1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

1 TIMOTHY - Clear Conscience

I remember summers when I was growing up –

Swimming, bodysurfing, reading, playing the radio, and…

…getting a tan!

Yup, not “politically correct” to say that, in these days of SPF 50 and skin cancer scares.

But, it’s true – I was a real “sun worshiper!”

That first day in the sun usually meant a sunburn – ouch! Bring out the Noxema cream or SeaBreeze – the only two things that seemed to take out the sting!

Did that keep me from going out in the sun the next day? NOPE!

And before I knew it, that sunburn didn’t hurt so much. As my skin got tougher, it didn’t notice the effects of the sun. I could sit in the sun for longer and longer periods of time – without the burn. I got USED to it.

Unfortunately, it can be the same way with our conscience.

Today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” speaks to this:

“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” (1 Timothy 1:19)

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way a few times in my life, I’m sorry to say.

At first, doing something wrong really makes you feel bad. Guilt tears at your heart, and you feel remorse. Like that first day of sunburn. It hurts…

But, if you choose to IGNORE that feeling, (if you go out in the sun again, so to speak) – your conscience begins to harden. Just a little bit. And before you know it, your conscience doesn’t feel the sting of your sin as much. Then it doesn’t feel it at all.

Each time we deliberately ignore our conscience, we are hardening our hearts. Over time, we will lose our capacity to tell right from wrong. We will choose to do the sinful thing intentionally, and we will not feel bad…

But Paul reminds us of a terrible truth – if we do this, we will shipwreck our faith.

Paul knew something about shipwrecks. He experienced them more than once.

When I think of shipwrecks, I think of the Titanic. A huge, beautiful, unsinkable ship. And yet, a glancing blow off an iceberg sank it. Something that seemed small and inconsequential, started an inevitable chain of events that led to disaster.

There are no such things as “small” sins. The “little ones” are the dangerous ones. I am reminded of this phrase from Scripture – “the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.” We must be on guard – we must CLING to our faith like a life preserver – because IT IS a life preserver, in every sense of the word.

How can you keep your conscience clear?

Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else. Do what is right.

As you walk with God, He will speak to you through your conscience. He will give you His wisdom – He will show you what is right and wrong.

Act on those inner tugs…

Stay out of the "sun" – and remain in the SON!!


"When in doubt, search God out!"

14 comments:

  1. Great analogy, Sharon. In our women's Bible study this past week, we discussed sin and how there are no degrees of sin in God's eyes. Sin is sin! And it is those "little sins" that can lead us to a shipwrecked faith.

    Have a wonderful Sun(Son)day!

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  2. Wonderful post. Thank you for the reminder.

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  3. In my younger years, I loved being in the sun, so I relate to what you are saying! Thanks for such a great comparision with a spiritual encouragement!

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  4. My friend- what a thought provoking post. Love it!
    YOU helped me with one of my struggles with right and wrong...KNOWING what is right, but not doing it.
    Philippians 2:13
    For God is working in ME, giving ME the DESIRE and POWER to do what pleases HIM....
    Praise God, who helps guide us through HIS word.
    He did give me the DESIRE and the POWER to do what was right!!!
    Love you, sister!

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  5. I remember those days of sun tanning with baby oil and burning (what were we thinking????)

    it is so true with sin, there is never such a thing as a "small" sin or a "white" lie; a sin is a sin is a sin, a lie is a lie is a lie.... It is easy though to harden our hearts indeed and to justify sometimes what we know is wrong in our heads and keep doing it. It is always good to try to keep a clean heart and to always ask God to search our hearts for areas that need a good cleaning out so we can have a clear conscience indeed :)

    hope you had a nice weekend Sharon!

    betty

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  6. Wow - that kind of opened my eyes. Thanks. sandie

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  7. Joan - There are no degrees of sin in God's eyes - how very true! I'm praying that God will give me the power to resist sin - no matter what "size" it comes in! Happy SON-day to you!

    Debby - Thank you. I needed the reminder, too!!

    Joyfull - WELCOME! So glad you stopped by! Yeah, I've got some skin issues from my years in the sun...but thanks to God, my "sin issues" have been forgiven!!

    Janet - You win the medal for being my "hero" this week - courageous, faithful, and committed to God's truth. If I was able to help, I'm honored - cuz you know how much you mean to me! (I LOVE that verse, oh yes I do!)

    Betty - Yeah, the baby oil!!! We were like fried chickens out there, weren't we??? We need God's help to keep our consciences clear - only He can search our hearts.

    Sandie - Glad you liked this. God always speaks to ME when I do these Bible Pick 'Ems - if it reaches someone else, it's His doing for sure!

    "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my...thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." (Psalm 139:23-24)

    GOD BLESS, everyone!!

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  8. What a wonderful reminder of which 'Son' to bask in!! Thanks for sharing such beautiful thoughts.
    Blessings
    Dorothy :)

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  9. Thank your for stopping by! I, too, pick either subjects, themes or random Bible verses. There are no series or schedules, just daily spending time with my Lord with His word and my prayers. I've RSS'd your blog and look forward to return visits. God bless your ministry.

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  10. Dorothy - Thank you so much for your gracious comment. The great thing about basking in the "SON" is that His Light shines on even the darkest days!!

    Grammy Blick - My pleasure! Thanks for your kind comments.
    Of course we know that there are no "random" Bible verses, huh?! :)
    I love how the Lord just SHOWS UP! I pray that God blesses your ministry too. We're all in this together - He needs each member of the Body!
    (p.s. Don't know if you're interested, but I only post on Sundays on this blog, but have something daily on my other one:
    www.sharonsharinggod.blogspot.com (Sharon Sharing God)
    Feel free to visit anytime!)

    GOD BLESS!

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  11. great analogy...and it's so true!

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  12. Thanks, Lynda. Yes, we have to guard our conscience - it can be fragile. But praise the Lord, we have His Spirit to keep it alive and well!!

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  13. Amen Sharon. I always pray that God should keep me out of the sun. The Lord was convicting me about the same thing last night; that if I don't deal with people's offenses, it may plant a root of unforgiveness in my heart. I always pray that God will help me to be quick to listen to his voice and correction. Great post.


    I just also wanted to thank you for your ever loyal visit and gracious comment on my blog. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  14. Thanks, Toyin - All too often, if we don't deal with those hurts and offenses, they can give way to a root of bitterness. And that is a pesky root that grows into a tree of anger and hatred all too fast...

    Yes, may God make us quick to listen, and quick to forgive.

    GOD BLESS!

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"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!