Category Archives: Integrity

What Are You Thinking?

TODAY’S VERSE
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you thinking? What we think about is what really shapes us. Paul wrote about our inner dialog. In today’s passage, he tells us to focus our thoughts on those thoughts that true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Paul also tells us to do battle with those feelings, thoughts and core beliefs that are contrary to God and His word. He writes, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Today, slow down and listen to what you are really thinking. Listen to your inner voice, your feelings, and self-talk. This is where the battle for who we really are is won or lost. As attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, motives or predictions are discovered, check to see if they align up to Biblical standards. If not, talk to God about it. Confess and renounce those thoughts, making them obedient to Christ. Today, ask God to change you from the inside out.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please expose my hidden self to me so I can apply Your word to my thinking and be the person You want me to be.
AMEN

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Trust And Obey

TODAY’S VERSE
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.
James 1:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had people you are close to making a decision, a decision about something you know a lot about, yet they never asked your opinion? Have you ever been asked your opinion and then totally ignored? Have you ever been asked to “weigh-in” on a decision only to have to “buy-in” to a decision you disagree with? It is hard when you are ignored or when decisions are made that you think should have been different. What about God? How does He feel about people who go through life never asking for His opinion on anything? How about people that pray a desperate request never really intending to listen? Or worst, what about those that ask God for wisdom and treat His answer as simply a “weigh-in” deciding later to ask God to “buy-in” to the decision they made contrary to what God suggested. Do you ask God for wisdom or do you go about your life without His opinion? If you do ask God for wisdom, do you listen to it or are you off to something else not really listening for an answer at all? Finally, if you do ask for wisdom and hear God’s voice, do you “obey” it or do you “weigh” it. James tells us to ask God for wisdom and then believe God will give it to us and not doubt His answer. Today, when you need wisdom, ask God, really ask Him. Then, listen to what He says. When you hear, follow His path. It is like the old Hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way. To be happy in Jesus, just trust and obey.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I don’t ask You for wisdom like I should. And when I have asked, I have often ignored You. Forgive me, Lord. I know I need Your wisdom for this life and I ask that You would give it to me. Then, Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, empower me to do what Your wisdom dictates. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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The War Is Over

TODAY’S VERSE
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
Romans 6:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Out in the remote posts of the Pacific where the word had not reached the soldiers that World War II was over, battles still went on. How many lost their lives after the war had already been won? It is this way in our battle with sin. Paul comes along and writes that our sinful selves have been put to death with Christ. Yet, we act as if it applies to everyone else but us. The battle is over but the news hasn’t reached our heart yet. When we became a Christian, we were emancipated from being a slave to sin. We were set free from the power of sin. Do we sin? Yes. But do we have to be under its control? No. We have been set free. Yet we act like a prisoner of war still living in our cell, oblivious to the good news. So, what is stopping us from living free from the sin that is holding us down? Today hear the good news, “Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.” Arise, the battle is won, you are free!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to really understand the freedom You have given me in Christ. Help me understand what it really means to be free from the power of sin. Help me today live in this new awareness, that my old sinful self is crucified with Christ.
AMEN

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Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.- But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
James 3:13, 17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We usually think of wisdom in terms of knowledge or the ability to solve a mystery. However, James describes something much more comprehensive. It is “relational” wisdom. The wisdom that God desires includes morality, prudence, humility, gentleness, love, mercy, and good deeds. It seems that God is more interested in how we apply what we know, especially in the way that we relate to others. You can be intellectually right, yet morally wrong in the way you use your knowledge. To be right, yet arrogant, unloving and proud is not real wisdom. Might God grant us the understanding that real wisdom is, “peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I ask for your wisdom in all that I do. With that wisdom, please help me be gentle, humble, loving and merciful.
AMEN

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Throw It Off

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul uses the analogy of running a race to describe the Christian life. He paints a picture of a poor runner who has come to the starting blocks with a large heavy weight tied to him and chains wrapped around his legs. There is no way this runner is going to finish the race, let alone win. Instead, Paul suggests that the runner first throw off everything that hinders them. That could be events, habits, environments, attitudes, anything that “triggers” the desire to do things that Christ would not want us to do, or prevent us from doing what we should. We need to throw off anything that leads us toward Spiritual apathy or complacency. In their book “True Faced” the authors point out that in reality there are two kinds of sins. These are sins that we commit resulting in guilt and sins that are committed against us resulting in hurt. Both of these “sins” can trip us up. If we allow guilt to grow, it will spread like cancer in our Spirit. If we allow hurt to go unchecked, it can fester into sadness, anger, fear, malice, bitterness and many other negative attitudes. We need to deal with the sin in our life — both those that we commit and those committed against us. Then we can run the race. Today let us consider our own life. Are we running the race that God has called us to? If not, what is weighing us down? What is entangling us? Pray today that God would help you throw it off.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Father, You know that I need to run in this race of life. I confess that I have let burdens weigh me down. I have let sins, both that I have committed and those committed against me, trip me up. Help me, Lord, throw off these things. Help me run today, free from all these issues that hinder me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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An Authentic Life

TODAY’S VERSE
You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God.
I Peter 2: 9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God cares about the way we live. Why? Because of the evidence that others see about God. Many people will never read the Bible but they will read our lives. They may not hear about the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but they will know the Gospel according to you! You see, Peter wrote that you are part of a chosen people. You are a Royal Priest of Almighty God. You are part of a Holy Nation. Because of this, you have the privilege and the responsibility, to represent your King. You are to show others the goodness of God by the way you live. It is your life that silences the skeptics that would bring dishonor to God. So, do you have to be perfect? If so, does this mean that you make a mask and fake your good behavior? No, people are not looking for pretense or phoniness. They want to see an honest, real and authentic life. A life where you admit when you are wrong. Where you fall, but get up and try again. Where your faith is weak but you surrender to the love of God anyways. God chose you. Now it is your turn. Choose to live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for choosing me. Thank You for making me a Royal Priest, a chosen person, part of a Holy nation. Help me to live accordingly. I cannot do it by myself. I need Your help, help me I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Integrity

TODAY’S VERSE
Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. ‘Come and sleep with me,’ she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
Genesis 39:6-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How do you say “integrity”? This story of Joseph is a wonderful illustration of a person living with morals, faith, and self-control. Here came a situation that many would find tempting. After all who would report him? Wasn’t he second in command only to Potiphar himself? And wasn’t she a consenting adult? Besides, he knew that she had a wicked temper and the result of refusing her could be perilous. Who could blame him if he gave in to her desires? But his logic and faith were pure. He knew he was trusted and did not want to betray that trust. That was important to him. However, there was more. He told Potiphar’s wife, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” He saw such a betrayal to Potiphar not only morally reprehensible but as an affront to God. Today we live in a morally bankrupt culture. But God has called us to follow Him. And what He has called us to, He will enable us to do. He has given us His word to guide us and His Holy Spirit to empower us. Yes, we sin, but when we repent God forgives us and gives us grace to do better. So today choose how you will live. Determine to follow God. Make it your desire to live out the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we do, God promises that we will not live out the desires of the flesh.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to live out the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to make the right choices today, just like Joseph did in his time. Help me to take the high road and to trust You with the outcome. Guide me and help me live for You. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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