Friday, June 26, 2015

Don't Violate Your Conscience

Don’t Violate Your Conscience
Acts 24:16 KJV
 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. 
Have you taken great pains to have a clear conscience before God and man? Or, have you allowed the world we live in to train you to ignore your guilt feelings, making your conscience weak? This is a dangerous situation in the life of a Christian.

Your daily privilege and joy is to walk before God with a clear conscience. God has graciously given you something that is powerful within to aid you in the battle against sin. He gave you a conscience, and that conscience can bring you real joy and freedom. Examining your guilt feelings in the light of Scripture and then confessing and forsaking your sin will cleanse your conscience. Dealing with sin immediately is an on going characteristic of the Christian life.

Sometimes people put off dealing with their guilt, thinking their conscience will clear itself over time. Guilt feelings may persist for long periods of time and could show up in other areas of life making people feel guilty and not knowing why. This could be a signal that something is very wrong spiritually (Titus 1:15). A weak conscience that is easily grieved is a result of a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. You must always respond to your conscience, even if it's weak, and continue to learn from God's Word so you and your conscience can begin to function in the light of Scripture. Never ignore your conscience and don’t live on feelings only. 

What is your conscience saying to you? Can you say with Paul, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” (Acts 23:1)? Christian, fight to keep a pure conscience, by sanctifying yourselves every day, in order to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2.15). 

Lord, may I keep a clear conscience that is right before You and others.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Trusting God in the Hard Times

Trusting God in the Hard Times
2 Corinthians 1:4 
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

The book of 2 Corinthians was written by Paul for the protection of the church and the truth. There was a strong and growing assault on the Apostle Paul in an effort to destroy his credibility and undermined his message. The city of Corinth was filled with immorality and the church itself was battling with such prevalent sin. The false teachers questioned Paul’s authority and they said he was a self-appointed apostle. They questioned his honesty, his purity and accused him of doing what he did for sexual favors from women. 

When you represent the Lord Jesus Christ and suffer persecution or rejection, that persecution you receive for the sake of Christ will enable you to comfort others and in return they will be able to comfort you. Paul was willing to suffer for Christ. It was his afflictions that would mold and shape him into the man that God intended him to be. When we share in Christ's sufferings, we partake in His abundant comfort as well. Sufferings and afflictions make you into the person God wants you to be and strengthens you for the work of the ministry in sharing Christ with a lost and hostile world.

How many times have you thought, “Why this trial, Lord? Why the broken heart or painful illness? Why has the one who called me, friend, rejected me and turned his/her back on me? Why am I being slandered or wrongfully accused?” Unfortunately, God does not ask you how or when you want to grow. You, Christian, must understand that through adversity you will grow in some way for your own good and for His glory. All of your suffering will enable you to minister to others knowing you're not out there on your own.

Lord, I trust Your will knowing You are the God of all comfort.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Place Called Heaven

A Place Called Heaven
 John 14:1-3 KJV
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

What comfort there is in knowing someone you love is in Heaven a wonderful, gracious gift from God. What sights to behold and pleasures to experience. A magnificent place prepared for those who know Christ as Savior. Have you imagined yourself walking on streets of gold, standing by the River of Life or having your name read from The Lamb’s Book of Life? Have you pictured the Gates of Pearl or visualized the eternal home designed for you? 

This place called Heaven is where God dwells and where Christ will be for all eternity. Can you picture in your mind the scars Jesus sustained for you and me? Do the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21), ring out in your ears? Will the overwhelming presence of God bring the true meaning of “eternity” to heart? Does singing praises to the Lamb, “Who is worthy to be praised” (Psalm 18:3), bring tremendous joy to your spirit? In all sincerity, are you looking forward to the day when this life is no more and you are in the presence of God?

In remembering those who have gone before you, and praying for those who are on the brink of Heaven’s shore, I pray you are preparing yourselves for this incredible journey. Working while there is yet time “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4 ). Heaven is a promise from God to those who know Him as personal Savior. 

Lord, I pray we will continue to share with others the incredible place we call Heaven.

* My dear father-in-law went to heaven this week. I will miss him greatly, but I know he is enjoying the sights of heaven and the loved ones that have gone on before him. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful place.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Is Devotion to a False God, Addiction?

Is Devotion to a False God, Addiction?
Exodus 20:3 
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

Why is temptation so attractive and powerful? Does God shield us from circumstances that might provoke us to sin? Does God tempt us like Satan or does He test us? (James 1:12-14)  We are sinned against and we sin against an holy God. Every day we are confronted with temptations, difficulties and overwhelming battles. God does not tempt us as Satan tempts but He does allow testing in our life to prove our loyalty to Him.

The temptation to devote ourselves to anything other than loving the Lord Jesus Christ is known as IDOL WORSHIP! Addiction is idolatry, a life-dominating sin. The person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol especially, chooses to serve themselves (idolatry) and accomplish their own purposes. They seek false comfort in their idol and that idol delivers, almost immediately, what the addict is seeking after: an escape from the realities of life in a sinful world. 

Addicts use great mental thought and physical energy in the pursuit of their idols. The addict, enticed by their own lusts, embraces the lie that this false god is something they need and is somehow profitable to them. Their heart is deceived and their eyes are spiritually blinded. They close their heart to the truth while opening their minds to deception and delusion.

The addict is someone who chooses to ignore the truth about God and does not acknowledge He alone is worthy of worship. (Romans 1:25) Overindulgence of any kind can become a sinful behavior when it becomes more important to us than doing what we know God wants us to do. Sometimes Christians began their sinful behavior before they became a Christian, and then they continue to struggle with addictions afterwards. Becoming a Christian does not cancel the desire for or the consequences of addictions, but the Holy Spirit, our eternal resource, does help us deal with and become free from our addictions.

Lord, set my heart free from this overwhelming addiction that I may only desire You.