Participants: Michael Kontes
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000410
00:01 Please stay with us
00:08 3ABN presents
00:16 this closed captioned program
00:30 Hello Friends.
00:32 I am Michael Contes
00:34 and I'd like to welcome you
00:35 to Faith Chapel.
00:36 Today we're going to
00:37 talk about Integrity.
00:38 Let us pray.
00:40 Father we come to thee now
00:42 and we thank thee for the opportunity of being able to
00:44 break open the Bread of Life.
00:46 Help us to view the experiences of the saints of old so that
00:52 we can have the integrity of being the saints of today.
00:56 Be with us now in Jesus name. Amen.
00:59 The most visible man in the 1990's stood in front
01:05 of his nation and the watching world
01:07 as he exclaimed,
01:10 "I did not have sexual relations with Miss Lewinsky. "
01:14 Yet the truth came out later
01:17 that he had done exactly that.
01:21 During the same period a poll was taken.
01:26 The poll asked people what they would do for $100,000.
01:32 And two thirds of the people agreed to one of the things
01:36 that I will be reading to you.
01:38 25% said they would abandon their entire family
01:42 for $100,000!
01:44 Another 25% said they would abandon
01:48 their church for $100,000!
01:51 23% said they would become prostitutes
01:56 for a week or more for $100,000.
01:59 16% said they would give up their American citizenship
02:06 for $100,000.
02:08 Another 16% said they would leave
02:12 their spouses for $100,000.
02:15 10% said they would withhold testimony
02:19 and let a murderer go free for $100,000.
02:25 7% said they would kill a stranger for $100,000.
02:31 3% said they would put their children up for adoption
02:37 for $100,000.
02:40 The article comes from James Patterson
02:42 in the book entitled, "The Day America Told the Truth. "
02:46 Brothers and sisters, today I'd like to talk about
02:49 God is looking for a group of people, men and women
02:53 who will not allow their integrity to waver like a reed
02:58 People who will stand up though the heavens fall.
03:03 I'd like for us to open up our Bibles today to Genesis 39:1-9
05:13 He was from the line
05:15 of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
05:19 He was favored in his family.
05:23 His brothers despised him.
05:25 In fact his brothers wanted to kill him
05:28 but yet spared his life and sent him into Egypt.
05:32 He could have allowed what his brothers did to him
05:37 to taint his relationship and his future.
05:42 But Joseph made a choice.
05:45 and the choice was: No matter what happens in his life
05:49 he would serve the God of his fathers.
05:51 Upon arriving into Egypt, Potiphar the captain
05:56 of the king's guard, bought him and brought him into his house
06:00 and from the very beginning
06:03 Joseph had the Midas touch.
06:05 Everything he touched turned to gold.
06:09 His master began to trust him with everything.
06:13 In fact the Scriptures say there is nothing his master held back
06:20 but his wife.
06:25 Joseph was a man of integrity.
06:28 Joseph would stand for the right though the heavens fall.
06:33 Joseph was willing to condemn sin
06:38 in himself as well as others.
06:46 Joseph could have very easily said
06:49 "I'm in Egypt and I'm going to do as the Egyptians do. "
06:53 We better know that as the Roman rule:
06:55 'When in Rome do as the Romans '
06:57 Joseph could have used this logic and went with it.
07:02 He could have trusted in himself
07:04 In fact, think about it friends.
07:07 Joseph could have said, "I have access to my master's wife "
07:12 "she can help facilitate the dreams I have to go back home "
07:15 "I can begin to play my own cards "
07:18 "and I can begin to make my own way "
07:21 "and no one will ever know. "
07:23 "NO ONE! "
07:24 "Potiphar won't know. "
07:26 "The servants won't be there. "
07:28 "We could orchestrate events as needed. "
07:31 But Joseph knew that Jesus would know.
07:38 God would know what Joseph would do
07:43 even in the dark.
07:45 For God reads the motives of the heart.
07:47 And Joseph was concerned and knew
07:52 that he could not allow himself to do this kind of wickedness
07:57 and sever his relationship with God
08:00 because Joseph lived by a principal
08:03 that is found in 1 Samuel 2:30
08:06 And that principal is: God says, Those who honor Me I will honor
08:14 Interpreted, 'If we honor God, God will honor us. '
08:18 You see, God had a plan for Joseph
08:20 and Joseph could have deviated from the plan.
08:23 Joseph could have done it his way.
08:25 You know, kind of like going to Burger King.
08:29 Make it my way.
08:32 He chose not to.
08:35 Joseph chose to follow the Lord's way.
08:41 Point #1 that I'd like to share with you
08:44 in the first half of this story is
08:46 the decisions we make can either bring
08:50 and spring forth eternal life or the decisions we make
08:55 can bring forth eternal death
08:57 and separation from God.
