Lead Well: Repair Your Integrity

Lead well in life: keep your integrity intact.

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever [Psalm 41:12 ESV]

In Psalm 41 David lets us know how God has upheld him because of his integrity, which allowing for how David behaved at times may seem a little incredible. Or does it rather point to a different way to view of integrity.

Integrity is not about perfection. Instead it’s about how we deal with situations when we don’t behave with perfection. Wholeness is difficult to attain and even harder to maintain. So when things break that, how we respond will either preserve our integrity or if we are not careful, maybe damage it beyond repair.

David messed up. But when confronted, he responded. He prayed. He called on God. He wept. He repented. He repaired his integrity. And God upheld him. More than that God set him in His presence forever. I can definitely relate to the messing up part and am a thankful recipient of Gods endless grace

Repair your integrity.

It may not come naturally. Be willing to be honest. Things happen, so let’s learn to respond well. To ask for forgiveness. To forgive. To repent from patterns of behaviour. To work hard at lining your life up with the Word of God. Integrity is hard won, easily lost. When a chip appears, fix it. Otherwise, a chip becomes a crack, which if left untended becomes a break which could be impossible to close.

The world needs people who are willing to work at protecting and maintaining their integrity. The world especially needs Christians who are able to stay strong, and who when they make a mistake, deal with it, get right with people and with God, and by doing so, protect and maintain their integrity. God rewards those with such a heart and sets them in His presence forever.

What do you think to todays thought?

 

7 Benefits for Calling on God

Amidst the frustrations of life, the friends who may let us down, the noise of the world and the general ‘gubbins’ of life it is important to remember we can call on the Lord. My daughter has just written today about prayer – you can read it here

Psalm 55 reminds us to act in a certain way when others things which are happening may cause us to want to behave in another way.

But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice [Psalm 55:16-17 ESV]

Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved [Psalm 55:22 ESV]

Whatever is happening right now, be it good, bad or ugly, take time to call on God, raise your voice to Him, cast your burdens on Him and invite Him in to every part of your life.

He hears our voice, our complaint, our concerns, the cry of our hearts

He redeems our soul and keeps us safe

He sustains us

He does not allow us to be moved or defeated by the words or actions of others

He overcomes the noise of others

He willingly attends to us and answers us

He is better than the best of friends

What beautiful promises, straight from the Word of God. How do these encourage you?

Saved Only Through Jesus

Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice [Psalm 49:7-8 ESV]

By what can we save ourselves? This is the question that quite possibly troubles many people. We do our very best, we work hard, we accumulate stuff, we may even spend time and ponder the great mysteries of the world, yet none of these can save us. How much would we need to bring to God as a ransom, as a payment to make things right between ourselves and Him?

To walk with God is to realise we are not saved by ourselves. We  cannot be saved through our own best efforts or those of other people. We cannot buy our salvation either. Nothing is worth enough from our own riches to match the price which needs to be paid.

Truly no man can save another.

Redemption does not come through wealth and riches and all that we have gained. It comes only in one perfect way. Matthew Henry in his commentary says it like this ‘Everlasting life is a jewel of too great a value to be purchased by the wealth of this world’.

ONLY JESUS.

For someone who has been a Christian for a long time I can forget how difficult this idea can be to grasp. It doesn’t make sense, it seems a little weird but when you know that in reality ‘something’ is missing then you begin to understand that all those things you have tried to fill it with never really satisfy. Nothing quite hits the mark.

ONLY JESUS.

As I walk with God, I am, at times, overwhelmed by all that God has done for me. ‘Thank you’ seems insignificant. Yet I must say it. I must be disciplined in my desire to seek Him first. I must live a life that displays Him as Lord of my life, so others can see the difference having Jesus in my life has made, so that by my actions, on behalf of God, some may also be saved.

I cannot pay the price myself, I cannot fill the gap in another persons life, but I can introduce them to the one can, who has, who will.

Today Lord, I pray, help me to live a life that honours You, displays the best of You, that through the way I live for You, others may come to see that knowing You is the best and only way to save themselves. Amen

Clap & Shout

“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭47:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is no mild suggestion but more of an instruction. Something we should do because it is good to do. 

Clap your hands ~ everyone!!

To clap is to appreciate, to encourage, to celebrate, to honour. To clap hands to God is to therefore do all of those for Him. 

As our hearts are filled with gratitude for all the good and great things He has accomplished for us, we clap. 

