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5/1 THRU 5/31
TEXT: Psalm 15: 1-5 
O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”
Integrity is uprightness of character, honesty, a truthful heart, wholeness. It is not what we eat, but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain, but what we save that make us rich; not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess, but what we practice that makes us Christians!!!
Looking for people of integrity in our generation perhaps could be compared to searching for a needle in a haystack. Indeed, it may be easier to identify a grain of salt in a snowstorm. True men and women of integrity are rare indeed. Are you one of them? Is your life characterized by integrity? The Bible clearly indicates that our lives should be. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that we should be as good as our word. Are you as good as your word?
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29? 
We used to teach our children that our reputation was extremely important. Parents would exhort children by telling them that they had worked hard to create a good name for themselves and that the children should work hard to maintain it. Today, integrity is a word that is losing a lot of its meaning. It means to be sound in moral principles, being upright, honest, or sincere. In these waning years of the twentieth century, I wonder how many of our politicians we could say that they are men and women of integrity. I wonder how many preachers can say it as well.
“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Sixty-five percent of America’s high school students say that they would cheat on an important exam. What are we teaching our kids about integrity? Fifty-three percent of them said that they would lie to protect a friend who vandalizes school property. All this is based on a LOU HARRIS poll of more than 5,000 children between fourth and twelfth grade, in public, private and parochial schools.
The classic example of people who thought they had integrity, but did not were the Pharisees. In Matthew 23:25-28, Jesus calls the Pharisees, who were the religious men, the righteous men of the day, hypocrites. He goes on to say that the outside of the cup is clean, you look like you have it all together, but the inside of the cup is filthy. We try so hard to please God through our outward appearance but God sees much deeper than that for he sees the HEART! We may be  able to fool others and even our brothers but never can we fool God and this is why we need to search our hearts to make sure that there is no unrighteousness that is there that has us even deceiving ourselves that we truly love Him!
So how do you know if you are having a problem with truthfulness in your heart? Here are the 3 E’s that we use to compromise the truth in our hearts and minds.
1.  Explanations compromise the truth. You know how it goes. Sometimes you are caught in a wrong deed or in a bad situation. How do you explain it? Do you deal with it head on, with total honesty, or with half-truths?
2.  Excuses deny the truth. Someone has said, "An excuse is just a lie wrapped in reason.” The reason we make excuses is to make ourselves not appear as bad as we really are.
3.  Exaggerations stretch the truth.We use exaggerations to make ourselves look better than we are.
Which of the above ways of deceiving yourself are you guilty of?
Matthew 25:21 “His master said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”
Here are 5 ways that we lie to ourselves and deceive ourselves in our hearts.
1. Denial that we have sinned when we know the truth -"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." This verse is to Christians, confronted with an issue of sin in their life. When the Holy Spirit pricks your conscience by a still small voice, you can ignore or deny it, or say, “It’s not me.” But the reality is that in this flesh we will always struggle with sin; To begin to think the struggle is not there is self-deception.
2. Results and consequences of sin- Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked; A man reaps what he sows."We all many times act as if we believe that sin does not have any consequences. But none of us are above the consequences of sin. You will reap that which you sow even if it is much later on.
3. High regard for self - Galatians 6:3 “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing he deceives himself.” The proud person deceives himself and is headed for destruction.
4. Application of the Word - James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Those who listen and do not obey deceive themselves and are Satan's delight because they push people away from the Lord. These people are hypocrites that bring reproach on Christ's name.
5. Use of the tongue - James 1:26 "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight   rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." The tongue is a fire. That is why God put such a premium in controlling the tongue because the tongue reveals what is in the heart. Words of gossip, slander, and malice reveal a heart full of hatred, violence, and pride. Can you understand your own heart? No, it is so desperate and wicked that even the heart that has been transformed by the power of God still has a tendency toward deception if we walk in this flesh.
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
God tells us that we are to train up a child in the way he should go, but we ourselves must walk that same way or end up as hypocrites doing one thing and telling our children to do another. God is not a man that He should lie and is faithful to His word. As our Father, He teaches us integrity by doing exactly what His word says He would do and this is why we can have faith in Him simply because of who He is. Just as God is accountable to Himself so shall we be, why because His love demands obedience! Listen, sin requires us to make a choice. We know that God is faithful to His word and He will not allow us to be tempted above which we are able. God will prevent anything from coming to us that will hurt us and we know that God is in control and has the final say in our life!!! We have to stop lying to ourselves and truly search our hearts because if we love our Father, the great ELOHIM, and then it must be seen in our life!
1 TIMOTHY 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
Have you ever wondered what people associate with your name? Do people say that you can be trusted, that you are reliable, that you can be counted on, that you are Godly and that you are a man or woman of integrity? These things should be important to us because our lives speak volumes to those around us. In the many names of our awesome God, you find trust, comfort, and protection! Can you imagine if we served a God who was not trustworthy or steadfast in His ways? As His word says, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow so we can count on the Lord and His love and mercy to endure forever. However, we must make a decision to live a life of integrity. And even though we don’t deserve it all that He has for us, it is because of Jesus we have ALL that we need and some!
