Open the Door and Run for Your Life

Open the door and run for your life                                                           Hebrews 13:18-25

Recap

  • End of Hebrews
  • The writer is asking for prayers, that even though he has so much wisdom written in the last 13 chapters, He knows the power of prayer
  • He declares that they have good conscience (He uses the word Convinced) and that they have conducted their selves honorably in all things
  • He urges them to pray earnestly so that He may be restored to them
  • He them speaks blessings over them
  • He urges them to listen to this message of exhortation and encouragement, for I have written to your briefly (Sound like if he had time, he would have said much more)
  • He notes that Timothy has been released from Prison and hope that he joins them soon
  • He ends with greetings

Today I want to talk to you about doing all things with integrity

  • Definition: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided
  • Do you know someone that has questionable integrity? You can’t trust them or depend on them
  • They say they have something they are selling or hooking you up with and the first question is “is it clean”?
  • When someone lacks integrity, we tune them out before they start talking, you don’t listen to them and when you do, you question everything they are saying
  • Hebrews 12:14 – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord
  • There is a demand for Holiness and the lack of it will keep us from seeing God
  • When I speak of integrity, it easy to think of them big things, I don’t steal, cheat e.tc
  • But I believe that integrity is a heart condition
  • Jeremiah 17:10 – I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the [a]mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings
  • Proverbs 21:12 – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.
  • We have to be careful that we are honorable in all things: Let’s not compromise our integrity
    • A little bit of cheating on taxes, writing off things that we shouldn’t
    • Buying a car and asking for price on paper to be lower so that you can pay less taxes
    • Reporting a little bit more hours on you time card
    • Making side deals to benefit ourselves
    • Little white lies, when you are late, seeking promotion, save relationship

What causes us to compromise our integrity?

  • Fear – Abram lies about his wife
    • Genesis 12:11 -17 11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that [a]I may live because of you.”

 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.

  • Fear pushes us to do thing that are not honorable. God was the one that had called Abram to leave his home and go to where he was to be blessed
    • Fear also put other is jeopardy
    • Where is it in your life that you have allowed fear to affect your integrity or affect others?
  • Greed – Balaam
    • Balaam was a prophet, Balak king of Moab called him to go and curse the people of Israelites even thought God has instructed Balaam numerous times that he should not go.
    • Numbers 22-24 (homework)
    • Numbers 22:5-6 Nkjv Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near [a]the River in the land of [b]the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! 6 Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
    • Numbers 22:12 Nkjv – And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed
    • He should NOT have inquired of the Lord, whether or not to curse God’s people – He knew better, it’s like me asking God if I can curse Faith and Victory Church people in order to gain some financial benefits
    • But we do that now:
      • I see lots of people at work, going against our Christian brothers in order to gain favor with the boss
      • We bringing fighting into the Church trying to advance our ideas
    • Proverbs 16:2 – All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits.
    • Numbers 22:17- for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore, please come, curse this people for me.’ (I will give you everything you wish)
    • Numbers 22:18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
    • Vs 18 Sounds legit – even if you paid me
    • It took a donkey to save him. Sometime the donkey is what we need – God will try reach our hearts but we have to be willing to listen – The donkey spoke
    • There must have been something that told Balak that Balaam was leaning towards doing his will
    • When we speak to others, do our words and action match?
  • We forget too quickly – The young prophet, old prophet
    • In I Kings:13 a young prophet is sent by God to declare judgment against Jeroboam
    •  It’s an interesting story because Jeroboam points at the man to get his arrested by his had freezes and now he asks for prayers
    • 1 King 13:7-10 Nkjv Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”

But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. 9 For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’ ” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.

  • There was an old prophet who heard about this and quickly he saddled his donkey and went to meet the young prophet
    • 1 King 13:15 -19  Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.  He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
    •  So, he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank
    • 1 King 13:21 – and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’
    • The young prophet was killed by a lion on his way home
    • We are quick to forget what the Lord has commanded us
    • If in doubt lets inquire of the Lord!
    • Yet, let’s not be like the old prophet either – Help the next generation

Solution

  • Pray
    • Dedicate a time for prayer (Prayer night) and ask for Prayers – Our church a support system
    • Obstacles in the writer’s way – that He may be restored sooner
    • Prayers can work in your situation and do work
    • The writer, even after such a powerful letter (Hebrews) does know that prayers work
    • Pray today that you many have integrity
    • Pray that you may be equipped to do Jesus’s work
    • Pray for each other, Timothy that He may be restored
    • James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, [b]fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
    • Isaiah 59:2 – But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear
    • Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
    • Mark 11:25 – And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses
  • Open the door and run
    • 2 King 9:1-10
    • Delayed obedience causes us to stumble
    • The young prophet lost his life in contract to the other prophet
    • Don’t look back when the Lord tell you to go, Lot’s wife did

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