Building Integrity in Your Life Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Building Integrity in Your Life Part 1. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 5:11-17.

If God is not bringing up your past, why are you? Embrace the forgiveness of Jesus. Walk in the grace of God. Lift your head up and move forward in hope in Jesus Christ knowing that it’s over. God took care of it on the cross and I believe it is finished.

Well, how about that? We’ve made it to 17 years and want to welcome you to Hope Worth Having because this is the beginning of our 17th year broadcasting the gospel of Jesus Christ preaching God’s truth.

Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. And we are in second Corinthians today. We’re going to be in chapter 5 verses 9 through 10. Continuing our study, what is your ambition in life? That’s a great question to consider and reflect upon.

I hope as you think about that you will be able to follow the right ambition which is to put Christ first in your life. So let’s get into our study this morning. Jesus always did those things that please the Father.

There are times you and I need to be strong in our faith. I want to encourage you to become firm in what you believe. and don’t worry about what others think. Don’t strive to please people. Don’ t be afraid to speak the truth of God.

What is your ambition in life? The first thing we learn is to be pleasing to Christ. The second thing we learned is be a fully devoted follower of Christ We come back to our text in verse 9. And again he says, is therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absence.

Now let’s just stop right there. Therefore we may get our name, whether president or absent, if you’ve been with us, we’ve going through second Corinthians together as a church family and how glorious and encouraging it has been, this letter of encouragement, this message of uplifting truth that is sustaining us even through these unique times that we are living in.

We have been feasting on the manna of God as we have sat at the table studying verse by verse, word by word, phrases by phrases, and we’ve just been enjoying all that God has for us. But the apostle says right in verse nine, therefore, every time you see therefore you gotta ask, why is therefore therefore?

Why is it there? because he is connecting to what he has already taught us. He is bringing it together. The apostle loves to connect the dots. And what is trying to teach us that as a result of, as result what did we just learn last week?

We learned how to face death confidently because in chapter five and he tells us in verse six, he says, we’re always confident. Verse eight, we are confident. What are we confident about? We’re confident, look at verse six.

Knowing that while we’re at home in the body, we were absent from the Lord. Verse 8, if we we our confident yes well pleased rather to be absent from body is to present with the lord. As the Bible teaches us to live is Christ and to die is what church?

For us it’s a win -win. we win both ways and we are called to live for Christ while we’re here. And if God takes us out and promotes us to heaven, it’s gonna be awesome. It’s going to be even better as the apostle taught us.

It is far better. But the point I want you to get is that the Apostle is connecting the dots in that his mindset is that when he is here, he’s all in. and if he is taken out of this body, he before God and he’s all in.

He is a fully devoted follower of Christ. Therefore, we make it our ambition, we making our aim, we’re make our desire to honor God. We do it whether we are present here on this earth or whether are absent.

sin. The apostle was not duplicit. He was not one day living for Christ and the next day living herself. He wasn’t one -day behaving this way and then another day he was totally a different person. But he, whether he is absent or present, he is all in for God.

He is a fully devoted follower of Jesus. Romans 14 verse 8 says whether we live we live unto the Lord. Whether we die we die unto The Lord, whether we lived therefore or die, we are the Lord! Jesus has bought you, He paid the price for you.

The Bible teaches us that we’re the Lords, we belong to Him. He is our Savior, He is Our Master, He Is Our Lord, He’s the One that we love and He is the one that we live for moment by moment and it doesn’t matter to us whether we are here or we’re before the Lord.

It doesn’ matter because no matter what our mindset is that we’ re all in for God. We’re all in. Too many Christians are riding the Those who are sincere, those who love God, those are committed to the cause of Jesus Christ, it is self -evident where they’re at.

