The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home Archives About Us Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Daily Encouragement on Facebook Twitter Wordpress LinkedIn
<Previous Message Next Message>
Monday, January 29, 2018
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
"The Blessing Of A Good Conscience"
Message summary: Today let us consider the blessing of having a good conscience.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith" (1 Timothy 1:18,19).
Adam Ford is the very creative writer behind the satire site "Babylon Bee" which has a way of poking fun at the various foibles of the modern church and culture using satire. The news is always fake but a powerful point is often made that is very true. (We understand people have various receptivity to satire; I enjoy it, Brooksyne not so much!) (Brooksyne's Note: It isn't that I don't enjoy it since people can express their view in a "disguised" context that really drives home a different outlook. It's just that I prefer to use my time reading the true accounts much like I enjoy reading non-fiction more than fiction.)
We've probably all heard or repeated the phrase, "How do they even sleep at night?" in describing wrongdoers. In reality, due to their seared consciences, many sleep just fine although most certainly a day of reckoning will come. A recent "Bee" headline read, "Medical Marvel: Cecile Richards Is Somehow Able To Sleep At Night". It explores the "medical marvel" of how someone leading, "Planned Parenthood", an organization which oversees the murders of scores of unborn babies, can sleep at night!
When we describe someone as having no conscience it appears that the offender has no sense of right or wrong and seems incapable of experiencing healthy guilt (see point 3 below).
Today let us consider the blessing of having a good conscience.
Conscience is defined as "an inner feeling or voice viewed that acts as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior". Our conscience is the God-given inborn moral consciousness within each of us (Romans 2:15).
The Bible uses various adjectives to describe one's conscience:
1) A stricken conscience: "Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his (Saul's) robe" (1 Samuel 24:5). Conscience-stricken describes what believers refer to as "being convicted of sin". David was intensely aware that he had done wrong in this matter (which, frankly, given Saul's actions seemed quite justifiable!). Having the spiritual sensitivity to be conscience-stricken when we do wrong is a good thing. It's a blessing from God! It should lead us to repentance and restoration. Essentially it is the opposite of a seared conscience as described in point 4 below.
2) A weak conscience: "When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ" (1 Corinthians 8:12). This concept is found in a portion regarding varying personal convictions and speaks of the importance of considering others in our actions.
3) A guilty conscience: "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). A guilty conscience is similar to a stricken conscience but this verse speaks of the cleansing from sin made available through Christ's provision.
4) A seared conscience: "Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2). The seared conscience is speaking of our moral conscience that can be rendered insensitive to right and wrong in the same way the hide of an animal scarred with a branding iron becomes numb to further pain. For human beings, having one’s conscience seared is a result of continual, unrepentant sinning. Eventually, unchecked sin or ignoring promptings of the Holy Spirit, dulls the senses of what is right and wrong. The unrepentant sinner becomes numb to the warnings of the conscience that God has placed within each of us to guide us (Romans 2:15).
5) A clear conscience: "So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man" (Acts 24:16). What a blessing to have a clear conscience! In this message we will treat "clear" and "good" as synonymous although a distinction can be made.
Here are some verses in addition to our daily text that use the phrase "good conscience". "Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, 'My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day'" (Acts 23:1). "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5).
You've probably heard the term "dumbing down", often referring to education. I feel this concept applies to morality as well. Scores of young people are clueless regarding historic and Biblical morality concerning sexuality. The lack of sound teaching and positive example accompanied by the abundance of immoral smut, especially in the entertainment industry, along with access to the amoral content of the internet, has very effectively "dumbed down" their sensitivity and awareness of right and wrong. Their consciences have become seared.
The Life Application Bible states, "God gives each person strengths and abilities that will find their greatest usefulness only under His control. Outside that control, however, they don't accomplish what they could and often become tools of evil. One way to make sure this does not happen is to tell God of your willingness to be under His control. With His presence in your life, your natural strengths and abilities will be used to their greatest potential and for the greatest good".
Using our God-given abilities, while guided by a good conscience, will bring about godly character accomplishing much good for the kingdom of God.
Be encouraged today.
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Our Father and God, help us to live our life in a way that does not gratify our flesh, but rather feeds our spirit that is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. You have given us opportunity to make a positive difference in this degenerate world. May we, by exercising restraint bring light into this darkened, sin-indulged world. May the fruit of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, be evident in our lives so that these attitudes bring about good deeds which glorify You, Father. Others will look at our lives and see beyond our human frailties to recognize the Spirit of God at work in our lives providing example and stimulus to those seeking an alternative to the coarsening darkness of this troubled world. Sharpen our conscience so that we become more and more like Christ, for we pray this in His name. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Search Me O God" Video The Cathedrals
"Give Us Clean Hands" Video Chris Tomlin
"Excuse Me, Are You Jesus?" Our NC friend, Bob Southard, sent us the "Parable of the Spilled Apples" over the weekend. It so happened the next day that Brooksyne heard an adaptation of that story put to music by the Nelons. Here's the video well worth watching, reminding us that being in a hurry is no excuse for ignoring our conscience when it prompts us to do the right thing.
"Medical Marvel: Cecile Richards Is Somehow Able To Sleep At Night"
A creative presentation of the Gospel: Our pastor is preaching through the main themes of the Bible in a series called "The One Story". In yesterday's message he dealt with the Passover and had a very creative illustration in presenting the Gospel. Video (This starts at the point of the illustration)
Finally today: This very true account shows how many of our younger generation are completely desensitized to the immoral choice of having an abortion. In a counseling setting a heart-broken mother told Brooksyne a tragic story about her son's girlfriend who chose to have an abortion. She told her boyfriend about being pregnant and he was excited about the new baby. However, due to a recent promotion at work, the mother was determined to get an abortion since it would interfere with her ability to carry out her new duties. She went to a "Planned Parenthood" abortion mill to terminate her late term pregnancy. It was heartbreaking not only to the father, but also several family members who begged her to give birth and they would happily raise the child, including one couple who is infertile. This is truly an example of a seared conscience.
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the "Daily Encouragement" each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or through a Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. We do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
© Copyright 2018 Stephen C. & Brooksyne Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"