Sunday, November 14, 2010

Power of a Clean Conscience

1 Tim 1:18-19

This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies

previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping

faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in

regard to their faith. (NAS)

In the day-to-day activities of life it is easy to lose sight of the importance of a clean conscience. Like foxes that spoil the vine, compromise can dull our spirit and undermine our relationship with the Lord. Little offences, hardly significant to our natural mind can have serious consequences to our spirit.

Let us consider for a moment what the conscience is. It’s a faculty of a man”s spirit that is sensitive to innate truth. It may be likened to a bridge between the spirit and our mind. The Holy Spirit uses our conscience to quicken us to God’s nature and righteousness. When we cross into areas of unrighteousness the conscience begins to trouble us and requires action on our part to satisfy its accusation. In many ways an active conscience is a great gift because it requires us to live open and righteous lives before the throne of grace.

When we endeavor to navigate life with a clean conscience there is tangible results. We have confidence when we pray or worship and we live a sincere and honest life. Our capacity to share the Good News of the Kingdom is no longer hindered by guilt.

Paul warns in his letter to Timothy to nurture a good conscience. To ignore our conscience is to invite disaster. When we sin and do not obey the prompting of our conscience to repent and set things right, we begin the process of hardening our heart.

We harden ourselves to receiving truth and become vulnerable to deceiving spirits. Many are driven to rationalize and justify their behaviors; some lose themselves in the noise of our culture seeking to escape the testimony of their own heart. Some escape through a long list of vices, each leading to more condemnation and further retreat from the grace of God.

A clean conscience produces an inner peace of the spirit, no longer our own heart bringing accusations against us. It comes as a result of making peace with God and restitution with the ones whom we have hurt or offended. When we apply God’s principals, we gain victory. We must come to gripes that excuses do not clean our conscience. Only sincere repentance, and where necessary restitution silence the accusations of our conscience. When we offend God, we must repent. When we hurt someone with our words or actions we must ask forgiveness. If we have stole we must make restitution. A life of freedom is living life free from the shackles of regret or shame.

Please consider the promptings of your heart. When you remember your past are you ashamed? Are there those who you have hurt or offended? Is there moral failure in your life? Take these things to Christ. He stands as your advocate and redeemer. Do what ever in your power to restore and make right. Be quick to repent and you will avoid the heartbreak of shipwreck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Building the Church is the forge that brings out the best or the worst in people. Anyone who is involved in church work has felt the disappointment of fractured relationships or the pain of friendship that has turned sour because of a commitment to serving the Lord and His people. Maybe it has happened when you chose to support a leader when others were disenfranchised. Maybe someone has become offended and you refuse to take part in the bitterness that followed. Some times we feel loss when we just follow the Lord’s leading to a different place and relationships fade in time. It isn’t a much talked about part of the package of the disciple’s life, but it is a very real reality. Peter questioned Jesus on this very issue..

Matt 19:27
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

Following Christ will mean that some relationships will not continue. Jesus directs His followers to look at the bigger picture in faith.
If we are honest we gain far more than we lose. When I look at the 30+ years of serving Jesus I have found a deep reservoir of peace and a strong sense of purpose. I have seen God bring so many quality people into my life. I have found that the deep relationships in my life are built on something deeper than the whims of superficial ‘what’s in it for me”. The committed followers of Christ understand what it means to lay down their life for one another. They know what it means to labor together for the expansion of the Kingdom. My deepest friendships that have endured for decades are those who have given their life to, and paid a price to see the Kingdom move forward. Many of them have experienced loss and yet are compelled to continue to have an open heart and an inclusive ethos. Why can they stay open? Because they know the story is ultimately not about them, but serving Christ and His purposes. They have settled the issue; they look to eternity ultimately choosing Christ above all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Love has become such a trite concept for some people. It has been reduced to almost a greeting card type of sentimentality. For many it has become a concept that is rooted in warm fuzzy feelings. Love is much deeper. It challenges and confronts the self nature and calls us to a reasoned life given to serving others. I have been reading the Gospels and have been struck on how much Jesus commands us to love others. He even makes loving and serving others a test of our love for Him. Jesus said, "if you love me keep my commandments". Another time He speaking to His followers, "a new command I give you, love as I have loved you!" It is the big idea that Jesus would hammer into His followers. Every writer in the New Testament will repeat or expound on Christ's command. Concepts like obedience, honor, service are all rooted in love and carry the price of self- sacrifice.We need to learn how to love. Does God need our fruitfulness? Is he impressed with our accomplishments? I can only conclude that He is not. He is not pragmatic. How we live and our motivations are as important as what we accomplish. Jesus lays out his agenda for greatness and what the disciples should embrace as a philosophy of ministry. Love one another! Live a life that has been set free from the tyranny of self and see others needs.I want to live like Christ. This is what freedom looks like...

Phil. 2:3-11

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.