Friday, February 13, 2015

Living With A Clear Conscience

Chuckle: While driving down the freeway, a senior citizen answered his phone. He heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!" "Heck," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"
Quote: "When a man is content with the testimony of his own conscience, he does not care to shine with the light of another's praise." --St Bernard of Clairvaux


"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience . . ." (Hebrews 10:22 NIV). "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a pure (clear) conscience" (1 Timothy 3:9 NIV).

As a boy, I loved to play basketball. At one point we lived a short distance from my school which had a gymnasium. Even though the gym was off limits during non-school hours, I had learned how to get into the gym in such a way that no one would know I had been there. One day, my dad confronted me and asked if I had been in the gym. I knew I had done wrong and hoped that, after I confessed, I would receive dad's forgiveness -- which came after a fierce tongue-lashing. After receiving my dad's forgiveness, my guilty conscience faded away because I knew he loved me even though I had done wrong. Genuine forgiveness is the only cure for a guilty conscience.

As a follower of Christ, we were given a clear conscience when all our sins were forgiven and we were made pure and acceptable before God. He cleansed us and made pure in His sight. I pray you have experienced such cleansing because you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Even though we are given a clear conscience, it's up to us to keep it that way every day of our lives.

In 1 John 1:9, God lets us in on a fantastic provision He has made for His children. He knows we commit sins every day we live, even though we should strive not to do so. In our weakness, He promises: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." As we spend time each day with our Lord reading His Word and in prayer, He sensitizes our consciences to recognize even the most obscure sins that keep us from being what God wants us to be. As we become aware of each sin in our lives, and the pangs of guilty conscience set it, we should confess our sins and ask forgiveness. Then we should pray for the strength and grace to help us not repeat them.

In the same way that our consciences are sensitized when we spend time with our Lord, the opposite is true. Our consciences can become insensitive and dulled and we are free of guilt and remorse. If there are sins in your life with which you have become comfortable and no longer feel guilty about, please draw near to God, confess those sins and seek forgiveness. This is how spiritual renewal starts and where you can begin to live each day with a clear conscience.


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