LEVITICUS 19:12 “You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.”
As Christians, as people whose citizenship is in heaven, we must show integrity in our words and deeds. The keeping of our word depends on the actions that we take. Do they see Christ in you? As Pilate found no fault in Jesus, can the world say the same about you that they find no fault in you and that you are a man or woman of character, dignity, morality, and integrity?
NUMBERS 30:2 "If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Simply put, integrity is doing what you said you would do. It means you keep your promises. When you promised to be faithful to your mate, integrity says you’ll stay with that person no matter what -- for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. If you promised the Lord that you would give Him the glory, integrity means you keep on doing that whether you’re reduced to nothing or exalted to the highest pinnacle on earth. If you promised a friend that you would return a call, integrity means you return it. If you promised your child that you would spend Saturday together, integrity means you keep that appointment. A promise is a holy thing, whether made to a chairman of the board or to a child.
JAMES 5:12 “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”
People will judge our God by the way we act towards others. We must be people of integrity when we deal with all people. Jesus should affect how we conduct ourselves. When we say we are going to do something, it is as good as done!
PROVERBS 20:7 “A righteous man who walks in his integrity How blessed are his sons after him.”
DEUTERONOMY 23:23 "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God, what you have promised."
When we tell God that we are going to commit our lives to Him, we must fulfill that vow to Him. When we say that we love God, then we will keep His commandments. If we fail God and choose to do contrary to His word then we shall reap what we sow. God’s grace and mercy is more than enough but we must choose to do THE RIGHT THING! In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and that is why they were killed. They volunteered to give the proceeds of the sale of their land to God, but then they withheld part of it.
How do you demonstrate your integrity today? Do those who work with you on a daily basis see your integrity? Does your family see your integrity? Do they see the sound moral principles—the things that happen in your life that prove that you are a person of integrity? Do people in your church see it? Do you know what one way for you to maintain your integrity? One way is to keep silent. To hold our tongue when we do not understand—that is a mark of a determined integrity. And when we refuse to lash out at God, when we refuse to curse God or others in the midst of our distress, that’s a mark of determined integrity
“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:28
So in the person of integrity, this internal conversation is certain, sure, and right. What this man says to himself is always reliable, firm, faithful, and truthful. It is not shaky or questionable; It is not wavering and does not contain lies or half-truths. There is no room for hypocrisy here. Having integrity is a part of one’s lifestyle and is part of who you are.
Integrity is not an isolated action of here or there but who you are. Did you get that? You cannot do integrity or turn it off and on. It is who you are. Living a life of integrity involves one’s deeds, one’s actions. This simply means that he who walks with integrity will have right deeds. Therefore, who you are shows itself in what you do. God wants you and me to have integrity and truthfulness not just when it is visible, but even in what only God and we know is going on in our hearts and minds. A person of genuine integrity is a person who is truthful in his inner man, about himself, about who he is, about where he is, about what he is. Unless integrity is to the core, it is not integrity.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
You see the breakdown of integrity begins when you fail to be truthful in your heart. You do not just wake up one day and all of a sudden, your integrity is shattered because you get up on the wrong side of the bed. No, it is not that simple. You see, it starts with a pattern of refusing to speak the truth in your heart. And I want you to notice something even more startling: What we say in our hearts eventually produces behavior in our lives. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that from your heart comes your entire life. Your words, your thoughts, your deeds, all start in your heart. You are and you will become what you think in your heart. When you say something in your heart, it is either the beginning of downfall, or the beginning of recovery. However, please note that apart from Christ you cannot have integrity. The core of integrity is a transformed heart and until Christ transforms your heart, you cannot truly have it all together.
The person who speaks truth in his heart says like David. I do not want to refuse reproof, I want it. If you're serious about speaking truth in your heart, say to a good friend, “Will you be candid with me, will you love me enough to even hurt me if you need to so that I will be a person of honesty?”Do you want to be blessed by God? Are you the true believer who enjoys the presence of God? The one who experiences power and intimacy with God? If you do, you must be a person of integrity and the core of integrity is speaking the truth in your heart.
The genuine believer is not a self-deceiver but one who has internal conversation that is always firm, reliable, and faithful in their inner man, their heart. Do not be a liar. God understands to be in the flesh. How? Through Himself Jesus Christ and this explains His inexhaustible amount of grace and mercy for us. But what God does not understand is when His children CHOOSE to do wrong repeatedly and separate themselves from Him.
Start telling the truth to yourself and purge your heart with the crimson blood of the Lamb. Confess outwardly and to our Lord the areas that lack integrity and ask Him to seek it out and to destroy anything in your inward man that is not of Him. You must be able to confess it, surrender it, purge it, and deliver it ALL TO JESUS! NOTHING in the world that His blood cannot heal or cleanse but you must be truthful with the dealings of your heart and LET THE TRUTH SET YOU FREE.
In His love,
Ptr . Jeff Queen
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