1 Corinthians 3:11-13 – For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
Unfortunately, Christian character is so quickly eroding away in Christian leaders today. Therefore to raise good Christian leaders of integrity and character is quite a difficult task because standards of God have been largely compromised today so to speak.
REALITY OF MINISTRY
Many Christian leaders fail to finish the race in their call of God because of a weak character in their lives. They have failed to realize that the supreme quality of a leader is unquestionable integrity. We got to have a transparent life for people to trust us and follow after us. God will never compromise in this area no matter what your excuses maybe.
Now we need to ask ourselves this morning; what is the definition of integrity in God’s terms? Is it soundness of moral character, honesty, incorruptibility?
At the end of the day when everything has been said and done, the testing and the trials, the storms and the floods will beat against your house. Only then, the foundation on which you have built your character will prove whether you could withstand the pressures of time.
EVERYONE MAY SOUND RELIGIOUS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY NOT ALL ARE REAL
You know what? You and I need to be aware of the seasons we are living in today. Can I say something to you this morning? “Not all people who sound religious are really genuinely godly people.”
TODAY THE WORLD IS IN A MESS BECAUSE OF UNGODLY LEADERSHIP
Today the reason why the world is in such a mess is because of a lack of integrity and character in leaders. The intellectual world tries to be cleverer than God. They have rejected God as their very foundation; instead they use their own intellectual philosophy to build their principles and values to run nations.
GOD HAS CHOSEN YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR HEART FOR HIM
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
JESUS CHRIST IS OUR FOUNDATION
You know what? We can only build our foundation on Jesus Christ! He is our foundation and Pillar of truth. Make no mistake about this. He is our anchor! He is our Rock!
TRIBULATIONS, TRIALS AND CHALLENGES
The Bible talks about Tribulation which literally means testing and pressure. When tribulation and trials comes upon your life you should never consider these things to be obstacles in your life. You should never look at it in the light of the negative.
THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN LIFE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
You should rather consider them to be opportunities – open doors for you to learn and grow into God’s purpose, God’s plan and to evolve into His character.
James 1:2-4 says:
” Count it all joy, when you fall into various trials. Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
NO ONE CAN ESCAPE CHALLENGES, TESTINGS AND TRIALS
You know something? No one will be spared from tribulation and trials in your life. Challenges will always be there to face you in ministry and your life. God did not promise you a trouble-free life. But remember what Jesus said: I Have Overcome the World (John 16:33).
“I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
Jesus is saying you are not going to be spared from your tribulation but in the midst of your troubles I will give you peace. I will be with you until the end! This is a promise given by Jesus. He doesn’t say these things just for the sake of saying them!
GLORY IN TRIBULATIONS
God’s children, those who have been justified by the grace of God through the blood of Christ, are a people who will “glory in tribulation.” We glory in spite of our tribulations; and we glory in our tribulations, knowing that they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
SOME PEOPLE BECOME ANGRY
Some people become negative when trouble comes upon their life. They think if I am a Christian nothing should happen to me. They think if I am Christian I should be sailing on a bed of roses. Sadly many people that I know of become angry with God. They say you are not fair to me! They try to justify their righteousness before God just like what Job was trying to do before God. Thus they have backslided and left the faith unfortunately.
GOD WILL WORK OUT HIS CHARACTER IN YOU IN THE MIST OF YOUR TRIALS IF YOU ENDURE THROUGH IT
Listen to me! ”If you are walking in the destiny of God! If you are walking in the purpose and plan of God”.
Too much tribulation will come in the kingdom of God! But in the midst of all this, you bet your life, God will be faithful to you. God, will take you through, God will give you the strength and grace. When you come out of it, you will become a better person, a stronger person. So you have to be ready to allow God to do this purification process in you.
Character of righteousness is the ultimate goal that God seeks in us. There is absolutely no compromise in this area before God.
HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT KNOWING ABOUT JESUS AND KNOWING JESUS ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS?
Many people will say I know about Jesus but only few will say “I know Jesus” You can only say I know Jesus when you have a personal relationship with Him.
The religious world will say I know about Jesus but the one who is spiritual will say “I know Jesus!” This was the very condition of Nicodemus that night when he approached Jesus in John 3.
WHEN WE KNOW JESUS WE TAKE ON THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST
When we know Jesus, we take on the character of Christ. We become a people of integrity. A people called by His name.
In other words our words and our deeds should match to what we are projecting to the world. What we are claiming to be to the world. But sadly people are not what they say they are today especially among Christian leader’s unfortunately.
The Greek philosopher Socrates said:” The key to greatness is to be in reality of who we appear to be.” A man of your word. What you say is what you are. Saying one thing with your lips and pretending to be something you are not is absolutely not a Christian character. And don’t ever think you are smart by doing that!
In today’s world people are smarter than you. They can read you through and through! You don’t need to blow your trumpet and tell people who you are. So leaders need to know how to behave! Not only in your talk but also in the way you conduct yourself with your members. Remember “you play as you practice”.
There are Christians who are very Christ-like inside the church but when you take them outside the church they are worse than the devil. The Bible calls such people hypocrites.
Please listen to me! Your appearance must conform to the reality of your character. If you are a leader without such character than you are out of order in ministry!!
Leaders must be submissive with a teachable spirit. Not be sensitive! Not be defensive when something is not right and brought to your attention.
Remember as leaders you need to build trust among your people. Your integrity will build trust with the people you are leading. If God has called you in his ministry than you must be a people of integrity! A people of character! A people called by His name. We got to have one character both inside the church and outside the church for people to follow you and trust you.
Without it you will be heading nowhere. Without it you will not be able to influence anybody! Without it nobody will submit and respect you. You will only end up in quarrels and strife in church.
Note: Rev Dr Jai Kumar is an ordained & licensed minister of Covenant Ministries International N.J. USA. He is a mission minded pastor who carries an apostolic anointing who preaches and teaches an uncompromising gospel with boldness. A member of ECCM (Malaysia) Spiritual Adviser & overseer to various ministries and churches. An itinerant speaker. He is also the author of a book entitled, ‘God’s Time Clock.’ Currently he worships at C3 Subang.
NOTE: This a personal reflection by the writer, written for the encouragement and exhortation of our readers.
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Rev Dr Jai Kumar