But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
I was reading Genesis chapter 43, and something really came to my mind. Do you want to know what came to my mind? Integrity.
Made me think back to my Grandfather. He was one that would say, "A man doesn't really have anything but his word."
That just makes me think how much our morals have declined over the generations. We live in a time now where a lot of people don't care anything about their word. They will straight lie right to your face and seal the lie with their word.
Jacob made a lot of mistakes throughout his life, as we all do. But it shows a lot about his character in the early verses of Genesis chapter 43.
His boys went down to Egypt to buy some grain during the famine. On their way back home, they realized the money had been put back in their sacks. Now honestly, how many of us would have acted like that never happened and kept the money? I know there was a time in my life when I would have been like, "There wasn't any money in my sack."
There have been times when I have found money in a parking lot and thought nothing of it except - now this is my money. That was me at one point in my life.
Recently, I found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot at work. I went to the office and asked them if anyone had said anything about losing any money. I didn't say how much, because there were other people around. I knew that if someone had lost it, they would definitely know exactly how much it was.
The lady in the office seemed amazed at my honesty. That is crazy isn't it! We are seriously at a point in time where someone is amazed that you would be honest in a situation like that.
Anyways, she said, "You just hang on to it and I'll let you know if anyone comes looking for it." I kept that twenty dollar bill for two weeks and never heard anything.
I'm definitely not trying to brag as if I am this awesome man of integrity. All I'm trying to say is that we live in a period where integrity really doesn't mean anything to a lot of people anymore.
We can help change that though by being honest in every situation that we are in. That is definitely something that I struggle with. But I am at a point in my life where my name definitely means something to me. When people talk about me I would like them to say, "Chris is an honest and responsible person."
If anything I want that to give God credit and glory rather than myself.
What would people say about you? Are you a man/woman of integrity?
How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.
In my current series of devotions, I’m discussing the symbolism found in the illustrations of my Christian children’s book, “Finished: A Fictional Story With Heavenly Truth”. The beautiful images found in the book were created by artist Terri Melia Hamlin. Terri’s artwork masterfully tells the story’s narrative in a way that is appropriate for children, while, at the same time, shares deeper spiritual truths with the adult reader. The book is meant to encourage dialogue between the two concerning the significance of Jesus’ life and death.
Today’s illustration shows Joseph assisting Jesus with a project. Jesus has fashioned two boards in the form of a cross. Because he is so little, and the hammer is heavy, Joseph must pound the nails into place. The image is meant to remind us of Jesus’ complete innocence and how each of us, like Joseph, plays a part in the crucifixion of Jesus.
Notice once again, Joseph’s workshop window, where we see storm clouds. The clouds are meant to symbolize the darkness of the events of the crucifixion.
The good news, again, is that Jesus lived and died for us. And, although it was our sin that placed Jesus upon the cross, he died there to remove it from us. Moreover, his Resurrection three short days later gives us newness of life. We are forgiven, and we are free! Praise God!