Summary: We should not act one way when we are around people, then act another way when we are alone.
A Life of Integrity
November 30, 2014 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We should not act one way when we are around people, then act another way when we are alone.
Focus Passage: 2 Kings 18:1-6
Supplemental Passage: Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24 NASB)
Introduction: Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden, former coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 91
Years ago in Germany, there was a young Jewish boy who had a profound sense of admiration for his father. His family’s life centered on the acts of piety and devotion prescribed by their religion. The father was zealous in attending worship and religious instruction, and he demanded the same from his children. While the boy was a teenager, the family was forced to move to another town in Germany. There was no synagogue in the new town, and the pillars of the community all belonged to the Lutheran church. Suddenly the father announced to the family that they were going to abandon their Jewish traditions and join the Lutheran church. When the stunned family asked why, the father explained that changing religions was necessary to help his business.
The youngster was bewildered and confused. His deep disappointment soon gave way to anger and a kind of intense bitterness that plagued him throughout his life. That disappointed son, disillusioned by his father’s lack of integrity, eventually left Germany and went to England to study. He sat daily at the British Museum, formulating various ideas and writing a book. In that work, he introduced an entirely new world-view, envisioning a movement that would change the social and political systems of the world. Drawing from past experiences with his father, he described religion as an “opiate for the masses” that could be explained totally in terms of economics and personal gain. Today, millions of people still live under the system invented by this embittered man, and millions more suffered under previous regimes that incorporated its values. His name, of course, was Karl Marx, and his idea was communism. And it all began with his father’s misuse of the name of God for the sake of profit. SOURCE: James Emery White, You Can Experience an Authentic Life, pp. 33-34
I. Transcend a Trend
a. He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that … there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, … among those who were before him. (2 Kings 18:5b NASB)
b. BREAK the bonds of sin: 'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.' (Numbers 14:18 NASB)