Acts 24:16 A Clear Conscience

Bench By Stream

So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16

Paul had been going around Jerusalem preaching the gospel message. Some people grabbed him and took him to the officials saying that he was stirring up trouble in the city. Paul answered what he was doing and that always strived to be innocent of any wrongdoing before God or any person.

A clear conscience is one that believes that one has never done anything wrong to anyone. Most people in the world feel as though they are not doing wrong to anyone regardless of what they are doing. People tend to believe that they are in the right in what they are doing whether it is good or bad.

There are others who don’t care what other people think about their actions. These people will do whatever they want, when they want, without concern for others.

Most people suppress their conscience and deny what they know to be wrong or ignore what is right.

Believers will often fall into this same type of thinking in their own lives. They will feel as though they are following God, regardless of how they are treating others.

Paul took both God and other people in consideration in what he did. He wanted to be clear of any wrongdoing with both God and man.

When a believer has a clear conscience before God, he should also have a clear conscience before man. God wants every believer to love every person, both enemy and friend. When this is done, no harm will be done, no bad words will be said, and all that will be shown is love.

One should not strive to keep a clear conscience before God and ignore other people. And one should not keep a clear conscience before man and ignore God. It has to be both.

As you look at your life, ask God to reveal where you may have done something wrong, both to Him and to others. Strive to make it right.

Also as you deal with other people in your life, live your life in a way that honors God and others. Strive to live a life that has done no wrong to anyone else in any way. Always show love, grace and mercy to everyone you meet. This way your conscience will always be clear of anything wrong.

I pray today that you will repent of any wrongdoings to God; that God will strengthen you to always chose the right action; that you will be clear of any wrongs done to others; and that you will be the example of Jesus on this earth.

Advertisements

Matthew 7:21 More Than Just Talk, Do It

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Jesus makes a very harsh statement that not everyone who calls Him Lord will be saved. It is only those who will do the will of God the Father in heaven.

Words and statements can sound very good. If a person can word it correctly, he can make the best sounding arguments or thoughts. The words can make a person look or sound very good, even when they are not.

People who kidnap or abuse children, often use kind, nice words to trap them. They speak as though they are the best person on the earth, yet are filled with evil. Their actions do not match their words.

Inside the church, there are also many people who claim that Jesus is Lord, know all the verses to say, and can sing all the songs, yet never do His will at all. Some don’t do it out of fear, because what God is asking them to do sounds crazy. Others don’t do it out of rebellion, because they want to still do their own thing. Some start to do God’s will, but when it gets difficult, they give up and go on a different path.

God will never ask a person to do something that He is not willing to give the strength and ability to do. He has perfect love for each person, which will cast out the fear a person may have.

Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. You are to be just like Jesus. Getting into heaven is not just a simple prayer and a few words. It is also actions based off of those words and prayers. If your actions do not back up the words, then the words are of no meaning or purpose.

In your own life, you must take a look at how you look at Jesus. You may call Him ‘Lord’, but is He really your Master?

As you call Him ‘Lord’, are you doing what the Father wants?

Just as you call out on Jesus to save you, you must also be willing to do what the Father wants you to do. Seek God and find out what He wants you to do, then just do it. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will not fear what God asks you to do; that you will do more than just speak to God; and that your actions will show you are a follower of Jesus.

Zechariah 7:4-5 Why Did You Do It?

Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?'” Zechariah 7:4-5

The people had come to Zechariah asking if they should continue to fast as they had while they were in captivity for seventy years. When he presented that question to God, He asked if they were really fasting for Him during that time. In the next verses God accuses them of mourning and fasting only for themselves and not for Him.

Very often people do many things that appear to be good and done for the right reasons. Wealthy people give millions of dollars every year. It may be that they are doing it for the right reasons, but often it is more for a tax write-off, then out of love and care for the people. In this way it is done out of personal, selfish reasons.

In the church, the same type of action occurs. People who claim to be believers in Jesus, pray and give money…in public, but at home never take time to pray. In the church they will sing songs of praise to God, but at home listen to and sing songs that do not honor God at all.