08:59 There are decisions today that we are making
09:03 whether in the house, whether at work,
09:06 whether in church that will determine
09:10 the outcome of our destiny.
09:13 Because one decision does not necessarily determine
09:16 the outcome, it is the pattern of decisions.
09:19 And usually if we begin to compromise in one area,
09:22 in one decision the next decision
09:25 is easier to compromise and the decision after that.
09:28 I can imagine in this story that Potiphar's wife
09:31 would have liked Joseph, being a younger man,
09:34 maybe didn't have a tire around his waist like her husband.
09:38 Maybe from that point it could have went from adultery
09:43 to murder!
09:46 We find that out in the Bible it happens many times.
09:48 David committed adultery and had to have
09:51 Uriah killed
09:55 in a cover-up.
09:57 This very easily could have led Joseph away from God.
10:02 But Joseph purposed in his heart and in his mind
10:05 to follow Jesus.
10:09 Notice, Joseph lived his life
10:12 through the eyes of Heaven.
10:16 Joseph was not so worried
10:20 about how he was viewed upon here on Earth.
10:23 This is a very important point.
10:26 If we are to be Christians living in the days
10:29 that we are living in - You see people around us
10:32 are looking to see if our profession is true.
10:35 People around are looking to see.
10:38 'Mike Contes is claiming he's a Christian. '
10:40 'Is he really a Christian? '
10:42 And my actions are revealing to them
10:45 and the universe whether I'm a Christian
10:47 or if I am a professed Christian.
10:50 Am I a possessed Christian of the Holy Spirit
10:53 or am I a professed Christian
10:55 possessing the principals of self and Satan.
11:02 And there are people out there that are hungry,
11:04 people who want to believe.
11:07 People want to believe that there are people out there
11:11 full of integrity.
11:12 People are looking for leaders
11:15 who will not say one thing and do another.
11:19 "I did not have sexual relations with Miss Lewinsky. "
11:24 "Well how do you define 'sexual relations'? "
11:27 God is looking for a group of men
11:31 a group of women
11:32 'who will be as true as the needle is to the pole '
11:36 'though the heavens fall around them. '
11:38 They will stand for the right principals through the
11:42 power of the Holy Spirit.
11:43 Notice the next text we go into
11:47 here in Genesis 39:20 goes on to read,
12:06 Joseph now being in prison
12:09 could have thrown his hands up in the air and said,
12:11 "What in the world is going on? "
12:14 "I'm no longer with my father "
12:16 "I'm no longer in my father's household. "
12:20 "I was sold by my brothers. "
12:21 "I don't even have my nice coat that I used to have. "
12:24 "Now I'm in this foreign land. "
12:26 "Just when things are beginning to turn the corner "
12:30 "and I think something good is going to happen "
12:32 "my master's wife is accusing me of trying to rape her. "
12:36 "And now I'm in prison! "
12:37 "God what is going on here? "
12:39 Notice, Joseph did not get despondent
12:42 throw his hands in the air.
12:45 Joseph was a man of God.
12:47 Joseph knew that whatever
12:49 God was allowing in his life
12:50 that it was there to shape him.
12:53 in fact Joseph implicitly
12:56 trusted God.
12:57 Psalms 56:11 reads, "In God I have put my trust "
13:09 Joseph wasn't afraid of what men and people could do to him.
13:12 Joseph had a healthy fear of God
13:15 Now, there are times when bad things happen to us
13:21 and we don't know what's going on.
13:22 And we're thinking, 'What has caused this to happen? '
13:27 I remember in the early '80s
13:29 I was around 14 years old, I believe, my sister and I
13:31 We just found out that the local radio station
13:34 KWOD 106 there in Sacramento CA
13:37 had a request line and every Saturday morning
13:41 we'd call in and request the songs we liked.
13:45 One song though not Christian, because I wasn't a Christian yet
13:50 was entitled, "Funky Town. "
13:52 That song was a very hip-hop song so we decided to call in
13:56 and have this song played.
13:58 A block away at my sister's god-parent's house
14:02 they were getting crank calls
14:04 like 20, 30 or 40 of them within an hour's time.
14:08 so my sister's god-mother's son got on his bike
14:11 and came to our house.
14:12 Now, my bedroom window was beside the living room window
14:14 in the front of the house.
14:19 And my window was open
14:21 And he heard my sister and I laughing and giggling
14:26 and he looked in the window and saw us on the phone.
14:27 And there we were laughing and giggling
14:30 and right away guess what he thought?
14:31 'Mike and Dena are making the crank calls to us. '
14:33 So he went back home and told his parents.
14:34 Then his parents called my mom.
14:38 My mom found out about their trouble
14:41 and my mom gave us a whooping.
14:43 She spanked us and then on top of that
14:46 mom said we had to apologize. We said, "Mom we didn't do it! "
14:49 We went over and started apologizing and lo and behold
14:53 the phone rang.
