Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 30, 2019
A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him! Luke 22:56-57
Similar to the specifications of a bridge or boat’s structural integrity needed to withstand intense pressure, so our spiritual life requires structural integrity. Truett Cathy modeled this well when he responded to the pressures of fierce competition by not panicking, but patiently leading. He refused to leverage debt to grow the business. “If we focus on getting better, then the customer will demand we become bigger”. Wisdom indeed, as the competitor soon filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and Chick-Fil-a went on to $1B in annual revenue. Integrity stands strong.
Peter, unfortunately missed his opportunity to stand strong for his Savior and gave in to fear. The fiery disciple’s integrity buckled under the weight of worry and dread. He was an emotional pendulum swinging from an unequivocal commitment to Christ to a shameful, total denial of his “criminal” comrade. Jesus’ depth of love had yet to maturate in his soul. Sentimental love influenced by the volatile motivation of lust for power, could not bear up to the severe duress of an arrest and pending crucifixion. Spiritual structural integrity requires mature love to live well.
“A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
God’s love is what allows us to go through adversity without compromising our principles. Like reinforced rebar embedded in the foundation of a skyscraper, divine love holds firm when the winds of worry blow about. By abiding in Christ’s love, we capture our thoughts as prisoners for a bigger purpose, and do not settle for the short term titillations of temptation. His love grows our generous and grateful hearts when blessed by a healthy body, growing relationships and financial favor. A life of love is too busy caring for others, than to care about the uncontrollable.
Spiritual structural integrity is tied to the Holy Spirit’s engine of power. Similar to a soundless electric car motor, the stealth like Spirit of God gives courage to do the right thing when the majority cowers. The Spirit reminds a person of success, where they came from, and how others helped them along the way. Spiritual integrity grows robust within a humble, grateful heart. Jesus did not give up on Peter for denying Him, neither does He give up on you. But He still asks, Do you love Me, do you really, really love Me? If so, love others in My name. Love grows integrity.
“Then God will establish a royal throne, in loyal love—the One who rules there will be utterly reliable, With absolute integrity under the auspices of David. With a passion for justice, He will be quick to decide and do what is right” (Isaiah 16:5, The Voice).
Heavenly Father, grow my heart of love, so I can stand strong for you, in Jesus’ name, amen.
How can I grow stronger spiritual integrity in my life?
God’s love is what allows us to go through adversity without compromising our principles. #WisdomHunters #integrity #love #truth #Jesus
4 minutes- Christy Nockels
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