“The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” ~Isaiah 33:14 (NKJV)
The last time I was with you I had been sharing about some things that go great on pizza. One of them was Himalayan Pink Salt. As of this writing I still haven’t done the 5:1 ratio of salt to honey but that wasn’t the only thing being shared. I began a look into Psalm 15 and gave a background of the benefits of being a man who can say yes to finding salvation in Jesus and begin to walk uprightly with a Mighty God. I have been referring to a book that Charles Swindoll wrote titled “Living Beyond The Daily Grind” and he has a framework in a chapter called “The Grind of Weakened Integrity” that we can take a look at as we read Psalm 15 and see the possibilities of application in our daily walk.
This Psalm starts with a question and it’s a prayerful one directed to YHVH. I almost wanna say the prayer is directed to God the Father (proper) but as you read the rest of this Psalm you’ll see the need of all three in the Godhead to help guide and strengthen as you walk. So I dare to say that this Psalm isn’t just addressing the Father but also acknowledging the teaching of The Son and the guidance of The Holy Spirit. (That’s not Swindoll’s take that’s mine) So the question is asked, “YHVH, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling? Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?” Well David gives the answer and for any of you who know the term “This one goes to eleven” get ready, because this list goes to eleven.
1. The one who lives with integrity: this has to do with who we are and where we go
2. The one who does what is right: self-explanatory isn’t it?
3. The one who speaks truth in his heart: find a warning in Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
4. The one who doesn’t speak ill about others: the tongue can be an ugly rudder
5. The one who doesn’t wrong his neighbor: at least not consciously, right?
6. The one who doesn’t slander his friend: in the thick or the thin of it.
7. The one who doesn’t hang with the loathsome: Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Cor 15:33)
8. The one who hangs with those who fear The LORD: You’ll know them and they’ll know you!!
9. The one who keeps his word, none the matter of cost: or inconvenience
10. The one who gives with agape (that includes money): but you can use discernment with this one
11. The one who chose’s NOT to be a mercenary: this one pertains to “influence peddling”. Secularland is full of those who will think it’s okay to rest upon “Everyone having a price” but for those of us who name The Name we should be content with our “Christian Clout” standing on Biblical principle rather earthly gain.
As we walk throughout Secularland we should keep asking ourselves this question, “Who is the man who will abide with and dwell in the presence of God?” Hopefully our heart will give this response: it’s the guy who has woven integrity, righteousness, and truth into the fabric of his life. This quality of these things will be expressed in the walk, works, and speech of the man. If we stretch this fabric metaphor a little, we see the biblical qualities of godliness are nothing less than an essential organic part of the man, just as each thread of fabric combines with the rest to form the whole. (Sounds very Ecclesiastic doesn’t it?) But we also shouldn’t think of these things as additions to our lives or character, but indispensable and necessary components of our person to reinforce our faith. The life of a godly man is not what he does, but what he is.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (James 2:18) Why does this verse come to mind when I think of walking with integrity I couldn’t tell you but I’ll tell ya that it does pop up in my mind. James is one tough book but its integrity is undeniable. If I fall back and think that trying to live out this list of eleven things or the doctrine found in James is a piece of cake I fool only myself. After a while what can’t be lived out will bubble out of me in some way, shape or form. But if I can just rest on this promise found at the end of Psalm 15:5, “He who does these things shall never be shaken.”
Written by Chris Hughes: Graduate of The Colony of Mercy 11-2003 and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “Those who bring these areas under control of the Holy Spirit will live wholesome lives as solid citizens of heaven. Or, using Ben Franklin’s suggestion, whoever lives like this will be considered a “Christian gentleman.” Such people are rare, indeed. No wonder they are not easily shaken!”~Charles Swindoll
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. ~ Hebrews 10:35 (NKJV)