Saxe Gotha Blog
Culture ShockPosted October 5, 2016
Join us for this new class led by Joel Brantner - meets in Room 112/113 of the Light House. Held Oct 5th - Nov 9th.
We live in a reactionary culture where divisive issues arise, people on either side throw stones, and everyone ends up more entrenched in their opinions than in reaching common ground. Believers must develop convictions based on re-search, reason, and biblical truth-and be able (and willing) to communicate these convictions with a love and respect that reflects God's own heart. This class will cover topics such as right and wrong, sex, homosexuality, abortion, politics, and the environment.
ManCard: Integrity #7
Posted October 3, 2016
Integrity is difficult because no one is going to check up on you to see if you’re living by it or not. For the most part, people have come to believe that how one acts isn’t the “business” of anyone else. Our culture has made it incredibly difficult to hold each other accountable. Men, there is integrity in calling out your brother who is unrepentantly doing wrong. We’re not to judge the world because they have no way of knowing what God’s truth is unless God reveals it to them. However, in almost every letter Paul wrote, he addressed sin among the church. He was calling the church to accountability. This wasn’t an issue of Paul being more right than these churches. It was an issue of making sure that the world sees Jesus Christ through one loves God and neighbor. Our whole purpose as a church (people God has saved) is to be a display of God’s glory as seen in our relationship with God and our neighbor. As Christians we are to be differently attractive because of God’s work in us.
This is why we’ve seen Job “put all his cards on the table” in this chapter. He has a record of living differently. Religion didn’t cause him to live differently. His relationship with God beautified every aspect of his life. In Job 31:35-40, Job shows his confidence in the life of integrity he had lived. Look at it:
Job 31:35-40 (ESV)
35 Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown; 37 I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.
Job still has no answer to why he has encountered all the suffering that has come his way. In his frustration, he responds to how he would receive correction, if it were present.
“…I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown. I would give him an account of all my steps…”
13. Integrity accepts correction
Correction isn’t about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about the testimony of Jesus Christ and preserving His name in all the earth. As a believer, your name is wrapped in His. How you respond in this world, for good or for bad, shines light or darkness on His name.
Nothing speaks louder about our testimony than how we work. Are you the same at work and at church? Job lays out how his work is a worthy test of his integrity.
38 “If my land has cried out against me and its furrows have wept together, 39 if I have eaten its yield without payment and made its owners breathe their last, 40 let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended.
14. Integrity is consistent in all environments
Having integrity is refusing to compartmentalize your life. Are you who you are all the time? Job had every right to treat those who worked for him and their resources differently than his colleagues. Consistently treating people fairly, no matter who they are or what they have, is an incredible testimony to our Lord today! The world naturally treats subordinates like a different class of people. Brothers, this shouldn’t not be the same within the church! The people at our workplace have the same right to know Jesus through our behavior as the people at church.
“The words of Job are ended”
There is a place where our integrity needs no more words. Is our life of integrity loud enough to be heard?
15. Integrity lives on past our words
Job had exhausted all that he had to say and the only thing left to speak for him was the life he had lived characterized by integrity. I wonder, when you speak for the last time on this earth, will your integrity be known by others. Will your integrity share Jesus to the world long after your stop talking about integrity?
It has been my joy to be with you in this way. I am honored that so many of you have stayed with me through this blog study on integrity.
May God bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
ManCard: Integrity #6
Posted September 27, 2016
Job 31:29-33 (ESV)
29 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him
30 (I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse),
31 if the men of my tent have not said, ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
32 (the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler),
33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
Integrity = Intentionality. It is impossible to have integrity without being intentional about growing it. As we’ve discussed before integrity is not a gift with which we are born. It takes years to nurture and grow. Having examples of integrity in our lives to follow is also critical in growing integrity. Integrity is not a weed that just pops up on its own. Nor is integrity an evergreen virtue that is nurtured once and then weathers all the different seasons of life while maintaining growth. Integrity is work and it is a work that is growing less and less appreciated and rewarded in our culture.
One of the most critical characteristics lacking in being a man in our day is the intentionality used to develop the God-given virtues that leave an imprint of future generations. What kind of imprint are you leaving for others to follow?
Continuing in his plea, Job offers us more characteristics on integrity.
10. Integrity addresses how we treat our enemies
29 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him 30 (I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse)
Even when it’s warranted, men, people need grace more than our curse. Our sons and daughters need grace. Our wives need grace. Our family and friends need grace. Our church needs grace. But all of this grace giving is not integrity unless it involves giving our enemies grace. Giving grace to someone who does not deserve it mirrors how we’ve been given grace by God. Anytime we mimic God in this world, we display His glory in the midst of fallen-man’s glory. Ever wonder why we like the underdog so much? It’s because we’re used to seeing fallen-man’s glory instead of God’s glory. God’s glory is most seen by intentionally not responding the way the world expects but rather the way Jesus exampled.
11. Integrity addresses the invisible
31 if the men of my tent have not said, ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’ 32 (the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler),
How many times have we noticed a need but decided to let someone else take care of it? Intentionally grows integrity. We need to preserve the integrity of the gift of God’s grace by displaying integrity in action. Praise be to God that Jesus didn’t decide to let someone else take care of our sin. He took the first step. He took it on the chin. He decided that He didn’t need anyone else to tell Him something needed to be done. He just stepped up and did it. Integrity is displaying the “right thing” for all to see.
12. Integrity addresses our secrets
33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
Sin is not sin because someone else around you noticed it. Sin is sin because it is an offense to God. Integrity isn’t only demonstrated in our interactions with others but also our interaction with God. When we conceal our sin, we give Satan more of our heart with which to work. Confession and accountability are the antidotes to Satan’s strongholds in our lives. Are you connected to other men like that? Do you have the kind of relationships that you can be honest about who you are? What are you holding back from God? Integrity in all other areas of life will not grow unless your heart is cleaned out before God.
