A need for spiritual integrity

Published 10:38pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

By Larry P. Stover
The Selma Times-Journal

I continue to pray for spiritual renewal and revival among the Christians of Dallas County.As I think about the lukewarm believers that abound, my heart goes out to faithful pastors who do all they can in the name of the Lord and with the help of the Holy Spirit to preach and teach and lead their congregations into continual fresh encounters with Jesus Christ.

To me, this is the hope for the future of our faith.  The closer I am in my relationship with Jesus Christ, the better example I will be to those I encounter every day.

There are some key elements to leading a renewal movement in the area. The umbrella phrase that I would use to describe our immediate need is “spiritual integrity.” That is a powerful phrase!

As a believer, if I do not have spiritual integrity, I have little value in the Kingdom of God.

If your past is littered with decisions that have cost you your integrity, you are in trouble. You have a long road ahead of yourself to restore this precious commodity.

Here are a few examples of lost integrity. Do people shrug you off when you talk about your faith? Do they walk away shaking their head?  Maybe, they crack jokes about you and Christianity. When someone describes you, do they make a comment such as this, “I’m better than him. Why do I need to go to church? I’d rather be fishing.”

Some believers have the idea that they can party all week, carry on an immoral lifestyle, cuss like a sailor, go to church on Sunday with a hangover, and have spiritual integrity. Maybe you should pay close attention to what the Bible says.

Paul wrote to Timothy “Set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

Earlier in Timothy, Paul addressed the integrity of pastors.  In chapter 3 of 1 Timothy, he describes us as being “above reproach, temperate, self-controlled and respectable.”

If we want to bring about a period of spiritual renewal throughout Dallas County, we need to heed the message of the Apostle Paul.

Our lives should reflect God’s holy unconditional love. Christians should set the standard for morality in what seems to be a society going the other way.

Some people think if they hang out with the “crowds,” they will win them over. The problem is that we don’t lift them up, they bring us down.

Having “spiritual integrity” makes our relationship with Jesus Christ “simply beautiful.”

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