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Living a Life of Integrity

Palm sunday  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:52
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If Integrity were a label on a can, how would it read?

Show a picture of a label

Our Society Suffers from a Lack of Integrity

It seems that everyday we read about someone showing a lack of integrity. It’s rampant. Bill O’Reilly, the most successful TV Show Host in Cable News History, being fired from Fox News. last Week, Kathy and I were at a Banquet honoring a couple of people for their service to the community and heard the most inappropriate dirty joke I have ever heard spoken in public…

King David Gives Practical Characteristics of People of Integrity

David has some of the same problems that our leaders today face. He was bombarded with people wanting something from him. David was also faced with people who wanted to kill him including one of his sons.
One of the keys for David and for each of us is choosing individuals to be around who are people of integrity.
Psalm 15 NLT
A psalm of David. Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.

We Have a Huge Need for Integrity Today (Psalm 15:1)

Psalm 15:1 NLT
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
David asks the Question

Who Can Live Where God Is?

It’s almost like David is saying, “OK God, I know you are perfect, so who can actually live with you? After all, God’s house is described as a Holy Hill and a sanctuary.
The Answer to the Question is a Person of Integrity!

A Person Of Integrity May Go into the Presence of God!

This passage deals with the need for integrity due to the lack there-of through out societies down through the ages. Public leaders become deceitful so they can be re-elected while others are trying to bribe those same leaders.
Unfortunately, the lack of integrity is a problem inside the church with Christians as well as non Christians. When Christians show a lack of integrity, it gains more attention because the World is watching.
One thing most employers want from an employee is a notice before the person quits the job. I have seen too many people who claim to be Christians quit a job with no warning… that’s not integrity.
I have seen employees witness to other employees but do sub par work… that’s not integrity.
Others show up for work late and take long breaks… That’s not integrity.

As a Christian, We Represent Jesus at ALL Times.

Colossians 3:17 NLT
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
We will either be a good representative or a bad one, but we are representatives. God calls or mandates that we as Christians live morally upright lives. Our standards for living come from the WOG, not from our pop culture.
David in Psalm 15 gives us 10 guides that describe what a person of integrity looks like. If integrity were the ingredients on a can, here is what that would look like.

The Characteristics of Integrity

Psalm 15:2–5 NLT
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.
David Asked the Question Who can Stand in God’s Presence?

1. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY IS BLAMELESS. (Psalm 15:2)

Psalm 15:2 NLT
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
The word for Blameless is Tamim and it means complete, sincere and without blemish. A blameless person lives in obedience to the Lord. IOW, he is doing his best to live by what the Lord say.
This is the kind of person people just can’t find anything wrong with. Peter talked about this kind of person.
1 Peter 3:15–16 NLT
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

We are to Live Blameless Lives so that When People Speak badly of You it makes them Look Bad.

The media’s portrayal of VP Mike Pence is a good example of this.

2. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOES WHAT IS RIGHT (Psalm 15:2)

Psalm 15:2 NLT
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Not only is this person BLAMELESS they do the right things. It’s not enough just to NOT GET IN TROUBLE. Jesus wants us to doing the right things.
James 4:17 NLT
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
If you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, it’s sin. God wants us doing the right things.
A young executive with a company was applying to the board of his company for a big promotion. The interview was going real well and the committee decided to break for lunch. They would then re-convene and announce this young man’s promotion. While in line at the cafe in the building, one of the Board Members observed the young man grab some extra butter and hide it so he would not have to pay for it. After lunch the Board Re-convened and not only did they not promite the young man, they fired him. He lost a job with a huge paycheck for two cents worth of butter.
Here is what they knew...
Luke 16:10 NLT
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
MIke - giving away 60% of income… did it when he had a paper route...
RS - cleaning floors...
Little things matter and The Lord wants us to do the right things even in the little things.

3. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY SPEAKS THE TRUTH (Ps. 15:2)

… even when it hurts.
Psalm 15:2 NLT
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
It’s easy to talk harshly, but we are to tell the truth, but be nice about it. We speak from a heart filled with compassion for others.
God wants us to be the kind of people whose word means something. In Ephesians, Paul gives some specific instructions...
Ephesians 4:25–29 NLT
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
There is a lot here, but look. He says STOP LYING and begin TELLING THE TRUTH in a way that builds other people up… so that it’s beneficial.

4. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOES NOT GOSSIP (SLANDER) (Ps 15:3)

Psalm 15:3 NLT
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.
Gossip - to slander with your tongue… to drive a wedge between others.
This is referring to talking about someone to bring harm to their reputation or to them personally. A person of Integrity does not try to defame or harm other people.

James compares Gossip to a Raging Fire

James 3:5–6 NLT
In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
An uncontrolled tongue causes great amount of damage. Gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattering, and lying all cause damage and place people at odds with each other. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build.

Words Are Powerful and How We Use them Reflects Our Relationship with God

How we speak is a powerful way to honor or dishonor the Lord. Excuse Me Reverend.

