be used to excuse divorce! Jesus give us power to live in holiness and faithfulness Mt.5:27-32.
The next topic that Jesus taught was about integrity! People have a tendency to say something more seriously and carefully when they are facing government department or anything that could bring serious impact in their life. But how about in the daily conversation? Jesus encourage His followers to live with integrity. Integrity simply means always doing the right thing even when no one is watching! Integrity means always say YES for YES and say NO for NO.
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matthew 5:33-37
LIVE WITH INTEGRITY
When people perform their oaths, it means that they want to involve someone more important or higher in position to be the witness for what they are talking or promising. Whenever the oath was performed it means that the person is really serious with whatever he or she already said and had the good intention to accomplish whatever promises already mentioned.
Jesus invites all His followers not to perform oaths again because all conversation need to be true and upright even no one be a witness for it! Jesus encourages His people to always say YES for YES and NO for NO. Jesus does not allow His people to lie for any reason. We need to always be synchronized between what is in our heart and our mouth. Living in integrity means we have a strong good value in our heart and have a passion to always perform it. Living in integrity not always easy but Jesus give us power to do it!
OVERCOME THE ATTACKER OF INTEGRITY
The biggest enemy that always occur whenever we want to be upright is FEAR! Abraham was attacked with fear and lost his integrity when he and Sara arrived at Egypt. Abraham was afraid that the Egyptians would take Sara because she was very beautiful and then they would kill Abraham. The fear inside Abraham’s heart started to attack his integrity when at last he said to everyone that Sara was his sister. He failed to choose the right decision. He forgot that God, who already had a chat with him in previous verse, would more than able to protect and guard him and Sara even in the midst of Egyptians Gn.12:10-20. Even nothing harm happened during their visitation at Egypt but it seems that the wrong attitude could be seen by his son so Isaac also did the same mistakes when he arrived at Gerar Gn.26:6-9. The fear could be spread and passed on from father generation to the son generation!
During Jesus’ ministry, we can read many times in the Bible how the Pharisee and the Scribes were living a hypocrisy life! They liked whenever all people called them as Rabbi. All their works were did to be seen by men so all people would count them as the VRP (very religious person). At those time at Israel, the religious person would have a lot of facility, they could have the best places at any feasts, they would receive the best seats in the synagogues, basically people will treat them with first-class priority. But Jesus rebuked them boldly since they did not live with integrity Mt.23:1-5. They only loved to receive all the facility and trust from peoples but they never do according to their teaching. Actually, they were not religious anymore but they were afraid not to receive all the convenient that they used to have! That was the reason why they keep that bad attitude!
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore, whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. Matthew 23:1-3
Various kind of fear may occur and happen in our daily life. People may fear for what other people may say toward them. People may worry how if the community excluded him because they have a Biblical value in his life. As Christians, we are not supposed to be afraid to live with integrity. Below are some keys to overcome the attack of fear so we may always live with integrity:
1: God is Mighty and Powerful to Take Care for Us
Never be afraid to perform our integrity wherever we may go, it could be in our workplace, community, neighbourhood, sports team, family, etc. Daniel and his friends arrived at Babylonia where no one believe in The Living God. They decided to keep holy and living their faith even though lot of risk challenged them. Through it all God want to let us know how He is more than able to protect and take care Daniel in health and wealth! Even when Daniel and his friends decided to eat only simple food (vegetables and water) and put aside all the portion of the king’s delicacies and wine, God able to provide them with strength, wisdom, skill, understanding, and also heavenly favour Dan.1:15-17.
And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus, the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Daniel 1:15-17
2: God Give Us The Spirit of Power
We may always have the new circumstances that we never have before. Sometimes we may afraid to apply the Biblical value in the new condition we may present. No matter what is the place and the condition, we must believe that the same God is with us and He already given us the Holy Spirit! That’s why it is very important for us to walk in His Spirit Gal.5:16. Holy Spirit will drive away all fear and He will give us power, love, and sound mind 2Ti.1:7. Even Daniel heard the new policy from government that did not allow anyone to pray for the next 30 days, he did not let the fear overcome his integrity. The peace from heaven overflowed in his heart, no fear at all, and the power from heaven led him to his upper room, to pray and give thanks as was his custom since early days Dan.6:10. Do not be afraid to hold the Biblical values that we already have since long times. Do not let the new trends from this world swap away our faith. Do not afraid to stand out and show up our integrity for God love everyone that not be ashamed to confess His name Mt.10:32-33.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7
3: God Will Bring The Rewards
Live with integrity is not always easy and God also know how much struggle we may have to keep it. God know exactly what kind of sorrow and how much affliction we may receive because we decide to live with integrity. Apostle Paul said that we must have the better resurrection Heb.11:35. All people will be resurrected, but only they that have done good will be resurrected into everlasting life, and those who have done evil into the resurrection of condemnation Jn.5:28-29. And the good news is Jesus will come quickly and bring His reward for us!
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:12-13
Let’s live with integrity. Not only have the Bible in our heart but also living in it and put it into our action. Never be afraid to live with integrity since God is more than able to protect us. His Spirit will give us power and He will never let us alone. He is coming quickly and He is ready to give the eternal reward for everyone that never be ashamed to declare His name through words and actions. AMEN.