Wednesday, 2 March 2022

In Good Conscience

 Scripture:  1 Peter 3 v 15 - 16: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 

16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."

Titus 1 v 6 - 9: "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."

The life of a Christian is not an easy path walking on rose petals, it is sometimes a rocky road full of pitfalls.  However, Jesus said He would always be with us to help us negotiate the twists and turns.

He just needs us to be good defenders of the faith, ready with answers for anyone seeking to know the way to eternal life.  To have a good conscience even if they give you arguments and say nasty things about you.  It's really guilt talking, no sinner likes the feeling of being convicted by the Holy Spirit.

They will blame you for the feelings of guilt and shame, not knowing or seeing the Spirit of Truth shaking their lives to the bone.  Their only defence is to accuse you of wrongdoing to try drown out that inner voice judging their very secret sins.

A bishop is another name for a pastor or elder.  These are not separate offices.  There are many other names of servants of the church like altar boys, choirboys, prelates, sextons, archbishops, popes,  pontiffs, monseignors, cardinals, and so on.  None of them appear in the Bible so they are added to the Word, and are carnal, causing problems.

Matthew 23 v 8 - 9: "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

These are the words of Jesus to His followers!  But we have priests and pastors whom we call "Father", and our own dads, of course, so we are generally being disobedient to the Word and commands of God.  These things started centuries ago and we have just ignorantly kept it going in the hopes that Our Father in Heaven understands.  What Jesus is emphasizing is that we only ever have one Father and He is God.

It is necessary to simplify our Christian lives to follow Jesus.  The modern church has changed into such a complicated spiritual structure that Jesus Himself would be compromised.  We need to return to our roots to find the kind of power that turned the world upside down.  The authority to change people's minds and lives with the truth we live with a clear conscience.

Jesus never manipulated anyone to accept Heaven by giving them fear of Hell.  He just said, Follow Me.  Take it or leave it.  As far as I can understand, He did not keep going back to the reluctant ones to see if they had had a change of heart.  He made light of their excuses saying, Leave the dead to bury the dead.  The spiritually dead, absolute confirmed sinners, should be left to take care of burying those who passed away.

Jesus offers us life abundantly.  If we are doing what is right we have a good conscience, and our lives are blessed with opportunities to share His love, peace, joy and self-control.  We can pray for people to be healed and set free.  We can comfort the dying, and those left behind.  We can give to those who have little when we have something on hand.

We can intercede for nations that are oppressed by tyrants, dictators, maniacs greedy for power and corrupt gains.  The Lord hears and determines the best way of dealing with them.  Rees Howells the Welsh Intercessor, was given four specific things to pray to end the Second World War.  

They were that Hitler would suffer a setback in his attack on Russia.  Record freezing temperatures and blizzards left the German army stranded outside Moscow where thousands died of cold.  That Hitler would suffer a setback in Africa.  There was a pipeline for fresh water almost completed, running through the desert.  The dehydrated German army could hear the water running through it.  They breached it and drank only to find it was a salt water test and they had no choice but to surrender.  The salt water drove them mad with thirst.

They suffered setbacks in Italy,  and again when DDay arrived.  The misinformation of where the invasion would begin caused the Germans to be miles away from the actual landing.  Praying day and night for these setbacks broke Rees Howell's health, but it broke Satan's power over Germany and ended the war.  Never underestimate the power of prayer.

When we stand in the righteousness of Jesus our prayers are heard.  All we need do is praise Him for the answers, believing that no matter what we hear or see, we know He has the situation under His perfect control.  Prayer is the means of the General communicating with His army.  We must let Him know what's happening on the ground, and ask for His will to be done.

We need to be good examples to the flock of God, sober, holy, kind.  Our doctrines must be sound and without error or compromise.  In this way is the gospel preached, sometimes silently as we demonstrate His love in a dangerous world.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, when You have washed us clean in the Blood of Jesus we are sinless.  If we remain in that state we keep our good conscience.  Forgive us if we have let our conscience become sullied.  Help us to walk in newness of life to be good examples to those seeking Your Kingdom.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.