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Roping Religion: Aim for the true target

 

Last updated 7/24/2020 at 7:42am



Many of the ideas and scriptures for this article are from the devotional “God Wants You To Win!” by world champion calf roper Jeff Copenhaver.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

In the 1980s, Jeff was with a friend in Canada who was negotiating an oil lease deal. That night, the Lord gave him a dream where he saw three letters standing for Honesty, Integrity and Truth as arrows shooting at a target. The Lord revealed that the people dealing with his friend were setting a trap for his friend and would rob him if he signed the contract. His friend withdrew his offers graciously and two days later found out that the trap would have bankrupted him. The arrows of Honesty, Integrity and Truth had hit the target of greed, lies and corruption. Jeff’s friend was so thankful that Jeff had shared the dream the Holy Spirit had given him.

Are we always honest in our daily activities? When we trade in a vehicle do we disclose to the dealership the true condition of our trade? Do we claim all of our income on our taxes? Do we give our employer a full day of work for a day’s pay?

God sees everything and knows everything. We might think we are getting away with something but we can never fool God. When we attempt to cheat in order to obtain financial or personal gain we are not treating others as we would like to be treated. When we withhold wages that are due God notices. The cries of the unpaid harvesters reach the ears of the Lord.

The fields of religion and politics seem to have more than their share of fraud or deception. There are plenty of stories of politicians taking a bribe from a company in order that the company’s product may be purchased by the government agency. There are plenty of stories of religious conmen taking money and using the money for illegal or questionable purposes.

How about people misrepresenting their health status to the world in order to collect help from a government office or an employer? Pretending that I am sick when I am not just so I can use a sick leave day is not honoring my employer or God. Cheating an employee out of benefits, pay or a bonus also grabs our Father’s attention.

Fortunately there are Biblical examples of men who did the right thing even though it cost them much to honor God. My hero Joseph spent a lot of time in prison because he wouldn’t sleep with his master’s wife. Daniel continued to pray when evil religious leaders tricked the country’s ruler into making prayer to God against their nation’s law. Daniel wound up in the lion’s den for his integrity and honesty. Daniel’s three friends wound up in a fire because they would not worship an idol.

The good news is that God promoted Joseph when the truth eventually came out. Joseph became the number two ruler in the land. The lions that were supposed to destroy Daniel found their mouths shut until Daniel was rescued. Then the lions destroyed the evil administrators who were thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel’s three friends not only escaped the fire but Jesus Himself was on the scene with them. Daniel’s friends were promoted. Those who threw them into the fire were consumed by the fire. Daniel prospered.

Jesus is the Truth. Light overcomes darkness. God cares about us. He wants us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. I believe He wants to take those things out of our lives that could harm or kill us. Let’s not be those who sell out our good name for something that is going to cause us harm in the end. The Bible teaches us that a good name is better than riches. Each day we need to choose who our master will be. We can’t serve God and money. We can serve God with money. Let’s be those who steward God’s gifts with integrity and honesty. We will all give an account one day for the deeds done in this body.

May God bless you big.

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This is the 20th in the series of Roping Religion columns by Kevin Barsotti, pastor of Ark Church in Havre.

 
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