Summary: While shallow Christians who are playing the game of religion may get into the trappings of the faith, committed believers connect that their faith is to affect their daily ethics.

Integrity, Zeal, Knowledge: What’s In Your Wallet?

(Proverbs 19:1-2, 5, 23)

1. What’s in your wallet? That’s how a bunch of Vikings and a credit card company challenge us to consider a switch to their card.

2. But what is in your wallet? Probably money, perhaps a driver’s license or ID, maybe a credit card, bank card, and some pictures of loved ones. Some of you may have an extra key and perhaps a motor club card.

3. We can only carry so much in our wallet; we have to be selective; we try to have what we need most while away from home.

4. We also have a spiritual wallet, qualities we carry with us wherever we go. Whereas most of us have the same thing in our physical wallets, we vary quite it bit when it comes to that invisible spiritual wallet. What do we carry into life?

Main Idea: While shallow Christians who are playing the game of religion may get into the trappings of the faith, committed believers connect that their faith is to affect their daily ethics.

I. Integrity is More VALUABLE than Riches (Proverbs 19:1,5, 22)

• The Boy Who Cried Wolf-- an integrity crisis.

A. Integrity and STEADFAST Love

1. Integrity implies adherence to a moral code, esp. honesty

2. Hesed refers to God’s steadfast love (not fickle or changing)

3. People with integrity stay the course, keep their word

B. Opposite: CROOKED in speech, false witness, liar

1. When we get to know people , we hope we can learn who to believe

2. Lying is a habit; some people really master the role

3. How would you like to be a personnel manager and sort thru these


"Responsibility makes me nervous."

"Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ’job-hopping’. I have never quit a job."

"Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches."

"I was working for my mom until she decided to move."

"The company made me a scapegoat - just like my three previous employers."

• Finding people with high levels of integrity is becoming rare!

C. Consider JOB at his worst (Job 2:7) and Ahab (I Kings 21)

1. “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7)

2. Ahab coveted Naboth’s vineyard

3. In the ESV, the word “integrity” is used six times in Job. To a truly godly person, integrity is essential. I do not believe it is every used of Ahab.

4. If someone wrote your biography, how often would “integrity” appear?

5. Revelation 2:9, “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

D. Integrity is a CONVICTION Reinforced by habit

Isaiah 1:17, “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

committed believers connect that their faith is to affect their daily ethics.

II. Zeal and Knowledge: We Need BOTH (Proverbs 19:2)

A. Epoxy glue/paint: two phases: resin and hardener

• We painted a pool once at the old Camp Emmanuel

• Our deacons are looking into getting epoxy paint for basement

B. IGNORANT zeal is like a hardener without resin

• Zeal, nephesh: a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion (Strong)

• When we are zealous, we put our heart, our soul, our life into something

• But, like anger, zeal is a force that can be misdirected (terrorists)

1. Romans 10:2, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”

2. Jepthah and the sacrifice of his daughter

3. God’s Word contains both milk and meat, but fewer Christians want either

4. The idea of discipline, thinking, studying, reading, mulling over – not hot

5. Zeal without knowledge makes us rush into things foolishly/prematurely

C. Knowledge without zeal is ANEMIC, resin without hardener

• Like anger and zeal, knowledge can be dangerous, too!

Revelation 2:4-5, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”

The danger of knowledge: it can puff up (I Cor. 8:1) and turn us into heartless snobs. When melded with love, however, it becomes a blessing and not a curse.

Knowledge without zeal means we do not rush into things, but neither do we do much for the Kingdom of God, either; we just sit around & think how much better we are than others.

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