Men of Integrity

The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

The place you have always dreamed of being; that it is where you belong.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Above excerpt from Tom Leding Ministries Newsletter, 2/21/2013

These words remind me of something my parents used to tell me when I was young. “Be careful who you associate with, for one day you will become like those you spend the most time with…” And, it is true. If I spend all my time at a pool hall, drinking beer, shooting stick and hanging out with that crowd – I will become like them , sound like them and even look like them. If I spend all my spare time bowling, I will begin to become like those who bowl. If I spend all my spare time watching others play sports, or do fun and fascinating things – I will become an observer of life rather than a leading participant in life.

Life is meant to be lived! With gusto, with vim and vigor! We are only here for a short time and the opportunities we have are very, very limited. Therefore, we must, we absolutely must use every minute we are given wisely. Don’t waste a second on watching a game; be a part of the game of life! I for one am a lousy observer. I’d rather be down there amongst them – so to speak.

People ask me why I drive myself so hard? Why do you get up so early? Why don’t you sit back and smell the roses and relax? Why are you so compelled to accomplish all that you can? Why not let life just go on in its lazy meandering way?

The answer is really very simple. I can feel my impending demise. I can feel it deep down and I know that I have fewer days before me than I have behind me. I can feel it physically. I am not the same man I was a year ago, or five years ago or ten years ago. I do not have the strength, the stamina or fortitude I once had. I am not a pushover, but I am not what I once was. And, I will never be that strong ever again – not in this body. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. There are many things about me from that time I am not very proud of. Yet, to come to terms with our mortality is something each of us has to face and ultimately accept. This life, in this body is very finite. Even though my Spirit does not feel old or near its end. There is a reason for that. We were created by a Master builder, to exist forever! Hallelujah!

Can you imagine what our Lord has purposed in His heart? How could He create men in His own image? Why would He create men in His own image? Why would He want to? Why would He subject Himself to all the pain and anguish over children who would never be repentant or remorseful over their own sinfulness? Why bother with such a thankless venture at all?

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He did it for the joy that was set before Him! He knew some – not all – but, some would forsake everything for His sake. Some will and have forsaken the world to embrace their Lord, their Master, their Saviour. Praise God! Would that all would forsake this world and embrace He who loved them before the foundation of the world was set in place.  What a God! What a Savior! Hallelujah!

Psalm 8:3-5 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?  For You have made him a little lower than the angels,And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

Oh Lord! What a God you are! You are awesome, wonderful and marvelous way, way beyond our ability to articulate your majesty. When I look back over my life – I see your hand all over it! I see your handiwork forming this situation and setting that circumstance into motion. Like a master weaver and craftsman, you have woven the events of my life into something wonderful and amazing! I could not have imagined or devised anything so incredible or marvelous in all my doing… You have given me every desire of my heart! Every wish and imagination that was clean and pure. Everything I could imagine and more than I could ever begin to imagine! You know me better than I know myself and you blessed me in the field, in the city and in everything I ever set my hand to! You have bestowed upon me your grace, your mercy and your love – even your peace! I did not and do not deserve such blessing, but you have blessed me anyway because that is who you are! Praise God! I am speechless when I consider it. I cannot contain my joy, and my remorse for not being a better son than I have been. Please forgive me. I love you so!

I drive myself and try to make a difference in the lives around me because the God I love and serve, Jesus the Holy Anointed One is worthy of all my love, all my devotion, all my strength and all my possessions. He is more than I can say! He is life itself! He is my life, my Lord and Master and my Savior! Without Him, I am completely undone – void and without form. He deserves all my praise and worship! He is the very air I breathe and I will worship and adore him with every breath I draw! May every breath I draw glorify His holy and precious name!

Lord, give us courage, strength and tenacity to cling to you. Give us courage to shirk and cast off the cares of this world and what other men think so we can serve you in purity and holiness. Help us to worship you in spirit and truth, for you are worthy of it! Help us to completely forsake the world and its ways and to hang on every Word you speak. Help us to be men of integrity who give honor where honor is due – and, that is with you! You alone are worthy! You alone are righteous! You alone are holy! You deserve all our praise, all our worship and all our love! Please teach us to be men of integrity and honor! Give us the strength and courage to look death in the face and laugh at it because we are yours and we will never die!

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Believe it and Live!

//

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