We Should Speak in a Way that Builds Others Up

It’s easy to trash someone, especially if they have said something about you, but Paul says to only speak in a way that builds each other up.
Ephesians 4:25–29 NLT
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
My Mother used to tell me,
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

5. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOES GOOD TO OTHERS (Ps. 15:3)

Psalm 15:3 NLT
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.
David says a person of integrity does not intentionally harm other people. People that harm others intentionally are evil people. A person of integrity does whatever he or she can to not harm someone.

Beware of People Who speak Evil of Others.

Matthew 16:8–12 NLT
Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ ” Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
These false teachers intentionally harmed others to increase their power and to hold onto their power.

Jesus calls us to DO GOOD to others & BUILD THEM UP Verbally

Galatians 6:9 NLT
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
If we will do good and keep doing good, we will receive a great blessing.
The Good Samaritan is a great Example of doing good to others. Tell the Story - He performed an act of kindness that was actually pretty risky.

6. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOES NOT SPEAK EVIL OF HIS FRIENDS (Ps 15:3)

Psalm 15:3 NLT
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.
A person of Integrity does not speak evil of his friends. The opposite of speaking evil is to speak to encourage them by making them know they are significant.
My Friend Ron or Steve - encouragers…
The Bible’s answer to our selfish desire to tear others down is
Philippians 2:3–4 NLT
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Don’t just look out for your own interests… look out for others. We are in fact our brothers keeper.
We should always treat people as if they are significant… because they are.

7. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY HONORS FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS OF JESUS (Ps 15:4)

Psalm 15:4 NLT
Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.
A person of integrity does not honor or look up to godless, sinful people. Our society is wrapped up in almost worshipping movie stars, musicians and athletes. Most of these people DO NOT need to be looked up to. So many of them are godless with NO moral compass and will do anything the part requires of them.
A person of integrity takes someone like a BG who lives their life for the Lord and honors him… Mike Pence (no matter your politics) for protecting his marriage… Connect group leader that prepares and leads a group each week… for children's workers who are teaching children to follow Jesus at an early age.
Daryl Green, a former defensive back, who won the Bart Star Award one year said I must decrease so He can increase.
Honor those who when their family is split… pray and work to bring people back together.
Honor those who parent their children and don’t let them watch filth on TV or Video Games. Listen, there is no invasion of their privacy while you are raising them. You are responsible to teach them and you don’t do that letting them do whatever hey want. Glenda with Meagan. It’s time we honor parents who do the right things in their parenting… stop listening to people who tell you different.

8. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY KEEPS THEIR PROMISES EVEN WHEN IT HURTS (Ps 15:4)

Psalm 15:4 NLT
Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.
You keep your word even if it is not advantageous… even if it hurts. When we make a promise, we give the person a right to expect that we will deliver what we promised. This is missing in our society. A person of integrity’s word is better than a legal contract.
JL TODD - June Todd would take a blank bank check to auction… He would turn a profit for the bank and himself.
One area most Christians need to keep their promises is in the area of paying our debts. Thousands of people file bankruptcy every day and renege on a promise they made to a lender. We need to pay our debt.
Another area we need to keep our promises is in our marriages. We need to keep our promises.

9. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY LENDS MONEY WITHOUT CHARGING INTEREST (Ps 15:5)

Psalm 15:5 NLT
Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.
This is really talking about excessive interest or USUARY. The Hebrew code was very fair towards the poor. They could not loan money at a high interest to anyone in need.
Exodus 22:25 NLT
“If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would.
Paul shows the attitude we should have with money.
1 Timothy 6:17–19 NLT
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

A Person of integrity is a Generous Person

A Person of integrity is a generous person and give to others and to the Lord’s work. Our attitude should be one of generosity and helping the needy.
Loan Sharks practice Usury or too high interest.
Credit Cards are another example.

10. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOESN’T ACCEPT BRIBES (Ps 15:5)

Psalm 15:5 NLT
Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.
A Bribe is anything someone might give someone else to try to gain their favor. This is usually done by someone who is guilty can gain an advantage over an innocent person.
People do this with politicians. They make large donations to their campaigns but later want the politician to do something that favors them.
EWE - CON for hospitals.

We are to deal fairly with everyone we come in contact with.

This is a lot of work, but what are the results of living a life of integrity.

THE RESULTS OF INTEGRITY (PS 15:5)

Psalm 15:5 NLT
Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.

People who Live Lives of Integrity will Stand when Troubles come.

David says we will not be shaken...
James 1:2 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
Philippians 1:6 NLT
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 4:13 NLT
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

People of Integrity Will Stand in the Presence of God… Oh His Holy Hill

Psalm 15:1 NLT
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Our World needs men and women of Integrity who reflect the light of Jesus to others. Jesus said we are to be the Light of the World and we can’t light the world if our actions don’t match our words.
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