14:55 And guess who it was.
14:57 The crank callers.
14:59 And the family looked at us and said,
15:01 "We are so sorry. "
15:03 And you know what?
15:04 My sister and I were so angry at my mom.
15:07 She spanked us without first trying to get to the truth.
15:13 When we feel that an injustice has been done
15:18 We, most of the time, throw our hands in the air
15:22 and say, 'What is going on here. '
15:24 Friends, this kind of thing happens in church as well.
15:27 Brothers and sisters, an injustice is done
15:30 and we throw our hands up in the air
15:33 and we begin to discard that God knows
15:39 how to set up kings and rulers
15:41 and He knows how to set down kings and rulers.
15:43 And because of that we should implicitly be able
15:47 to have enough faith and trust to know that
15:49 whatever God is allowing in our lives
15:51 He is allowing it because He thinks so much of you
15:54 so much of me
15:55 so much of His church
15:58 that He wants to shape and mold us to the image of His Son.
16:01 That's what Joseph was like.
16:04 In fact it was so much so that we're told
16:06 in the Scriptures that even the captain of the prisoners
16:10 began to see Joseph
16:12 was a blessed man of God.
16:14 And everything that Joseph touched in prison
16:16 turned to gold!
16:17 Joseph had the Midas touch in prison.
16:21 Some of us don't even have the Midas touch in our homes
16:24 and Joseph had it in prison.
16:25 Booker T. Washington once said,
16:32 "Let no man pull you so low "
16:35 "as to make you hate him. "
16:39 There are injustices that God allows so that
16:43 He can shape us into who He wants us to be.
16:48 But the key for us as Christians is to realize
16:51 how God has led us in the past.
16:55 Because if God has been true and faithful in the past
16:58 He's going to be true and faithful in the future.
17:01 He's going to be true and faithful
17:03 in any situations we're going through NOW!
17:06 Joseph was able to get through these situations
17:09 because he remembered how God worked in his past.
17:12 Joseph had heard the stories of his grandfather Isaac,
17:16 how he was laid down to sacrifice and God stopped
17:20 Abraham's hand.
17:23 Joseph had heard the stories
17:24 of his father Jacob knowing how he was running from
17:28 his brother Esau.
17:30 And how God revealed Himself in the form of a ladder
17:36 that touched the Earth and Heaven.
17:40 Joseph knew God intimately.
17:43 I can imagine that probably when
17:48 he was thrown into that carriage
17:51 as the Ishmaelites were taking him from his father's house
17:54 into Egypt, I am sure as he started going further away from
18:00 his father's home he began to weep like a little puppy.
18:06 He began to see his once home disappear, and I believe
18:16 that Joseph remembered the God of his fathers
18:21 and purposed in his heart then and there
18:27 wherever God put him, he'd unswervingly
18:31 serve Him.
18:34 For God is loyal and true and honors those
18:38 that honor Him.
18:41 When God appoints someone to a special work
18:48 God will enable us to do the job.
18:53 Let's think about this for a second.
18:58 here Joseph was in a prison, a prisoner!
19:04 We don't know how big the cell was.
19:06 But we know he couldn't freely move in society.
19:12 Yet because Joseph was a man of integrity
19:17 and purposed to serve God wholeheartedly
19:20 though he was in a prison
19:23 Joseph was free!
19:26 Because the Bible tells us
19:28 that when God is in our heart
19:31 and guiding and directing us
19:34 we are free indeed.
19:37 In fact, Potiphar was a greater prisoner
19:40 in his own house
19:44 than Joseph was in prison.
19:48 How many of us today
19:50 are in prison though we are free?
19:56 How many of us allow circumstances
19:59 and turmoil to place us in a prison house?
20:04 and we can't even walk and freely talk
20:08 to our Lord and Savior because circumstances
20:11 drive us away from God?
20:14 Instead of allowing these circumstances
20:17 to draw us closer to Him
20:19 we allow these circumstances to draw us further from Him.
20:26 I can share with you
20:30 there've been circumstances in my life
20:32 where it was very difficult
20:38 and because I trusted in God
20:40 God came through for me in the toughest situations.
20:45 In 1999 my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer
20:53 and passed away 6 months later.
20:57 The day she died was a sad day indeed
21:03 and I miss her today.
21:04 There is no doubt about that.
21:06 As we were preparing to take her to the mortuary
21:10 my wife and I were sitting
21:12 in the back seat of my brother-in-laws car.
21:14 We lived in Vacaville.
21:16 The mortuary was 45 minutes away in Sacramento, CA.
21:20 As we were riding, I was singing songs praising God
21:26 through tears.
21:30 My brother-in-law and sister were in the front seat
21:31 just dumbfounded, crying.