My friends, we are not throwing caution to win. We are respectful and loving of our neighbor and careful because we do not desire that anyone would be sick or that anybody would have to deal with something that their body is not prepared for but either way all of us should have it as our aim as our ambition to be a fully devoted follower of Christ and our ambition for God is NOT altered by our state of being it is Not altered by Our circumstances it Is Not Altered by what we are experiencing or not experiencing in our life we are all in absent or present we are in for Jesus Christ that’s why I love the great verse Romans 12 1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present yourself your bodies as a living sacrifice holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service now you may be like Mike let’s pray not and that is that every once in a while you find yourself getting off the altar and God has to wacky upside the head and say Mike get back up on the alter.

Surrender to me. Be all in for me and that’s what I want to challenge us to be is that in this day that we’re living in that our ambition not be for us but it would be to please Christ, our ambition would be to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

The third ambition that I want you to focus on this morning is to be transparent before Christ it is. To be transparent. Before Christ you say what do you how do you get that Mike look at verse 10 we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done whether good or bad now circle the word appear because it’s the idea of being revealed or to make manifest or to Make clear in essence he is saying we shall all be shown for who we are that’s what he’s saying.

We must all appear we’re all gonna be seen for or who we really are. People wear, yeah, I didn’t even catch that, but people wear masks, but not literally, I’m talking about spiritually, okay? Sorry, that just came out, I don’t intend that to be that way.

But here’s the thing, we have our facades, right? We hide behind them, and we may be able to fool people, and you can fool the pastor, and can you fool your friends, and you can fool so many people in your life, but let me tell you who really knows your heart, that is Jesus Christ, amen.

He knows our heart fully, and one day we as believers are going to be revealed to God almighty. We as believe are are gonna appear before the judgment seat. The scripture says in 1 Corinthians 4 -5, therefore judge nothing before that time.

until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart, then each one’s praise will come from God. I love this verse because so many times we misunderstand this first.

And the reason the apostle wrote these words in light and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God was because he was receiving criticism from the church at Corinth. they were finding fault with his ministry.

He was trying to help them to see that he is sincere and that his heart has always been for their souls to be saved and to grow and be encouraged in the faith. And so when he says to them in first Corinthians 4 -5, judge nothing before the time.

Don’t judge me, Paul is saying, until I fully stand before God. And when I stand before god, look at this in 1 Corinthians 4 or 5, judge nothing before the time until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart, the Hidden Things of Darkness, not he’s not talking about sin.

He’s talking About the things we We don’t see the motivation that Paul’s heart is going to be revealed. That his desire was never to hurt the church. It was always to help the Church. They had misinterpreted his motivations.

The things of darkness, the things that paul did behind the scenes that never were lauded. never praise the things that the Apostle did to help the church to flourish for God, the thing behind the scenes that were done so that the kingdom of God could move forward.

The hidden things of darkness reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then, here’s the key, how here is how you interpret the verse, then each one’s praise will come from God. Now if he’s talking about unbelievers or and he’s talking about sin, God’s not gonna be praising that, right?

You see, when God reveals what has been done for him in darkness, what is been not done him behind the scenes, then each one’s praise will come from God. All that you and I have done, and are doing for God, and we may not get that certificate, and may may get not that clap, and that we might not praise from men, but note that God is keeping score of everything that you are doing for his kingdom, every prayer that is lifted up for him, every little piece of paper on his property that has picked up and thrown into the trash, every act of kindness that’s made for Him as you’re helping the hurting and the hopeless in this season that we are living in, all of this will one day be fully revealed.

And you, my friend, will receive praise from me. in God. Now can we all be honest? We love praise, Amen. Oh, we do because we’re human. It’s okay. We Love it when people brag on us. We loved it. When people say encouraging words to us, but how much more will you love when Jesus Christ is lavishing praise upon you because of your good work behind the scene.

You are gonna be so full, you are going to be so filled with joy and encouragement and love for Jesus Christ because each one’s praise will come from God. And what Paul has in view in our text this morning in second Corinthians five is the same thing.

He has the believers life and the believer’s service in viewed and seen in light of the judgment seat of Christ. Now, this is a different judgment, church. It’s not the judgment of whether you are saved or unsaved.