Next week will be our last week on integrity. I have really enjoyed this conversation with you and trust that God is faithful in His teaching us His ways!
ManCard: Integrity #5Posted September 21, 2016
Job 31:24-28 (ESV)
24 “If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, 25 if I have
rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, 26 if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27 and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.
What gives you confidence? What is it that makes you worth the two feet you
stand on? Since we’ve been hanging out for several weeks, I’ll confess to you when I’m most confident; when I look tough. Check it out!
At this moment, I’m captivated by this 1978 Blazer that’s for sale. Every time, I hit Dunkin Donuts, for the family, of course, I swing by the Halloween Express located right passed the split of 378 and Hwy 1. I don’t care about Halloween decorations but I do care about this beauty that’s parked next to the store, rightly so, fenced in, in an empty lot! This blazer just screams Chuck Stinkin’ Norris! I’ve envisioned myself driving this so much lately that I’m about to drive my family crazy about it. Why has this wonderful, piece of medal got me so jacked? Because the Xterra I drive looks awful and is starting to smell awful (thanks to F3). Driving a vehicle like this would make me look better driving around Lexington. I would look more like what I want to look like if I drove this car! This week as we look at # 8 and #9 of the integrity characteristics found in Job 31, he notes that our possessions can captivate our confidence if we’re not careful.
- Integrity addresses Our Confidence
Stuff just ain’t going to cut it! Notice that Job says that if we allow possessions to be the source of our confidence then essentially, we’re being “false to God.” If we attached our confidence to things we make or buy, then we’re really telling God that He isn’t enough to hold our confidence.
- That His image in us isn’t enough to really trust or value…this by the way, effects how we treat others. If you don’t have any confidence in yourself then, most likely, you won’t in others.
- That what we create can satisfy our confidence more than what He created for us already
- That the work of Jesus (His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension) wasn’t big enough for “the win” that brings us true confidence
Our marriages, relationships, careers, and our life gets healthier when we place our confidence in God instead of our ability to control our life so that we can “feel good” about ourselves. Nothing wrong with having a 1978 Blazer. However, there is something wrong owning a 1978 Blazer if it gives us more confidence than the confidence we gain from knowing God and what He has for our lives.
- Integrity address our worship
What is it that you worship or give reverence to? If you said “nothing,” you really mean “yourself.” Everyone worship’s something because we were designed by God to worship. However, when our worship is misdirected, that upon which our worship is directed, becomes our boss. You see, only a perfectly good and eternal God can handle human worship. Everything else we worship, will eventually provide chains that bind us.
- You worship how you feel on Sunday mornings, then your feelings will have to increasingly get better during worship on Sunday morning to keep your attention
- You worship sex, then you’ll need more and more of it till you end up realizing that your spouse isn’t enough
- You worship money…same
- You worship fame…same
- You worship …same!
Job says, “If my heart has been secretly enticed…I would have been false to God.” Are you false to God? Do you play games with Him as if He doesn’t know already what you’re doing? Integrity means being true to God, your family, your job, and yourself. Are you?
ManCard: Integrity #4
Posted September 13, 2016
Over the past few weeks, we’ve punched our ManCard over characteristic of Integrity that Job has offered that may have not been a surprise to you. We’ve talked about integrity and how it addresses our eyes, hands, feet, daily patterns, our hearts and last week, how to avoid the temptation of cheating on our spouses. So far, not surprising. But this week Job begins to offer characteristics of Integrity that, I believe, we have either totally forgotten or weren’t even aware of. Look again at Job 31:
Job 31:13-15 (ESV)
13 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, 14 what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
Job offers us a sixth characteristic of integrity:
6. Integrity addresses our grudges
If you’re someone like me, I have a rough time when it seems like people mistake my attempt to be kind and considerate for weakness. It’s easy for me to hold a grudge over someone who has done me wrong…especially if I was blind-sided! What is it about us that makes us respond with nukes when someone shoots at us with a BB-gun? Essentially, we feel stupid because we should have seen it coming, right?
“I knew I shouldn’t been nice to that jerk…I should have listen to my gut!”
Here’s why Job thinks holding grudges against people is a bad idea:
You can’t escape God’s questions and one day, He will ask you about how you treated others
The image of God in you is the same image of God in the other person.
How about this, men? The next time your wife gets on your case or your co-worker throws you under the bus, remember that you have the right to respond but not to keep responding. God has every right to hold a grudge against you and me for what we’ve done to His image in us but He doesn’t. He just sent Jesus to fix it. As a Christian, we treat people how we’ve been treated by God not by other people. You live for God’s glory not your own ego. God saved you and owns you. ”Other people” did not and could not save you and you don’t owe anyone anything other than what God has given to you to give away.
Job 31:16-19 (ESV)
16 “If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 or have eaten my morsel alone, and the fatherless has not eaten of it 18 (for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow), 19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the needy without covering,
7. Integrity address our involvement with others
For Job integrity addresses our neighbor. Not just the ones that we like living next to us but the ones who with whom we may never associate. The crime Job points to her, essentially, is refusing to see the reality in front of us:
The ones less fortunate than us
The lonely among us
The hungry among us
The one’s who live far away from their family or who no longer experience what it’s like to be family
The one’s whose lives are threaten due to the lack of basic things
One simple question, “Are you willing to give someone, who can’t offer you anything, something that you have?” Look around there’s plenty to do. For example, F3 Lexington has issued a “Miracle Challenge.” Get your ManCard out and punch it…do something.