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June 11, 2015



Text: “And you are my she10_1ep, human sheep of  my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”  Ezekiel 34:31 ESV

After I discovered that the TV series  M*A*S*H was not noticeably anti-war but mainly comedy, I grew to like several of the characters, notably Walter “Radar” O’Reilly (played by Gary Burghoff).  Radar was a short, naïve, teenage boy from rural Iowa who slept with a teddy bear. The other characters (especially Hawkeye) were constantly mocking him for being short and lots of other things, but he was sensitive about being short. In one of the episodes Radar received a package from the States which contained a pair of elevator shoes which he meant to wear so as to be as tall as the other guys. Hawkeye calls him on it and asks why he bought the shoes. When he explains his desire to be more accepted by the other soldiers, Hawkeye tells him, “You don’t need those things. Just be yourself!”

Everybody wants to be “somebody”.  We all like a little of the limelight. We also like respect and admiration. The real gist of this is: am I seeking the right respect from the right persons? Think about the things that people respect in our times: success, riches, talent, power, being a shaker and mover, boasting and self-promotion. All of these and more. Most of these sources of “respect” are  worldly values. That is to say they are often aggrandized  by the world. More important they are promoted by Satan. Before you protest, consider that the world has swallowed this quest to be recognized hook, line and sinker. Look within your own heart. Have you subscribed to these values?

God has a completely different value system. It all has to do with integrity. What is integrity? The dictionary says that integrity is: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility. Another cornerstone of this value system is character. Webster’s defines it thusly: (one of several definitions) main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish.

By what standard do you measure your efforts to gain importance? Do you “toot your own horn” and “beat your own drum”? Do you engage in some “less than honorable” activities to achieve status and recognition? I know that you know that there are right ways and wrong ways to “be somebody”! Or, do you follow a righteous path to please God and put the emphasis on obedience to God’s laws of holy behavior?  “He has told you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

What is important in how you judge yourself and others and their value? An unerring example occurs in I Samuel 16 when God sends his prophet Samuel to find a replacement for King Saul, he goes to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem to begin the search. Jesse had 8 sons  and so produced his eldest, Eliab. Samuel was impressed at Eliab’s appearance. Nevertheless, God chides the prophet for this standard. “But the Lord said to Samuel,'” Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”‘ I Samuel 16:7   Two standards are cited, the physical appearance and the heart. One displeases the Lord, and one is to be applied. Apply the standard of looking on the heart ( the spiritual guideline). That standard is supplied to us in the word of God. That standard will certainly be used to judge your integrity and your worthiness to receive a heavenly reward. 

It may be old, but it is still true: It is important to remember whose you are. You must remember, “I am the Lord’s.”  “I appeal to you therefore,  brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

This scripture might help also.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10










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