Not a polite clap, instead an excited, energetic clap that demonstrates the full of our thankfulness. 

Shout to God ~ with loud songs!!

We just recorded a new live praise and worship album at Xcel Church. We sang our hearts out and yes, it was loud too. 

To shout is to exclaim, to make a point, to be overwhelmed in a moment of joy or a moment of anger & frustration. 

To shout to God is to make know His greatness so others will hear and my want to join in. It is to be unashamed of the good news of Jesus and what He means to us every day. 

So today lets take some time – let’s clap our hands and shout God. Spend time appreciating all God has done, is doing and will do IN you and THROUGH you. 

By the way ~ what’s your favourite song to clap and shout to God to?

4 Reasons to Make Time & Be Still

“”Be still, and know that I am God. ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Life is such a rush these days, we are always on the move, time is passing so quickly, it’s all ‘now, now, now’. 

Due to the way of the world this idea of ‘being still’ takes on even greater significance. 

To pause. To reflect. To think. To spend deliberate, uninterrupted time with our God. 

Why? 

To counter the speed of all that’s going on around us in our life. 

To remember, like I mentioned yesterday, that He is God and we are not.

To thank God for all the good things He has done for us, is doing and will do. 

To pray and to ask God for the help we need. 

Psalm 46 is full of reasons to ‘be still’…

  • He is our refuge
  • He is our strength
  • He is our help
  • He takes away our fear
  • He is with us
  • He is on His throne 
  • His works in the world and in our individual lives are amazing

From personal experience, it is a good thing at the beginning of each day for me to take a few minutes and think about God. To be still. To read His word. To reflect. To pray. 

How do you make time for God, to reflect on His greatness and to be still in His presence?

Taste and See

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)
Test drives. Taster sessions. Free samples. Life is full of opportunities to try something out. 
This is the cry of David’s heart to those around him. Listen to me when I tell you about all that God has done for me. 

He answers me. 

He delivers me. 

He saves me. 

He makes not ashamed. 

He causes me to lack nothing. 

His eye is toward me. 

He hears me. 

He is near to me. 

Why don’t you give Him a go?  Why not give Him a taste, you will not be disappointed?  Why not look more closely at all He desires to do for you? See what He has done for me and know that He can do the same for you. 

Maybe we should be more like David and set the same challenge today to those closest to us. God is good. He loves you. His heart is toward you. Give Him a taste, give Him more than a cursory look, see that He is not the God you have thought He is. 

Blessed

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:1 [ESV]

Blessed. 

It’s not really an every day word but don’t allow that to reduce its significance. 

We are blessed. 

We have a God who forgives. We have a God who covers our sin. We have a God who does not keep count of how many times we have messed up. 

We are blessed to be able to confess. 

If we hold onto our sin, our hurt, or our pain, we bring heaviness, weariness and groaning into our world. Yet when we bring them all to God and ask Him to deal with them we are released, we are made free. 

We are blessed with a safe place. 

If we enter in and do not remain stubborn, the place where God dwells can be our place of safety. We will be preserved and be delivered. 

Definitely something to be glad about. Don’t you think?

God Will Answer

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? [Psalm 22:1]

Doesn’t this verse demonstrate the frustrations we may have at times with God when we wonder where He is, we cry with a longing to see His hand move, we are desperate to have an awareness of His help in our lives?

I know that I have prayed that prayer. I know that I have spoken these types of words to God. I have been a Christian a long time and I know God is able. I have seen Him answer my prayers many times before in my life, yet, if I am brutally honest, my humanness can be difficult to ignore and those nagging questions reappear. Why? When? How?

In Psalm 22 David maybe speaking from his own circumstances but he is also prophesying about a future King. He is speaking about Jesus. Not a King who would overthrow with a great show of physical power, instead a King who would overcome by laying down His life. He would be a suffering Messiah. A Saviour who would unfold a victory of a different kind.

He would be poured out for us.
He would have his strength beaten from him.
He would be disrespected
He would be pierced for me and you.
 

That I would be like David, that although I have wondered where God is, I would be quick to acknowledge the hand of God and say these same simple words…You have answered Me [v21b]

What a victory to give praise for.
What a victory to give me confidence in God.
What a victory that overcomes for me.
What a victory to give me courage.
What a victory to tell others about.
What a victory to learn from.

What a victory that causes me to trust and no longer question.

Where is the victory in your life that would lead you to say, ‘God has answered me?