Integrity, Discretion, and Fear

Integrity, Discretion and Fear – Proverbs 19:1-29

Verses 1 – 10  Integrity is defined in the Mirriam/Webster Dictionary as… “SOUNDNESS: adherence to a code of values: utter sincerity,  honesty and candor: COMPLETENESS.”
This is once again a comparison between the poor man who has a completeness about him; being content with his life; family, friends, and God.  The wealthy can far too often not be content with their wealth, wanting more, feeling they have a lack.
As we look at verses 2 – 10 we can see the comparison even further.  Many who are wealthy depend on their wealth for friendships (vv. 4-6), getting good judgments from whomever it may count and luxury is not seemly for those who are without wisdom of God.  The wealthy are far too often servants to their wealth.

Verses 11 – 22  Discretion is defined as… “The quality of being discreet: PRUDENCE:  Individual choice or judgment: power of free decision or latitude of choice.” M/WD  The one who is discreet or having discretion will not prolong anger at the “transgressions” of others.  Discretion is having good sense.
“A person with good sense is level-headed and can defuse conflict (15:18).” Faithlife Study Bible Online.  The person with good sense will not be out to upset the king (v. 12), cause his/her parents grief and/or shame(v. 13), and will seek to find the right person to start a home (vv. 13-14).
The person with good sense will be a hard worker, keep the commandments of the LORD, show kindness to the poor, and be honest in his dealings (vv. 15-22).

Verses 23 – 29  The fear of the LORD…  We have dealt with this topic before (1:29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6) and it is mentioned more as we journey to the end of Proverbs in 23rd verse; in 22:4 and 23:17.
The fear of the LORD is not a dreadful thing.  It is knowing that He is holding on to you; knowing He will not let go, even though we might.  Even though we might let go, because He does not He will pursue us until we are back in right relationship with Him.
Anyone having the fear of the LORD will be a hard worker (v. 24), be growing in knowledge and wisdom (v. 25), honor their father and mother (v. 26), be a godly witness, and trusts good judgment(vv. 27-29).

Please Note:  I just corrected a sentence I had made an error in.  In the section for verses 10-22  it was written, “The one who is discreet or having discretion will prolong anger at the “transgressions” of others.”  I did add the word “not” to read “…discretion will not prolong anger…”. (12/31/18)

Communicating Perfection

Communicating Perfection

Matthew 5:33-48

We start off with an “Ye have heard…” statement. It is the fourth of five if you count the “It has been said” of verse 31. This shows us Jesus’s familiarity with Scripture and the Law. It also shows that He is familiar with the general interpretation of those Laws.

In looking at the SERMON ON THE MOUNT we must realize that for the time being these principles are our goal. I fall so short of these principles of His Kingdom. The only way they are lived is when we are in complete obedience to the leading of the Spirit within us. Let me say here that our perfection/completion is only by God’s own decree – “You are Justified. All your sins are gone. Jesus has paid your debt”. This is still our goal for now.

THE PLACE TO BEGIN LIVING HONESTLY, WITH HIGH HONOR AND INTEGRITY IS WITH JESUS CHRIST (vv. 33-37).

* When your heart is right with God your first responsibility of honesty is with Him.

+ He already knows your heart and thoughts why would you lie to Him.

+ Why lie to others, if indeed, you see the image of God in them, and we should.

* When making a vow, or promise, let your Yes, Be Yes; and your No, be No!

+ If you must swear on a “Stack of Grandma’s Bibles”, then, your word is probably as good as the ocean front property in Arizona.

THE PLACE TO BEGIN SEEKING THE GOOD OF OTHERS IS BY LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST AND BE LIKE HIM (vv. 38-42).

* Jesus even turns this toward those who would strike you.

+ Is it a wimpy thing for a man to “turn the other cheek”?

+ Is it the right and courageous thing to “turn the other cheek”?

* Giving others what belongs to you shows that you care for them more than we care for things.

+ Giving them our time – if you are “compel(led) to go a mile, go with him twain”.

+ Giving possessions – if he “take away you coat, let him have your cloke also” (vv. 40, 42).

“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 (KJV).

LIVING WITHOUT THE ATTITUDE OF RETALIATION IS A WORK OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS (vv.43-47).

* I recall nowhere in Scriptures which tell us to “Hate your enemies”.

+ Most error in such things comes from misinterpretations and evil hearts.

+ Here, Jesus quickly puts that thought out in the cold

* The law does teach, “Eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-25).

+ Seeking justice and seeking revenge are two different thoughts.

+ You can still love the person when justice is being done, but revenge almost requires hatred.

* When we love those who love us, we are doing only what others will do.

+ When we love those who have stricken us, who have lied about us, who have harmed us, then, people will see the love of Jesus Christ, and the difference He has made in our lives.

+ We need to be strengthened by the Spirit of God each day to walk with Christ and be like Him, in loving and forgiving those who have despised us, even hated us.

THE PERFECTION OF GOD IS THE COMPLETENESS WE HAVE SOLELY IN HIM (v. 48).

* This is similar to God’s command to Israel:

+ “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45, and 1 Peter 1:15-16.

* Perfection is the work of God taking us and making us more into the likeness of His Son.

+ It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to one day be made like Him for we have the promise;

+ “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV).