It is not a judgment where God is hammering down on those who have rejected Him and have lived lives that are selfish and immoral, but rather this the Judgment Seat of God that is literally translated as the Bema Seat Of God.

It is in the Greek language an elevated platform where the athletes who were victorious were recognized and they were praised and received their crowns for what they accomplished in the Olympics. So when I come to chapter 5 and verse 10, God is not hammering down on me, but He is reminding me.

He is reminding me to be transparent before Him. He’s saying one day, I am going to reveal all that you have done for the cause of Christ. I’m going reward you before all, for all you’ve given for The Lord, all You’ve done for the Lord all you have sacrificed for Christ all that you have tirelessly accomplished for Jesus Christ Matthew 16 27 Jesus said the son of man shall come in the glory of his father with his angels and then he shall reward every man according to his works reward listen church you have a reward that is waiting for you as a believer God knows us and he knows us thoroughly there are some people who do not know us they mischaracterize us They misjudge us, they misunderstand us.

But there is one who knows your heart and he knows you motives and knows your plans and his knows ambition. Let your ambition be transparent before God and know that one day though others may not notice it nor recognize it, there’s a savior in heaven who is standing up from his throne and is applauding everything you are doing for Jesus Christ.

Oh yes, you will be rewarded church. Romans 2 6 says God will render to every man according to his deeds. If our deeds and our ambitions and all of our efforts are for God, what is there to be afraid of church?

What is there too worry about? Why should we have any anxiety to stand in the Bema seat before God Almighty. Why should we be afraid? We should look forward to the opportunity to be rewarded for what God has called us to do on that day.

That day that we stand before god. The full truth about our lives is gonna be made clear. There’ll be no misunderstandings. There will be no judgments relating to being unclear but the clear truth will be fully exposed.

Now I want you to understand something because there is so much misunderstanding in the body of Christ about the judgment seat of God and I want to remember that those who have placed their faith in Christ will never faith condemnation when they stand before God.

Why? Romans 8, 1 gives us this promise, there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. But there’s no contamination. Here’s what I want you to know, is that your sins are already under the blood of Jesus Christ.

They were judged on the cross. Christ took your judgment for sin on the cross and therefore it’s not this idea that has been promoted out there of that somehow we’re gonna stand before God and he’s gonna play a video of our entire life no my friends God has already washed away your sin and your sin is cast as far as the east is from the west to be what church to be remembered no more.

Oh we stand accountable to God. We are very much accountable God and that’s why we should be transparent. But I want you to remember church that your sins are under the blood of Christ and listen if they are to be remember no, more God is not bringing up your sins.

He is NOT bringing UP your failures. He IS NOT bring up YOUR times that you fumbled the ball or that YOU faltered And if God is not bringing it up, why are you? If God has not bring up your past, why you are beating down on yourself?

Why are finding fault with yourself. Why you having a pity party? Listen, embrace the forgiveness of Jesus. Walk in the grace of God, lift your head up and move forward in hope in Jesus Christ, knowing that it’s over.

God took care of it on the cross. And I believe it is finished. Jesus said it. Is what church? The devil likes to bring up our past that night, but you just remind him of his future It ain’t looking good for the devil But friends it has looking great for you as a believer in Christ Now I want to note another phrase in verse 10 that I think it’s important for us to make sure we fully and properly interpret So at the end he says that according to what he has done whether good or bad, whether good -or -bad.

Now here’s what I want you to note. He is not referring to the moral goodness and moral bad or moral evil, but rather this word for bad could be translated worthless. It is understood in the Greek language as being something that is worthy or worthless.

So again, when you interpret verse 10, it’s not that God is judging every failure of Mike, every sin of mic, every infirmity, every weakness of my, that’s what he’s doing. I’m on the Bema seat standing before God, all of us as believers standing before god getting ready to be rewarded.

And what He is looking at our life is all that we have done, was it worthy, honorable, pleasing to God, or was it worthless? 1 Corinthians 3 tells us all that is worthless, wood, hay, and stubble is burned up, dissolved.

