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18(Job 31)Where Do You Stand - An Integrity Inventory

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Knowing Where You Stand - An Integrity Inventory

One of the dreaded times in any business is inventory. Some, like Wal-Mart, try to take inventory while keeping their stores open. Others shut down completely to get an accurate assessment.

Inventories are essential. There may be money in the register, a balance in the bank, but the inventory tells whether or not you’re making money. It tells you where you stand.

What businesses do from time to time, I have begun to do in my personal spiritual life. It is easy for me to stay busy and fill my days with lots of worthy activities. I always have goals and try as much as possible to overachieve and under sleep. I hate sleep.

What cash is to a business, integrity is to a man.

Integrity, unlike reputation, is not something you earn. It is something you are. And that is good news. If you find after this morning that you lack integrity, you can decide today to take the stand that yields integrity. That stand will lead to a better reputation.

Integrity is mentioned often in scripture. In Hebrew it is the word often translated righteousness, uprightness. 

David was designated by God as a man of integrity.

§  1 Kings 9:4 "Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments…

§  Psalm 7:8 The LORD shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.

§  Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.

§  Psalm 41:12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever.

Proverbs:

§  Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

§  Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

This Father’s Day I want to lead the men (and women) of this church to take inventory of your lives. Since God values integrity, it should be the desire of every heart here this morning.

As we look at Job in chapter 31, we find him taking inventory of his life. He has been challenged to abandon his integrity.

I.       Take a Hard, Honest Look at Yourself.

A.     Job was designated by God as a man of integrity.

§  NIV Job 2:3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."

B.     Integrity is not always admired.

§  Sometimes it is seen as foolish and impractical.

§  NIV Job 2:9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"

C.     Job 27 is a chapter on Job defending the need to maintain integrity. (Job 27:1-6)

§  NIV Job 27:5 I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.

§  Job says that he desires to live with personal integrity – vows before God that he does.

§  In reality, only God can properly assess our hearts. We must yield our lives to him as we look inward. Only then can we see what is there.

§  Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

§  Surely not us. Only God can reveal what is truly in our hearts. So David said,

§  Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

§  Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.

II.    Taking Inventory of Your Integrity (Job 31).

A.     Your Thought life (31:1-4).

§  Job says he made a covenant with his eyes.

§  That is how serious Job was about living a holy life. What about you?

§  Only you can inventory this secret part of your life. Is it pure?

B.     Your Ethical Life (31:5-8).

§  Job examines his professional life at the office.

§  Bottom line: he looks for honesty in his dealings.

§  What about your ethics? Have you padded your expense account? Is your word your bond?

C.     Your Home Life (31:9-12).

§  Job looks at his marriage and home life.

§  He claims he has been faithful to his wife. He has kept his marriage vows.

§  Fidelity is his standard. What is your standard? Is it forsaking all others?

D.     Your Work Life. (31:13-15).

§  Job has treated his servants fairly. They register no complaint against him.

§  He considers those who work for him have been made by God and deserve equitable treatment.

§  Can you say that you treat your secretary fairly? Do you treat your employees with compassion?

§  Could those who work for you raise a complaint against you?

§  How about those you work for?

E.      Your Community Life (31:16-23).

§  Bildad’s charge against Job was that he had been unkind to the underprivileged. But not true.

§  Job shared his resources with the poor and was very generous with what God gave him.

§  Do you reach out to widows? Do you give to the poor?

§  A real part of our Christian faith is how we treat those in real need.

F.      Your Financial Life (31:24-25).

§  Job looked at his own attitude toward money.

§  God increased Job’s wealth, but Job did not gloat over his success. He knew it all came from God.

§  He held his possessions with an open hand.

§  What is your attitude toward money? Do you hold it with an open hand or grip it with a passion?

G.     Your Spiritual Life (31:26-28).

§  Job looks into his heart to see where his loyalty was. Whom did he worship?

§  Did he worship the moon and the sun? No, he worshipped the one true God.

III. Have you taken inventory lately?

§  Where are you in your walk with the Lord?

§  There is an ebb and flow about our spiritual life. It is never stagnant. It is always changing.

§  Jesus is coming back. And He will call us into account for all the works of our life. He will take inventory, burning up all the worthless things we have spent our life on, preserving only the truly valuable.

§  Because of this coming day, it is vital that each person evaluate his life today.

§  What we evaluate and change today will bring our Lord’s pleasure on that day.

§  Let’s prepare for that day today. Like Job, it is time to take inventory. Where do you stand?

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