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Summary: STRENGTH FOR DAILY LIVING #2 Our integrity is not a by-product of what I do and say. Our integrity flows from our identity. God works from the inside out. . . if we let Him.

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INTRODUCTION:

Everyone enjoys holding and looking at a new baby. Eventually the conversation will turn to something like this: “Oh she has her mommy’s eyes,” or “He looks like his dad.” As children grow up it’s amazing not only how much they may look like their parents, but even more so how much children act like their parents! On more than one occasion I have watched my kids act just like me, and I’ve seen some of yours acting a lot like you.

When children act like their parents we often say, “He’s a chip off the ol’ block,” or my favorite “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

When we think about our IDENTITY as children of God we need to ask ourselves, how far has the apple fallen from the tree? Does the way I live my life show others that I am a child of God? This morning we are going to look at how INTEGRITY can bring renewal and strength to our daily lives.

•Ephesians. 3:16-19 (NIV)

[16] I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, [18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, [19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is a good prayer for each of us today—we need strengthened in our inner being! How many of you think this is a prayer God would want to answer? Absolutely! How will God answer our prayer for inner strength? He will do a work within our hearts.

What are the keys to spiritual renewal? How can Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians be answered in our lives so that we are strengthened by His Spirit in our inner being?

More than just keys or principles to live by, we’re going to begin to look at five one word answers to five basic questions. These are five questions that when answered properly will rejuvenate our spirits through the power of God within us.

Like a round of Jeopardy here again are the five answers; IDENTITY, INTEGRITY, CAPACITY, TENACITY and DESTINY. We began last week to see how God will give us strength for daily living by looking at our identity.

Identity answers the question “Who am I?” Your identity is not determined by what you do or how other people see you. The answer to the question “who am I?” is found in knowing WHOSE I AM. God establishes your identity! When you remember who you are in Christ, your identity strengthens you in your inner being.

Knowing your identity leads to the second way our strength is renewed—the answer is INTEGRITY. Integrity answers the question “Whose am I?” or another way to put it “Who controls how I live my life?”

The Bible tells us plainly people have only one of two identities—or we could say one of two fathers: you are either a child of God or a child of the devil. While this may not be “politically correct” in our culture it remains biblically correct!

1 John 3:8-10 (NIV)

[8] He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. [9] No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. [10] This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Your God given identity as a child of God establishes your integrity—whose are you? I am God’s, therefore the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and I will live my life to please God and not myself. You cannot live a holy life—a life of integrity—apart from your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I live my life like Jesus because I am a child of God.

Answering the question of identity “who am I” makes it possible to answer the question of integrity. Whose am I? Who controls my life? Whose child am I? I know who I am by whose I am; therefore as a child of God my heavenly father controls my life.

For the Christian our identity and integrity are connected to each other . . . you can’t touch one without touching the other. Because we are children of God we should live like God’s kids—we should live in obedience to His word. When we fail to live like we should our identity is called into question.

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