A CLEAN CONSCIENCE

Philippians 2:15 You are to live clean and pure lives… children of God without fault…

You cannot be guilty and happy at the same time. 

This is one of the reasons many Christians do not regularly come to church – it makes them feel guilty because of the life they are living.

The only way to deal with the guilt is to fall to your knees and repent before God. That is making a real, deep commitment to Jesus. Maybe the Christian with a guilty lifestyle didn’t give their life to Jesus in the first place. Maybe they have backslidden or turned away from God. Whatever the reason, they need a fresh, real encounter with the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.

When you have this encounter something does change within you. Your values change. Your desire is for Jesus, and His way of life and that brings a change within you.

Now that change doesn’t just happen immediately or overnight. It occurs progressively as you turn from the world and turn to Jesus through always being in church, praying daily, reading your Bible daily and connecting in fellowship with other believers.

When you have this real encounter with Jesus, you are born of the Spirit – His Holy Spirit. You now have God within you who will reveal to you how to live through your inner conscience. Your conscience is important – it is the litmus test that determines everything in your spiritual life. Your inner conscience will be saying ‘yes’ to Christ’s lifestyle and ‘no’ to the lifestyle of the world.

But if we refuse to change and follow after the convictions of the Holy Spirit, our hearts become “hardened.” A hardened heart comes through not listening to God. A soft heart comes by listening to Him.

I’m reading a great book right now – “CLEAN.”  It explains with great insight the importance of living clean and pure lives, the way Paul encourages you to. 

It says because God’s love is so great, He will bring correction into your life for wrong behaviors like pride, fear, idolatry or rebellion. He corrects because these behaviors belong to the antichrist, the devil, and they ultimately lead to death and destruction. 

But the Bible also talks about a “bed of suffering” (Revelation 2:22). This bed of suffering is what awaits believers who continue to live with sexual sins, addictions, and greed in their lives. God will give them every opportunity to repent and receive His grace, but if they persistently refuse, the discipline of disgrace and at times public exposure brings great pain for them and their loved ones.

This might be tough for some Christians to swallow. “A bed of suffering?”  God doesn't bring suffering. Well, it’s not God bringing the suffering, it's the rebellious believer. 

Look at it like this. God, would rather you be publicly disgraced in this life, so that you repent and come back to Him, rather than be separated from Him for all eternity! Yes, it’s tough love, but it's the love of a loving God.

Pastor Wayne Simpson


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Live clean and pure lives, like children of God.