Yes, Integrity Matters!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

Please forgive us for the length of this particular devotion, but it was sent in from some friends of the ministry in Nigeria — please take the time to read this powerful message.

An aging king woke up one day to the realization that should he drop dead, there would be no male in the royal family to take his place. He was the last male in the royal family in a culture where only a male could succeed to the throne – and he was aging. He decided that if he could not give birth to a male, he would adopt a son who then could take his place but he insisted that such an adopted son must be extraordinary in every sense of the word. So he launched a competition in his kingdom, open to all boys, no matter what their background. Ten boys made it to the very top.

There was little to separate these boys in terms of intelligence and physical attributes and capabilities. The king said to them, 'I have one last test and whoever comes top will become my adopted son and heir to my throne.'

Then he said, 'This kingdom depends solely on agriculture. So the king must know how to cultivate plants. So here is a seed of corn for each of you.Take it home and plant and nurture it for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, we shall see who has done the best job of cultivating the seed. That person will be my heir-apparent.' The boys took their seeds and hurried home. They each got a flower pot and planted the seed as soon as they got home. There was much excitement in the kingdom as the people waited with bated breath to see who was destined to be their next king.

In one home, the boy and his parents were almost heartbroken when after days of intense care, the seed failed to sprout. He did not know what had gone wrong with his. He had selected the soil carefully, he had applied the right quantity and type of fertilizer, he had been very dutiful in watering it at the right intervals, he had even prayed over it day and night and yet his seed had turned out to be unproductive.

Some of his friends advised him to go and buy a seed from the market and plant that. 'After all,' they said, 'how can anyone tell one seed of corn from another?' But his parents who had always taught him the value of integrity reminded him that if the king wanted them to plant any corn, he would have asked them to go for their own seed. 'If you take anything different from what the king gave you that would be dishonesty.'

'Maybe we are not destined for the throne. If so, let it be, but don't be found to have deceived the king,' they told him. The d-day came and the boys returned to the palace each of them proudly exhibiting a very fine corn seedling. It was obvious that the other nine boys had had great success with their seeds. The king began making his way down the line of eager boys and asked each of them, 'Is this what came out of the seed I gave you?'

And each boy responded, 'Yes, your majesty.' And the king would nod and move down the line.

The king finally got to the last boy in the line-up. The boy was shaking with fear. He knew that the king was going to have him thrown into prison for wasting his seed. 'What did you do with the seed I gave you?' the king asked. 'I planted it and cared for it diligently, your majesty, but alas it failed to sprout.' the boy said tearfully as the crowd booed him.

But the king raised his hands and signaled for silence. Then he said, 'My people behold your next king.' The people were confused. 'Why that one?' many asked. 'How can he be the right choice?' The king took his place on his throne with the boy by his side and said, 'I gave these boys boiled seeds. This test was not for cultivating corn. It was the test of character; a test of integrity. It was the ultimate test.'

If a king must have one quality, it must be that he should be above dishonesty. Only this boy passed the test. A boiled seed cannot sprout.' Never!!

We live in a society that has become obsessed with success and many show success at any cost. We say the end justifies the means. It is the tragedy of life. You see, failure often is an invitation to God to show that he is all powerful and does not need help to make us great or to bless us.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

You were foreknown and foreordained for a purpose!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

These past few days, writing about the will of God, has reminded me of the prophet Jeremiah, and how the Lord knew him – even before he was in his mother's womb, and he was sanctified by God as a prophet to the nations. A similar foreknowledge and ordination of God belongs to us who are under the New Covenant. God's foreknowledge of His people is clearly stated in scripture. We were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, and created in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) unto good works which He foreordained that we walk in them. It is clear that a life of holiness and good works is an integral part of our destiny in salvation, a fundamental aspect of His original plan for each one of us.

This plan, instilled in us even before the foundation of the world, seems to insure that good works will follow the believers in Yeshua. We could never work our way into heaven, our salvation is wholly an act of God – yet, just as Jeremiah's calling was foreknown and foreordained by God, our ordination unto good works was too. Walking in good works is walking in a manner worthy of our calling, it is powerful evidence for the genuineness of our salvation, and it is walking in the will of God.

From the foundation of the world, according to God's plan, you were created and ordained to live a sanctified life filled with good works. If you walk in His will for you, when your life is over, you may expect to hear these wonderful words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

Rejoice, this is the day that the Lord has made!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

Psalm 69:32 (YLT) The humble have seen–they rejoice, Ye who seek God–and your heart liveth.

There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing.

The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice! The prideful, however, are those who think they're above everything else and so they look down on people. The prideful are connected to the others who look down, the cynical, the doubting, the despairing, the depressed, the sorrowful and the hopeless. In the same way that the humble and the joyous go together, so do pride and despair. Humility leads to joy. Pride leads to despair.

Let's get our eyes off ourselves, off of our problems, off of the world around us. Let's fix our eyes on Him, the Redeemer of our souls. Those who look up in humility, also look up in joy! Together, let's fix our eyes on Him and be glad!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

Character Counts!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

Bobby Jones was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete, uniquely known for winning the "Grand Slam" of golf winning all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. In 1925, early in his career, having reached the final playoff in the U.S. Open, at a certain point in the match, Jones was setting up to strike his ball which was in the rough just off the fairway. His iron accidentally touched the ball. He immediately became angry with himself, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself.

But the marshals had not seen the ball move, so they left the decision to Jones, whether to invoke the penalty — a two-stroke penalty. Bobby called the penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by a single stroke.

When praised for his honesty, he replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!" Jones may have lost the tournament, but his character was legendary and today the United States Golf Association's award for sportsmanship is known as the "Bobby Jones Award."

It's been said, "Character is what you do when nobody is watching. Character is how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Character is how you react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that you are going to do the right thing."

Every day we're faced with decisions — many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let's purpose in our hearts to do the right thing — because character truly counts. We may not see the dividends immediately — but be assured that God is keeping track of our decisions, and He will make good on every one!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

Integrity is greater than walls!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It stretches over 4,000 miles (6,400 KM) and was built to protect China from the barbaric hordes to the north. The designers of the wall made it so high that it could not be scaled, so thick that it could not be penetrated, and so long that no one could go around it.

Yet, during the first hundred years of the wall's existence China was successfully invaded three times, without the wall having been climbed or breached. So how, you ask, did the invaders raid China? Well, the problem wasn't the wall – it was the gatekeepers! In each of these invasions the barbarians simply bribed the gatekeepers who opened the gates, so the enemies just walked right through.

The protection of the Great Wall of China was only as secure as its gatekeepers. What a lesson, since, don't we all also have "gates to keep"…our eyes, and our ears, and our mouth? No matter how strong we may feel, we can never forget that these points of entry will be seen by our enemies and there will be attempts to bribe or seduce us so they can break through. We must not allow the "barbaric hordes" to invade our lives by failing to keep careful watch at these entry points –our integrity and our authority depend on the security of our gates!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Integrity