For the past few days the word Integrity has been repeating in my mind. To
be completely honest, I didn't know what the word completely meant until a
few years ago when I looked it up. The word Integrity is defined in the
dictionary as, "The quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high
moral principles or professional standards." My definition of Integrity is
simply to not compromise your values no matter what. In today's world
where people are quick to sellout and give up their morality, the word
integrity is nowhere to be found in their vocabulary. It is important that
we remember that we are all accountable to God and will one day give an
answer to our immoral and selfish ways of living. (Revelation 20:11-12)
I hope today's message helps you to see that Integrity plays an important
part in receiving the blessings of the Lord. When we hold on to our
Integrity, it is promised in God's Word that we will receive a just reward
in this world and in the world to come. (Psalm 18:20-24)
THE EMPEROR AND THE SEED
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose
his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children,
he decided something different. He called the young people in the kingdom
together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the
next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."
The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each
one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the
seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have
grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and
the one I choose will be the next emperor!"
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a
seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him
get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it
carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their
seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks,
5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their
plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months
went by--still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.
Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't
say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to
grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought
their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he
wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling
felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his
empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety
of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful--in all shapes
and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids
laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young
people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees
and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be
appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at
the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him
to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe
he will have me killed", Ling thought.
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling,"
he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor
asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the
crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"
Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he
be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave
everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and
bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not
All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When
you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for
the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to
bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be
the new emperor!"
When everyone else is doing wrong, I encourage you to do right. God is on
His throne watching the righteous and the unrighteous. God is not a
rewarder of blessings to those who mislead others and use deceit for their
own professional or personal gain. The Lord is an upright and righteous
Judge and will never forsake those who do right in the midst of evil. God
promises that He will pour out His blessings so much so that we will not
have enough room to receive it if we walk according to His statutes and
follow His laws. (Psalm 34:11-17) (2 Timothy 4:5-8) (2 Samuel 22:21-25)
Never get discouraged when you see others doing wrong and still seem to go
unpunished for their actions. There is a season in a person's life when
Sin seems pleasurable, but never listen to the enemy's lies when he tells
you, "Everyone's doing it". The end of that person's life is sure to lead
to destruction. I encourage you to do that which is right in the eyes of
God because your reward will be one that lasts not for a season, but for
Eternity. (Hebrews 11:24-27) (James 1:13-17) (Matthew 25:21)
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Psalm 7:8-9 "The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according
to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me. Oh, let the
wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the
righteous God tests the hearts and minds."
Proverbs 10:6-9 "Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But violence
covers the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot. The wise in heart will receive
commands, But a prating fool will fall. He who walks with integrity walks
securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known."
Psalm 18:20-24 "The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have
kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For
all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from
me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight."
Proverbs 11:3-6 "The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the
perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the
day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of
the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his
own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But
the unfaithful will be caught by their lust."
All scriptures can be found in the New King James Version.
Today's Selected Poem: RIGHTEOUS VS. UNRIGHTEOUS PLANTING
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem184.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: THE REWARD
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony105.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry