I remember an adult man told me I’m matured in my age. I heard that comment many times from my classmates and colleagues too. Hearing that makes my heart leap with joy. Actually I don’t expect they will look at me like that and they respect me for who I am. I just live life wisely because I know every minute and every second is valuable, that I should not waste it nor use it in a not-so-important things in life. My parents taught me a lot of good things, and they raised me in the bible teachings, especially my mom. She is the best and I love her so much.
I was still in the womb when my mom begun studying the holy scriptures. It is not what people thought – like being so religious – no, I don’t like the term religious, because I believe not in a ‘religion’ itself but in the holy words of God written in the bible. I don’t practice traditions like Christmas, Halloween, Valentines, Easter, New Year — because it is not even approved by the bible. We live not with people’s standards, nor what other people think is the right thing to do, or because it is done by almost all the people in this world. Should it be by living with God’s standards that we must be concerning more?
Actually, living with God’s standards benefit us a lot. Example, looking at Acts 15:29 – “to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!”. Idolatrous activity (Christmas hiding from its true origin — celebrating for the Sun god, New Year hiding from its origin — for Janus the roman god of the doors and beginnings, Easter — Esther the god etc.), blood (eating and transfusion), fornication — are things that are “unclean” that we should avoid. Benefit? Good health physically and spiritually. — (Isaiah 48:17,18).
Another, 1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.” Meaning, choosing right good friends because we are the ones who will be affected by that. “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are” just as the saying goes.
Is it benefiting God after all? or benefiting ourselves? We should take note that God is perfect and He needs nothing from us. He is already complete. But because He loves us a lot, He gave us the instructions and guidance we need through His word the bible. We are just too hard-headed sometimes and think we are greater than God, thinking we know better than Him, foolish imperfect people isn’t it? Yes, sometimes we do. So we should keep on asking ourselves if we are included in that category. “Heart is treacherous” says Jeremiah 17:9. We can’t straighten our own path ourselves alone. Proverbs 14:12 says – “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.”
Thing is, wrong things before are now becoming right in people’s eyes and right things are becoming wrong nowadays. To be straightforward, example, homosexuality. God barely see this thing as a big sin (see 1 Corinthians 6:9,10-11; Romans 1:24-32). But God loves all the people, only He hates the activity. That’s the reason why He gave His son Jesus-Christ because He loves everyone including the homosexuals, but He will never tolerate homosexuality so repentance is needed. Actually we can read from 1 Corinthians 6:11 saying – “And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.” Point is, God is still giving people a chance to change and repent. It is still possible to have a good relationship with God through straightening our paths and leaving the old ways of life ’til there’s time.
But almost all people see this thing as acceptable nowadays, but still God is not changing His high perfect standards about this, we can’t twist it with any reasonings we have, let’s face the truth. We can’t be higher than God who barely knows what is the absolute right and wrong. People has the tendency to hear and see only what they want to hear and see, because of the hearts’ wants and desires, as again “Heart is treacherous”. But God is different from human..
God standard is a protection, not a restriction. Personally I can tell that. With all the benefits I am receiving because I keep on heeding His words. First, good relationship with God. I gained a lot of respect from people, healthy life, contented life, clean conscience, real happiness. Why? Because I know that God knows better than I do. I know that God knows each rights and though He has given us freedom, He is teaching that we should use it in a way that won’t overstep other people’s rights as well called it respect. Respect begets respect. But take note that we expect that we can’t please everyone by doing what is good and right. People has always something to say. Anyways, we are not suppose to please everyone. We try to help them and be good to them, but then if they still don’t like what we are doing, it’s their problem anyway. Like what Jesus has experienced, he has done everything right and good yet not all listened to him. We just need to put forth focus on what is most important in life — to please God above all.
I have to say that I’m contented and happy with my life, no regrets at all. And because of that, I am eager to share what I have right now, through helping people in the ministry. The bible says that the source of happiness is not coming from the material things, but is from having a good relationship with God by doing what is good and right in His eyes. With that said, you’ll have a clean conscience and a joyful heart.
Matthew 5:3 — “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need“… Yes, real joy comes from God and not from the riches. Simple life is the best. (Matthew 6:22; Galatians 5:22,23).
Matthew 6:19-34 — “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright; but if your eye is wicked, your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is! “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches. “On this account I say to YOU: Stop being anxious about YOUR souls as to what YOU will eat or what YOU will drink, or about YOUR bodies as to what YOU will wear. Does not the soul mean more than food and the body than clothing? Observe intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still YOUR heavenly Father feeds them. Are YOU not worth more than they are? Who of YOU by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span? Also, on the matter of clothing, why are YOU anxious? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they are growing; they do not toil, nor do they spin; but I say to YOU that not even Sol′o·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. If, now, God thus clothes the vegetation of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe YOU, YOU with little faith? So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For YOUR heavenly Father knows YOU need all these things. “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added to YOU. So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.”
Conscience — A God-given Gift
Speaking about conscience, well, it is another gift from God. It acts as an ” inner law” to us. In short, this is another guidance which God has given us — in our hearts we are being accused if we have done something wrong or if we have done good things gives us inner peace.
In the Bible, the Greek word for “conscience” literally means “co-knowledge, or knowledge with oneself.” Unlike all other earthly creatures, we possess a God-given capacity to know ourselves. We can, in a sense, stand back and look at ourselves and make moral judgments. Acting as an internal witness bearer, or judge, our conscience can examine our actions, our attitudes, and our choices. It may guide us toward a good decision or warn us against a bad one. Afterward, it may comfort us for choosing well or punish us with sharp pangs for choosing poorly.
Conscience is like a compass. We all know that its hand is always directing to the “North” direction. Yes, compass can be very useful for pilots and adventurers, providing an accurate map with them. However, the conscience may in some cases be wrong. Why? Well, if a compass is placed near a metal object, it may be influenced to point in a direction other than north. And if it is used without an accurate map, the compass may be nearly worthless. Similarly, if unduly influenced by the selfish desires of our heart, our conscience may point us in the wrong direction. And if it is used without the sure guidance of God’s Word, we may be unable to distinguish between right and wrong in many important matters. Really, in order for our conscience to work properly, we need the guidance of God and of course — It is a matter of training..
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Example, we know that God hates “fornication”. But if we let ourselves be influenced by this rotten morals of this world, or if we continuously enjoys watching these kind of TV programs and movies because our hearts like it — are we training our conscience to work properly? Or are we placing a “near metal object” in our “God-given compass”?
How do you make a decision that is based on a properly working conscience? Some, it seems, simply look within, examine their feelings, and decide what to do. A person may then say, “Well, it doesn’t bother my conscience.” The desires of the heart can be very strong, even swaying the conscience. The Bible says: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) What our heart desires, then, should not be the most important consideration. Rather, we want to consider first what will please God.
The Bible shows that having a clear conscience is not always sufficient. For example, Paul said: “I am not conscious of anything against myself. Yet by this I am not proved righteous, but he that examines me is God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4) Even those who persecute Christians, as Paul once did, may do so with a clear conscience because they think that God approves of their course. It is vital that our conscience be both clear in our eyes and clean in God’s eyes.—Acts 23:1; 2 Timothy 1:3.
Apostle Paul described those who are “marked in their conscience as with a branding iron.” (1 Timothy 4:2) A branding iron sears the flesh, leaving it scarred and insensitive. Many have a conscience that is, in effect, dead—so scarred and insensitive that it no longer sends out warnings, protests, or pangs of shame or guilt over wrongdoing. “Good riddance,” many today seem to say to such feelings as guilt.
In truth, feelings of guilt can be the conscience’s way of telling us that we have done wrong. When such feelings move a sinner to repent, even the worst of sins may be forgiven. King David, for example, became guilty of grave wrongdoing but was forgiven largely because of his sincere repentance. His hatred of his wrong course and his determination to obey God’s laws from then on led him to see firsthand that God is “good and ready to forgive.” (Psalm 51:1-19; 86:5)
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By prayerfully considering how best to live by Bible principles and then putting your decisions to work, you will continue a vital process. Your “perceptive powers” will be trained “through use.” (Hebrews 5:14) Your Bible-trained conscience will be a blessing to you every day of your life. Like the compass that guides the traveler, your conscience will help you to make decisions that please your heavenly Father. This is a sure way to keep yourself in God’s love.
Proverbs 3:5, 6 — “Trust in God with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.”
I have a lot to share, but I can’t tell it all here. But we can have a chat or talk by commenting here or PM-ing me afterwards. I’d be glad to entertain questions and I’ll reply to comments =)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Reference: Keep Yourselves in God’s Love, “How Can you Maintain a Good Conscience”, Chapter 2 pp. 14-24
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