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Bold Request

Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in my integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”  Psalm 26:1-2 (KJB)

It is a bold request indeed to ask God first “Judge me”, then to request, “Examine me…”  It is a needed thing to do that.  Do I do that?  I have.  Even to pray, “Lord, whatever it takes to make me like Jesus; do it.”  That is a bold request which will definitely put you to a test.

It is GOD who knows us best, yet He loves us most, and desires to work in our lives to accomplish His will and purposes to bring us to Himself, and His glory.  He also will use us to bring others to Himself, and do the same in them.

The apostle Paul has written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”  2 Corinthians 13:5

The LORD will do in our lives whatever it takes to get us where He wants us to be.  Be prepared.  Draw near to God.

Integrity, Discretion and Fear

An individual with integrity will be of the same moral character in the presence of others as they are when they are alone.

Just a few verses from Proverbs 19 today, with a short review of the whole chapter…

“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.” Proverbs 19:23-25 (KJV)

Verses 1 – 10 —   Integrity is defined in the Mirriam/Webster Dictionary as… “SOUNDNESS: adherence to a code of values: utter sincerity, honesty and candor: COMPLETENESS.”

This is once again a comparison between the poor man who has a completeness about him; being content with his life; family, friends, and God. The wealthy can far too often not be content with their wealth, wanting more, feeling they have a lack.
As we look at verses 2 – 10 we can see the comparison even further. Many who are wealthy depend on their wealth for friendships (vv. 4-6), getting good judgments from whomever it may count and luxury is not seemly for those who are without wisdom of God. The wealthy are far too often servants to their wealth.

Verses 11 – 22 —   Discretion is defined as… “The quality of being discreet: PRUDENCE: Individual choice or judgment: power of free decision or latitude of choice.” Mirriam/Webster Dictionary. The one who is discreet or having discretion will prolong anger at the “transgressions” of others. Discretion is having good sense.
“A person with good sense is level-headed and can defuse conflict (15:18).” Faithlife Study Bible Online. The person with good sense will not be out to upset the king (v. 12), cause his/her parents grief and/or shame(v. 13), and will seek to find the right person to start a home (vv. 13-14).

The person with good sense will be a hard worker, keep the commandments of the LORD, show kindness to the poor, and be honest in his dealings (vv. 15-22).

Verses 23 – 29 —   The fear of the LORD… We have dealt with this topic before (1:29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6) and it is mentioned more as we journey to the end of Proverbs in 23rd verse; in 22:4 and 23:17.

The fear of the LORD is not a dreadful thing. It is knowing that He is holding on to you; knowing He will not let go, even though we might. Even though we might let go, because He does not He will pursue us until we are back in right relationship with Him.

Anyone having the fear of the LORD will be a hard worker (v. 24), be growing in knowledge and wisdom (v. 25), honor their father and mother (v. 26), be a godly witness, and trusts good judgment(vv. 27-29).

Christmas Day Thirty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas today?

I always want to be a man of integrity, honesty; no matter my economic condition -rich or poor – and no matter my lot in life; always faithful to the God of Creation through His Son Jesus.

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

Receiving From God

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Job 2:8-9 (KJV)

Job was a blessed man with a large family, loving wife, much land, cattle, camels, sheep, oxen, donkeys, and many servants who were loyal to him. He was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived.

The book of Job is believed to be the oldest of the Old Testament books. He is believed to have lived around the time of Abraham, and possibly sometime before. The book was written sometime before Moses wrote Genesis and the rest of the Law. Job believed in God, and he believed God.

Satan, the devil, that old serpent sought to cause Job harm by seeking God’s permission to cause Job suffering, loss, trial, and pain. Just a thought here to the child of God: Satan can never touch you unless he gets God’s permission first; and if God gives him permission to touch you it is because God knows you can handle it.

Notice this about Satan. He is always going from the presence of the LORD (1:12; 2:7).

I said Job had a loving wife above. She did not enjoy the pain and suffering that had come to them. She was suffering too with the loss of their children, all their wealth; and then the skin diseases with boils, and such. It was, she thought, more than she could bear; so she said to Job, “Curse God and die”.

Job understood her pain. He also had a heart for God, and believed that the blessings he had lived with were from God, and that the suffering was allowed by God.

Are you suffering today? Think about Job. Think about God’s goodness, grace and love. When you love God there is nothing that can cause you to curse God; but thank Him, praise Him, love Him; because there is no other who can hold you and keep you.

God loves you. He has proven that love by the cross of His Son Jesus who suffered, beatings, mocking, rejection, and loss. He was put on display to show the wondrous love of God.

Judgment You can Trust

“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalm 26:1 (KJV)

No one of us enjoy the thought of being judged by another human being.  We can be the worst, and the harshest of judges.

The Psalmist (David) goes to Jehovah, and request His judgment.  Would I do that?  I will say this; I do desire His judgment over yours.  It is a good thing to desire the judgment of GOD.  His judgment is holy, just and righteous.

As David; if we come to Him with with a moral integrity that is based on the grace of God, then you or I have nothing to fear in God’s judgment.

You will notice that David comes to make this request based on his trust in the LORD – “I have trusted also in the LORD…”

Let me give you some thoughts concerning judgment. First, when we have trusted the LORD we can know that His judgment is right.  Second, when we are trusting the LORD we can judge ourselves: “If we would judge ourselves we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31).  Third, we can be free of the fearful judgment of GOD by trusting in the One who took our judgment for us; that is, His Son  Jesus Christ.

Knowing Him, trusting Him, and He keeps us from the “Slide” ie., from falling.