But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. (Galatians 2:11-17)
Today's Morsel: A few weeks ago, I read the Nuke missile base commander's resignation letter, at Malmstrom Airbase, were some of the airmen were found cheating on their examination. He wrote, "Over the past few months, we have been forced to navigate through some of the roughest waters most of us have ever experienced professionally. We've seen the reputation of our beloved wing and America's ICBM mission tarnished because of the extraordinarily selfish actions of officers entrusted with the most powerful weapon system ever devised by man. As you are now learning, the ramifications are dire. Many lives will be permanently changed as a result. But this costly lesson must not be in vain. The lesson? Had just one solitary airman spoken up for integrity, our leadership team would have been able to take action immediately. Tragically, peer pressure and the fear of being an outcast prevailed. As a result, the misconduct had to be inadvertently discovered by OSI agents. Think of how different the narrative would be had the silent Airman just come forward. That airman would now be lionized as a hero for casting aside his or her own fear of being made an outcast by a few inadequate peers. That airman would have single-handedly preserved the honor and dignity of Malmstrom and all the wonderful people who make up this incredible wing. But it didn't happen. Wrong won out over right ... the voice of integrity was silenced ... and the good guy lost at the end of the movie." The command puts the arrow right on the center of the target. If just one person would have stood up for integrity, the outcome would have been different. Isn't it amazing that the Bible really isn't a book of only salvation, but a book of character. One of the reasons I believe that devil wants the Bible out of schools, governments, and our military, is because it teaches people character. Solomon lets us know, "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him"(Proverbs 20:7). And "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people"(Proverbs 14:34). Paul was a man who was willing to tell people when they were wrong. Ask Peter. Ask the churches he established. What about you? Do you cover up things that you know aren't right for fear of others? You don't win with integrity violations. You won't be saved in the end without character, the character of Christ in your life.
"Reputation is what men and women think of us, character is what God and angels know of us." Thomas Paine.
Sing: I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.