It’s gone. It is useless, it cannot be used, but all that is worthy honorable and glorifying to God the gold the silver the precious stones that pass through the fire the testing of God all that is what God is going to reward us for Revelation 22 12 says behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be All of us are going to stand before Christ at the day of judgment and the beam of sea to receive various degrees of reward for what we have done in this life.

That’s why you need to be transparent before God. And you need say, look, I want to do everything I can for Him while I have time on this earth. Our rewards that we receive in heaven are gonna be in proportion to are faithfulness to the Lord.

And whether you are faithful to God behind the scenes in front of the church or you’re the person who behind -the -scenes is making things happen, God is going to reward you. The things that are worthy unto Him.

So this begs of me this morning, the thought and the contemplation of where am I spending my energy, my time, my resources. I encourage you church, spend most of your energy your time your resources on what is eternal.

That is what you will be rewarded for. That’s what will matter most in this life. that you will stand before that beam of seat and God will look at your works. Were they worthy, were they worthless? All that is worthless fades away.

All the man thought was important fades way. All of that his temporal fades a way, but all of it is eternal and all that it’s honorable to God, all the brings glory to Jesus Christ. it stands like a beaming light as you are on the beam of seat being rewarded for your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ and may each of us strive that in our life that our ambition has nothing to do with us because see if If anything this season has taught us, that in one moment, all that man has built can be gone, can’t it?

In one minute, the rug can be pulled from underneath us. In One moment all of that we were secure in, and all we felt safe in. All the little kingdoms that We had built came crashing down. And really only thing that lasts is what is honorable and eternal to God.

And made this day forward, all of us have the ambition that it is our aim to please Him. It is your aim, to be a fully devoted follower of Christ, absent or present. It is our aim to be fully transparent before God, seeking to be faithful to Him, not looking for the praise of men, but serving God knowing one day we will be rewarded for all that we do for Jesus Christ.

Would you pray with me, church? Our heads are bowed. Our eyes are closed. There are times as we serve God. God, we may feel alone. We may like no one cares. No one acknowledges. Readjust your thinking this morning.

The Savior’s watching everything you do for Him. He’s got His eye on you and He is applauding you. Thank you for those of you who prayed for me this morning, thank you to those who have already been a blessing to the body of Christ.

You came in with a smile. You encouraged others. You listened. Thank you for being on the team and looking out for each other. God notices it. He sees it happening. Thank You for that deed of kindness that You did.

No one saw it, maybe help someone with some gas money. Help someone with some food. I tell you, this season has really shown whether God’s people are going to love others or not. But you did. Thank you church.

Be encouraged and make it your ambition. Commit your heart this morning to please Him. Father in heaven, we come. asking you to continue to cleanse us, wash us make us pure before you through the power of the blood of Christ we come today God desiring to just honor you forgive us God if we have done anything selfishly for our own promotion realign our ambitions and goals for you God And I pray, Lord, that you will continue to help us to seek to advance your kingdom in these days.

Help us, God, to be fully dedicated to you. We again crawl back on the altar and say, Lord here’s our life. We are a living sacrifice yielded to You. Lord, I pray for anyone here who may not know you, God, draw them to you.

Help them, Lord to receive your grace and forgiveness in their life. May they fully accept you as their Savior and Lord of their lives. We pray all this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Jesus didn’t come to be popular, He came to save souls. And in His effort to reach out to so many, sometimes He was unpopular. And we try to popular because we want everybody to like us, but the truth is, when you’re out there doing the work of God, the devil gets angry, and the world gets upset.

And you’ve got to committed that He is your ambition. He’s your focus. He has your commitment. commitment. So I hope today that as you’ve been studying the scriptures, you are committing your heart to Him completely.

I want to encourage you to make sure that you give us your prayer requests. At The Open Door Church, we love to pray for God’s people. And if you have a special request, go to HopeWorthHaving .com, hit the contact button and let us know your prayer requests, and we’ll take time to prayer for you this week.

This is Pastor Mike Sanders is reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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