Points Covered: A sermon on integrity based on the life of Abraham. This blog deals with the benefits of integrity and the integrity of Abraham.
Scripture: Genesis 14:1-24
Introduction: Today I want to continue with my sermon series ‘Abraham – Father of Faith.’ Last week we looked at the altars of Abraham and we saw how Lot and Abraham got separated. This morning I want to talk to you about the integrity of Abraham. Integrity in the dictionary means a person who has high moral standards. They always seek the right ways; they do not have any shortcuts to achievements. There is something called biblical integrity and that is what God expects us to have. Biblical integrity means seeking the standards and ways of God. Yes, God wants us to maintain His standards in our lives. Our integrity can be tested in real life situations. How do you respond to problems in your life? Do you maintain Godly standards in your trials?
WHAT CAN INTEGRITY DO IN US?
- Integrity guides us; Proverbs 11:3.
- Integrity gives us hope; Job 4:6.
- Integrity gives us security; Proverbs 10:9.
- Integrity gives us protection; Psalm 25:21.
Do you want to have guidance, hope, security, and protection in your lives; you need to have Biblical integrity. Let us study the integrity of Abraham.
Read Genesis 14:1-24
Brief History: Abraham and Lot separated in Generis 13. Lot took up Sodom and Abraham put his tent in Hebron. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, & Zeboiim had their own kings. They were all under the superpower, Kedorlaomer, king of Elam. For 12 years they paid tribute (money and wealth) to Kedorlaomer. On the 13th year they rebelled. On the 14th year, king Kedorlaomer and his allies went for war against the 4 kingdoms. Kedorlaomer defeated all the kings and plundered them capturing women and people. In the process Kedorlaomer captured Lot – the nephew of Abraham. Abraham was informed that Lot was in trouble and Abraham went for war against Kedorlaomer.
Listen, Abraham is a man of peace. This is the only time he is engaged in war. He went to war for a reason, to rescue Lot who the enemy captured. You and I are men and woman of peace. We too have a warfare like that of Abraham. Our warfare is not physical but spiritual. It is not against flesh or blood but against evil principalities and the ruler of darkness. Our enemy is the devil. He has taken away our joy, peace, laughter etc. For many of you he has put sickness, put you in court cases etc. We have to take back what the devil has taken from us. Only a man of integrity can go for warfare and Abraham was a man of integrity.
INTEGRITY OF ABRAHAM
1. Integrity in opposing evil.
Abraham opposed Kedorlaomer in taking Lot into captivity. We have to oppose the attack of the devil in our personal lives and take victory through spiritual warfare. We have to oppose the evil in the society and bring people to the presence of God through spiritual warfare. We have to put on the whole armour of God and pray in the spirit on all occasions. The key to do this is our integrity. Only a man of integrity can oppose evil through his prayer. Abraham was a man of integrity and he was willing to risk his own life to rescue a captured man. He knew God would protect him in his warfare. Abraham was a man of integrity in his warfare.
2. Integrity in worship.
We see in Genesis 14 that Abraham won the war against Kedorlaomer. Now king of Sodom and king of Salem came to meet Abraham, maybe they wanted to applaud Abraham for his victory. Abraham had a deeper talk with Melchizedek, King of Salem. The Bible tells him as the priest of the most high. Both exalted the name of the Lord. Abraham worshipped and exalted God for his success. He never boasted about his success. He knew success was a blessing from God. How do you respond to our success? Do we take credit for the success in our lives? Abraham gave full credit to God. Let us learn to worship God in our success. Abraham was a man of integrity in his worship.
3. Integrity in tithing. Genesis 24:19-20
We see here Abraham gave one-tenth of everything. This was a voluntary act on Abraham behalf. God never asked Abraham for his tithe. The law of tithing was given much later. Abraham tithed voluntarily because he knew tithing was a way to honour God. We see Abraham got wealth and he tithed. Do you tithe for the blessings that God has showered upon you? Let us learn to tithe. Abraham was a man of integrity in his tithing.
4. Integrity in gaining wealth. Genesis 24:21-24
When Abraham won over Kedorlaomer he brought back all the riches and plunder. It would have been great wealth. Naturally Abraham would have been greatly tempted to keep all the wealth for himself. See how Abraham responded. Genesis 24:21-23. Abraham did not take a single thing. He trusted in God for his needs. He did not use any shortcut methods to gain wealth. Today, how do you gain wealth? A man of integrity never takes any shortcut to gain wealth. He just trusts in God for his blessings.
Conclusion: Abraham was a man of Biblical integrity. He had high moral values and also kept the standards and ways of God. He had integrity in his warfare, worship, tithing, and wealth. His integrity guided him, gave him security, gave him hope, and gave him protection. Let us commit ourselves to God. Let us examine our lives where we lack integrity. Let us ask for repentance and ask God to help us in those areas.