Most of what is done is about appearance, just like the Israelites. They would fast and pray, but it was all about themselves looking good, or attempting to get God’s favor. People often do things in church to make themselves look like a good Christian believer. No one wants to be seen as they really are.

No matter what is done in the church, it should be done out of love for God and love for others. This is whether it is praying, worshipping, teaching, preaching, or serving in some other way.

As you do the actions that you do, ask yourself why you do them. Are those actions for God, for others, or for yourself?

Your focus of all that you do, should be for God’s purpose. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Every action that you do should mirror those of Jesus–to seek and save the lost. Your prayers should be for God’s will to be done, not just to meet your own desires.

Why do you do what you do?

I pray today that you will do all things for God; that you will act according to God’s desires; that you will pray for God’s will, not your own desires; and that you will be a witness to this world.

Daniel 6:4 A Clean Record

At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Daniel 6:4

King Darius had chosen some men to help lead his country. Daniel was among those men. Daniel had done so well that the king chose to make Daniel a ruler over the entire nation. The other men were angry and jealous at the position that Daniel was given and sought to find a way to discredit him. As they watched him, they found out that they could find nothing corrupt in Daniel, everything he did was right.

In the political world, one of the greatest things many of the politicians do and those who vote for a politician, is seek out what is wrong with the opponent. People want to discredit a person to be able to claim he is not qualified to hold the position.

This even occurs outside of the political realm. Watch the news and it is common to see someone being accused of some wrong doing. Many times, the wrong done occurred years ago and is only being brought to the surface now. Often one person brings up some bad from the past, and many others suddenly come forward with similar stories.

Believers in Jesus should be living their lives in such a way that no one can find fault with them. Their private life and their public life should line up exactly the same and both should line up according to God’s standards. All thoughts, actions, and words should be the same as what God would speak. This keeps all accusations from standing true.

Satan is out to get you, if you are a follower of Jesus. He wants to be able to dig up some dirt in your life, to claim you really don’t follow Jesus. The world will seek to discredit you, to make you look like them and that your belief is false.

Focus your entire life on God and His ways of living, so that no one can bring up an accusation that will be true. The world will see how you are living and it will be a witness of the changing power of God.

What record will people find on you, if they search?

I pray today that you will allow God to cleanse you from all sin; that you will live your whole life for God; and that no one will be able to find any fault against you.

Ezekiel 24:14 Judged By Your Actions

“I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Ezekiel 24:14

God was bringing severe judgment upon Jerusalem and Israel. They had chosen as a nation to reject God and His commands. Over and over God had sent prophets to the people to get them to change, but they refused. God was finally done with their actions and was going to strike them with no pity. They were going to be judged by their own actions.

Being judged is something most people do not like to have happen. Some will accept certain people to be judged, but most do not even like anyone to be judged. It is commonly accepted that everyone must accept everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done or are doing.

There are churches today that claim that anyone can get into heaven as long as they believe in God and strive to live a good life. Their thoughts have nothing to do with Jesus or what He said. It has become a ‘feel good’ society. If it feels good, it must be good, thus one can do it.

A person’s actions are what determines how God will look at them. Although God always looks at a person in love, He cannot tolerate or accept any sin of any type at all. God holds each person responsible for his own actions, both good and bad. Once a person has sinned, however, one cannot do enough good to pay for the action of that one sin. Only Jesus can remove that sin.

Your actions will be judged someday. Everything will hinge on whether you believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation or you believe in yourself or someone else for salvation. The action of believing in Jesus for your salvation is the action that will bring about your salvation. God will look at what Jesus has done in your life and keep you alive.

By not believing in Jesus, you have chosen the action of refusing to believe, thus sealing your death sentence with God.

When God looks at all of your actions what will He see?

Trying to save self?

Or trust in Jesus for salvation?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that your actions will show belief in Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to cleanse you from all sin; and that your life will be patterned after that of Jesus. 

Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.