Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the Master’s joy. In the end, all we have is our integrity. We will not have silver, or gold, not even sacks of copper coins. We will not have family, friends, property, nor will we have good works, we will have only our integrity.

Integrity:
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

That definition is from my Dictionary.com app on my phone. Integrity is a difficult thing to maintain. Actually, it is pretty near impossible in our own life unless we adhere to a stricter teaching. It is arguably universally recognized that Jesus was a man of integrity. i indeed believe it, of course, i also believe Him to be the manifested presence of God in human form…there’s a blog idea! Anyway, the reason now that i want to look at Jesus, there are so many reasons too, is His integrity.

When faced with temptation He met it not on His own merit or ability but by a strict teaching. Let us look together at His recorded early temptations found in Matthew 4. i encourage you to read the account found in the first 11 verses of Matthew 4. However, i will summarize it here.

Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. The devil tempted Him with the idea of food because Jesus had been fasting, Jesus’ response, “It’s written, people won’t live only by bread but by every word spoken by God.” Was it a sin to eat? No, absolutely not, could Jesus do what the devil asked of Him? Absolutely Yes! What about the second? Satan said to Jesus, throw yourself off this high place and angels will catch you. Jesus responded, “Again it’s written, don’t test the Lord Your God.”

Finally, the devil took Jesus to a point and told Him all would be His if He bowed and worshiped him. Jesus replied, “Go away, Satan, because it’s written, you will worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.” With the exception of the third temptation, these are not deal breakers…one could even argue the last one isn’t either. Many of us worship more than God daily, whether it is money, relationships, carriers, etc.

The point here is simply that in order to maintain integrity we must filter all things, good or bad, down to the intent of the heart, through Scripture in order to keep a disciplined life, built on integrity. The first, food, Jesus knew He would be taken care of, what mattered at that moment was His integrity not whether He ate. The second, Jesus knew angels would catch Him, but what mattered was His integrity not whether He proved a point. The third, Jesus knew the redemption road was going to be long and painful. The struggle was real and later revealed itself in the garden when Jesus prayed, “Let this cup pass from me…”

Yet, He (Jesus) knew what mattered at that moment wasn’t the quickest route to success but His integrity to God’s Word, His Law, His relationship with the Father. It is our integrity that lasts, and in a day and age where integrity is a lost art, my prayer for us is that we will return to a patterned life of integrity.

Integrity:
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

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