21:33 My wife and I were holding hands and holding our daughter,
21:36 singing and praising God for what He had given us.
21:41 He had given us a beautiful girl for four and a half years.
21:44 Friends, one of the reasons I was praising was because God
21:48 honored my prayer request.
21:50 You see, my prayer request has been,
21:51 "Father, I want my children in heaven. "
21:54 Now, I didn't give Him the details
21:57 on how they're to get there.
21:58 That's not my job.
22:00 But I want my children in heaven.
22:03 I can stand here today in front of you
22:07 and tell you without a shadow of a doubt
22:09 that my daughter loved Jesus.
22:10 And I know she'll be waiting in that first resurrection
22:13 for her mother, father and brothers.
22:16 I could have been very easily angry at God.
22:19 I could have let that experience turn me away from Him.
22:24 I could have used that as an excuse to say,
22:28 "God, You have so hurt me "
22:31 "You're not trust worthy. "
22:32 But instead, through the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit
22:38 that experience became a stepping stone for me to
22:45 come closer to Jesus.
22:47 I realized I was a steward and she was not really mine.
22:51 I was just watching and taking care of her as God wanted me to.
22:55 And I had done my job.
22:57 And God allowed this to take place.
22:59 Joseph was allowed to be sold by his brothers.
23:04 Joseph was allowed to go into Potiphar's house.
23:07 Joseph was allowed to be falsely accused.
23:16 Joseph was thrown in prison.
23:18 Yet Joseph's light would shine through prison.
23:25 Do we serve God, brothers and sisters,
23:31 from an undivided heart?
23:34 or do we serve God as long as things are going okay?
23:37 As long as our bank account is full,
23:40 our cars are not broke down,
23:42 our bass boat is doing good,
23:44 kids are growing and healthy,
23:48 we serve God.
23:51 And then with the first sign of trouble
23:54 we kind of go on a vacation from God.
23:56 "Hey God, I'm going to the Bahamas. "
23:58 "I'll see You in three months. "
24:00 And we disappear.
24:03 Or when circumstances come across our path
24:06 do we humbly say, "Lord I am Thy servant. "
24:09 "Not my will but Thy will be done. "
24:12 There is a great prayer in the book, 'Steps to Christ '
24:15 that says, "Take me oh Lord as wholly Thine "
24:17 "I lay all my plans at Thy feet. "
24:19 "Use me today in Thy service. "
24:21 "Abide in me and let all my works be wrought in Thee. "
24:24 A daily prayer of consecration.
24:28 When we say that prayer we allow God to access our lives
24:32 and to do as He wills.
24:36 We're not to take vacations from Him during tough situations.
24:43 In fact, it could be said that sometimes
24:46 it's easier during tough situations to come close to God.
24:49 Some people come close to God during tough situations
24:52 and then when it gets light they disappear.
24:54 "Oh, Thanks God. "
24:56 "Thanks for answering my prayers. "
24:59 And then we forget about God.
25:01 Many angles we can look at this story from.
25:05 But Joseph served God and it says,
25:10 "God was with Joseph "
25:13 in everything he did.
25:14 Joseph had the 'Midas touch. '
25:17 Now, in the beginning of our sermon today
25:22 we saw how so many people
25:25 would disband with their principals for $100,000.
25:30 They'd leave their church, they'd be prostitutes,
25:33 they'd leave their spouse, they'd become murderers.
25:36 Today I want to say this.
25:38 God is looking for someone
25:42 that no matter what happens in their life
25:44 will be true to Him.
25:46 God is looking for people
25:50 that no amount of money will push them away from His church.
25:56 No amount of money will push them away from His family.
26:01 No amount of money will cause them to become murderers
26:07 physically as well as spiritually by hating a brother.
26:13 God wants people that with no amount of money
26:17 will make them a prostitute
26:20 physically or spiritually.
26:25 God doesn't want anyone to discard their spiritual beliefs
26:28 for monetary gain.
26:32 God is looking or men and women
26:38 who will ultimately bow their hearts
26:41 bow their minds
26:43 give homage to Him
26:44 in word, deed, in life, in a closet, in public,
26:54 at church, at work and in the home.
27:01 God is looking today for a Joseph.
27:04 He's looking for someone who will say,
27:09 "No matter if my family discards me "
27:12 "I will be true to You, God. "
27:15 God is looking for a Joseph who
27:17 if something happens at work
27:20 and you're falsely accused
27:22 and you're thrown into some type of prison
27:26 real or 'spiritual'
27:31 He wants you to be able to stand
27:32 as a shining light in a dark place and say,
27:35 "Though He slay me, I will yet trust Him. "
27:40 And I ask you today,
27:43 "though He slay you, will you trust God? "
27:50 He's the Merciful, Wonderful Creator.
27:53 He is your True Companion.