* Pray. Ask God to give you an open heart and mind to learn new truths from His Word. Read Psalm 15 through three times. Record any thoughts or questions you have in your journal. If a verse stands out to you, write it on an index card and begin committing it to memory.
Grab yourselves a cup of coffee and let’s gather around for a time of “Q & A” on this Psalm Friday. Psalm 15 presents a summary of what God expects from His people. The question for our discussion today is “Who is good enough to meet with God?” (verse 1). The answer to this question is rather interesting; instead of giving a list of do’s and don’ts, this psalm describes godliness in terms of one’s character. The qualities of the person who is able to meet with God extend to issues of integrity and honesty, our relationships with others, and the way we handle our money.
This Psalm shows that we should approach worship not only in terms of our inward, personal needs, but also in light of our outward, public responsibilities. It also shows that religion is a matter of character as well as conduct.
I’d like for you to read this Psalm out of the New Living Translation today.
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the LORD,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5 Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
Many people would like to enjoy a close, personal relationship with God. But such intimacy begins with a lifestyle of integrity, of purity, of wholeness; found in a heart that has first been cleansed of the dirtiness of sin and now is being daily sanctified by the living Word of God. David lists several criteria for assessing one’s character. How does your life compare? Are you a person of integrity?
The person of integrity…
1. Obeys God.
2. Does right.
3. Speaks the truth.
4. Does not spread gossip.
5. Treats others fairly.
6. Does not say cruel things.
7. Honor those who worship the Lord, not the ungodly.
8. Keeps his word, even when is hurts.
9. Does not lend money charging unfair interest.
10. Does not take bribes.
How about you? How does your life compare to the person of integrity found in Psalm 15?
1. Who are you committed to? Are you out to honor the Lord or to serve yourself?
2. What is the end result of your work? Are you doing everything as unto the Lord?
3. Are you in the habit of telling “little white lies’ when it is beneficial to you?
4. Do you tear down others behind their back in order to “fit in” with the people you are with?
5. How do you treat others? Do you believe in doing unto others before they do unto you?
6. Where does your loyalty lie?
7. What is the character of those you hang around with? What is their attitude toward God and the things of God?
8. Are you trustworthy and reliable? Do you follow through with what you say you are going to do or is there always a question as to whether you will do what you say you will do?
9. Do you make it harder or easier for those less fortunate to gain the resources to provide for themselves? Are you greedy with what God has blessed you with?
10. What would it take to get you to compromise your integrity?
Something important to note about one’s character is that your character is what you do and who you are when no one is watching. Our character is different from our reputation. To have a character of integrity means that we are pure before the Lord; our hearts are right before Him. When our hearts are pure before God then our reputation is going to reflect that. As a child of the King, true character should be one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. This lifestyle should be evident to all those around us; it should be evident by the way we treat others in our lives.
Oh, God may we be found as a persons of integrity. May our hearts be pure before you so that Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control will shine forth from our lives.