Today’s Reading: Acts 5:1-42 (additional reading: Psalm 125:1-5 & Proverbs 16:25)
Charles Swindoll, in Growing Deep in the Christian Life, tells about a man who bought fried chicken dinners for himself and his date late one afternoon. The attendant at the fast food outlet, however, inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day’s business–a bucket of money (much of it cash) instead of fried chicken. Swindoll writes:
“After driving to their picnic site, the two of them sat down to enjoy some chicken. They discovered a whole lot more than chicken–over $800! But he was unusual. He quickly put the money back in the bag. They got back into the car and drove all the way back. By then, the manager was frantic.
“Mr. Clean got out, walked in, and became an instant hero. ’I want you to know I came by to get a couple of chicken dinners and wound up with all this money here.’ “Well, the manager was thrilled to death. He said, ’Let me call the newspaper. I’m gonna have your picture put in the local paper. You’re one of the most honest men I’ve ever heard of.’
“To which the man quickly responded, ’Oh, no! No, no, don’t do that!’ Then he leaned closer and whispered, ’You see, the woman I’m with–she’s, uh, somebody else’s wife.’ One can be honest and still not have integrity. When we say that we are modelling integrity, there is a wholeness to it! It is not just one aspect of life – but through and through – this one is a man of integrity! God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. His goal is not to pamper us physically but to perfect us spiritually.
Verse 24 says”To finish the task the Lord Jesus has given to you” Abraham Lincoln said, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.” That is noble. But Paul’s was even more noble! NLT says “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”
Is that your burning desire, friends? If you are a model of integrity, don’t you think you should have a desire that consumes you? One that you are willing to live to accomplish and die if you have to?