John McCracken - Integrity - Didsbury II, Alberta, Canada Convention - 2013

Proverbs 11:3, integrity is a strong adherence to a code of moral, ethical and spiritual values. It is connected to our conscience and will guide us! People with integrity live close to God and don't need rules!! God built it into our lives. Don't l lose it!!

Honesty - we don't need rules to know if we are honest. Basic honesty is needed for repentance so God can take care of our sin. We won't allow God to deal with the sin in our lives if we are not honest. It is important ín business, but don't expect the world to encourage integrity. Integrity will do what is moral as well as legal. People with integrity can sleep at night!

In corruptness - don't let anything corrupt your standard! Many things can: place, money, friends, etc. If our friends are corrupting us, we need to get new friends! Don't have a wishbone where a backbone should be!! The love of money corrupted Gehazi and Judas.

Righteousness is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason! For instance, forgiveness is the right thing! The right time is before the event (Matthew 6:12 is a prayer to begin the day!). The right reason is because we have been forgiven and we love God. Doing the right thing for the praise of men or to be noticed is the wrong reason! Integrity lives for the blessing of God and doesn't mind not being noticed.

When you see a happy contented person, you are seeing a person who has been serving in secret (Matthew 6). Integrity will be evident in our choices! Perhaps the computer/Internet is the test of integrity in our present generation.

Perfection - integrity doesn't say that's good enough, if it is not our best. Our personal best is a personal choice before God. Only we and God know if it IS our best or just what will pass in the eyes of others! In Old Testament days, they were to bring the BEST lamb from the flock for sacrifice. The priest didn't go checking to see if it really was the best. He offered it as if it was...but was it?? We have a goal to be like Jesus and the best we can do won't reach it. The gap is what God's grace will cover for us. But His grace won't reach if the gap is greater than our best. Our integrity will be tested by this.

Simplicity - life is very simple when we have a singular purpose! How much do we believe in the simple words of Jesus? They will test our integrity! Whenever Jesus uses the words "except," (for example, "except ye forgive") it is NOT optional! (Mark 10:11-12) John the Baptist gave his life for this standard! The spirit of a child will accept this; the spirit of a lawyer will contend it! Except ye become little children, are born again, deny self, etc. That's how God protects His Kingdom! No exceptions! When we don't deny self we give Satan opportunity to work!

Principles or convictions - these are most often tested from those inside the Kingdom. Can we be true even if our friends are not? The test to our integrity, if we have been untrue, is how do we feel Sunday morning? Like a hypocrite? Choose truth and stand by truth and truth will stand by you!

Sincerity - this is the foundation for commitment. Sincerity cannot be faked before God! Our private prayer life is a test to our integrity. If we want the blessing of God, we will pray. If you are having trouble, try the 15 minute rule. Read a column in your Bible, write down a thought, close your eyes and think about God. Then begin to pray.

Coherence - a double standard doesn't work. Keep things clear!