Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Upright in Integrity with His Purpose

Upright in Integrity with His Purpose 
by David Brenneman 

‭‭"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift." Ephesians 4:1-7

‭‭"for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Ephesians 4:12-16.

One thing of late that seems to have caught my eye, my attention, if you will...are people claiming to be Christians yet are showing fruits of being profiteers.  Their hearts aren't in the ministry their wallets are.  Some run businesses and only like the apparent blessings of God when it suits their purpose.  

We have a purpose in the body of Christ regardless of our station in life.  Doesn't matter if we clean toilets for a living or are the CEO of a company.  We are to represent Christ wherever we are.  Even in the face of worldly opposition in rules, laws, ordinances, policies or directives. We will give an account of our lives before Jesus for what we did or didn't do in the body we were given for Christ Jesus.

Take note that Scripture doesn't point to denominational ideologies.  The Scriptures point to one body for the Church.  

In life, regardless of where you are, you who are in Christ, represent Christ to all who are around you.  

Take a page from the worldly example of an Ambassador. 

Every Ambassador of any country or institution is on duty 24/7 365 days a year.  There is no 'down time' no 'me time' that isn't met with extreme prejudice in the public eye.  From clothing to a hand wave given or not given can often cause problems for days, months or even years.  

When we come to Christ we represent Christ wherever we are.

There are no exceptions.  

Some have wondered why I stepped away from various things that I admit that I enjoyed in life.  Why?  Because it didn't and doesn't cause Christ to be seen in me.  Some of those things actually, from my vantage point, brought out the worst in me. 

Put it to you this way...if you're trash talking someone...regardless if you think it's all in 'fun"...are you walking in a manner worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus?  Hmm?  That's but one example.  You are an Ambassador of Jesus Christ.  What does this show either those weaker in the faith or even unbelievers?

If you're more concerned about appearances in how you're viewed in light of rules, regulations, laws, etc. that I listed earlier than adherence to the Word of God, what example are you setting in regards to who you respect more God or man?

The if's can go on and on.  We have a responsibility to be the Light of Jesus Christ to those yet still walking in this present darkness.  Nowhere in the Great Commission are there exceptions that provide 'outs' with regard to areas or situations where we are off the hook. 

Nowhere is it taught in the Bible that we aren't to be who we are to be in Christ.  In any of the Gospel accounts can you find a single span of time where Jesus decides that the Father’s business can wait, that there no hurry?  

The quoted passage says "we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love".

When we entered into adulthood...we find the truth of 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."

It's a battle to stand firm. 
It's not often easy to hold on.

But Jesus says it will be worth it. 

Do you not want to hear "Well done!" from Jesus with regards to how you lived your life for Him?

Are those things in your life that you hold onto, are they keeping you from being the Ambassador that you are in Christ to your fullest?

Jesus said that what comes out of the mouth is what comes out of the heart of man.  Matthew 15.

What comes out of your mouth?

When people see you do they see Jesus?  Do they hear Jesus?   Are you growing up in all aspects into Christ?  

Food for thought for today.  We have a purpose, assigned by the Spirit, to be fulfilled regardless of our position in life, regardless of where we live. We are to be whatever body part we are in the body of Christ to the best of our ability 24/7 365 days a year.  

Take time today to really look at who you are living for.  It may mean conflict in order to live in the manner worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus.  Jesus said that would happen for all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus.  

Much more can be said about what the Bible says about integrity.  How God views you is what's more important than how the world does. 

As for my t-shirt says "I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God."

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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