Monday, June 27, 2011

A Clear Conscience

My Father in law recently sent us this powerful article that I have pasted below.
It was so compelling that I've read through it a few times.
I wanted to share it with you.

“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” --Acts 24:16
The soul is the most important part of the human being. Yes, it is an immaterial – a spiritual – member of the human body, but it is just as real as our hands, eyes, or feet, and even more important.
The soul consists of the heart, which governs the affections, and the mind, which processes information by means of various intellectual functions. In addition to these, the soul contains the conscience, the function of which is to unite affections and thoughts into convictions, values, priorities, and settled opinions.

The conscience is the repository, not necessarily of the best of the soul, but of its preferences. The conscience functions to arbitrate the impulses of the heart and the thoughts of the mind, so that affections and thinking are assigned particular values, which then come to expression in actions. The conscience is not a neutral player in the soul. A conscience can be darkened and polluted by sin and unbelief, or it can be clear, good, and healthy, like the Apostle Paul sought always to have.
In its natural state, apart from the grace of God, the conscience prefers wicked values, dead works, and priorities that are at odds with the Kingdom purposes of Christ (Heb. 9:14). Its default convictions tend toreinforce self-centered thoughts and feelings, leading to self-centered actions.

Left in this condition, without the curative powers of grace and truth, the conscience grows weak, becomes encrusted with wicked works, and can become seared against the Truth of God (1 Cor. 8:7; 1 Tim. 4:2). Thus corrupted, the seared conscience will always process affections and thoughts in a manner inimical to the purposes of God and determined to advance the lusts of the flesh.
This perhaps explains why the world is always awash in competing values, priorities, and convictions that can lead to confusion and uncertainty, hindering the work of the Kingdom. Apart from the grace and truth of God, the unredeemed conscience knows only to serve the interests of the flesh, which can be ever so many and diverse.
Thus, the believer must, like the Apostle Paul, be always diligent to ensure that his conscience is clear toward God and men – anchored in truth, focused on the Kingdom, and cast in a mold for love. A clear conscience, or as Paul elsewhere says, a “good” conscience, will strengthen both the heart and the mind; these, in turn reinforce the strongest features of a good conscience and allow it to function even more powerfully.
The heart, mind, and conscience are continually engaged in a kind of spiritual dialog, expressing and assessing affections and thoughts over any situation, opportunity, or concern, according to the convictions and values embedded in the conscience. This dialog among the components of the redeemed soul, when the conscience is maintained clear and good, issues in choices, decisions, and actions appropriate to the Kingdom of God.
We must understand the workings of the conscience and make sure that, in our own consciences, only those values characteristic of the Kingdom of God are allowed to give direction to our souls. Clearly, there is nothing more important for the Christian to attend to than the nurture of heart, mind, and conscience unto a soul reflective of the character of Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 20, 2011


real housewives of new york

I am a shameful fan of Real Housewives of ...any town actually. Real Housewives of Orange County or New York...I like them all.
I started as a "behind the couch" viewer.
With the  T.V. on that channel I walked around cleaning and getting things ready for the next day the show played in all it's earthly glory as I passed the living room watching it from behind the couch.

I remember the night the characters became alive to me with drama and sparkly cars and jewels which captured my drouling attention.
I stood with my mouth wide open fumbling to fold the same pair of size 2 toddler underware for half of the show watching Adrienne's personal chef cook dinner while she and her husband enjoyed playing with their two boys.

These woman are the epitome of the "american dream".
They are beautiful, they have lots of money and sparkly cars and diamonds.
I'm intrigued at the amount of help they get from employees, nannies, maids, personal CHEFS, home managers!

Looking at the picture above and watching the show as the characters unfold I can see clearly that their hearts desire is wealth, fame and happiness.

While flipping through the channels I came across a christian program with two hosts talking about money. What they were saying was very reasonable and even inspiring until they ended the show with a "ritual". I'm not sure who the ritual was directed to, God the holy spirit or the universe? They waved their hands around asking for prosperity, success and money. Something like "money money in, prosperity they waved their arms and hands directing the blessings back to themselves.

I said "God they are obviously genuine people. They seem to truly love you but this feels very off to me. there is something not right about this."
I don't like to put God in my own box of understanding. For instance, I may be oblivious to God's moving in the charismatic believers yet I know His ways are bigger than mine and He does work in people differently than I see in my own view. In my own understanding of life.

But still this didn't sit right with me. As I sought the Lord for help in understanding why they had reports of this "ritual" working for them I heard God quote in my heart, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, i will do it." john 14:13-14
I think the point that I was to understand is that money seemed to be the desire of the hosts hearts.
Money and security is literally the desire of their heart and it is what they spend their time and energy asking God to give them.
What seems silly to me is that when people ask for money for security and for accumilation of wealth for their own pleasures it's not using their time here on earth wisely.

In the light of eternity money is of little value.
In Heaven wealth will not be the point. Wealth will be at everyone's doorstep. No one will be asking for more wealth there. All of God's children will be comfortable and "wealthy". But those with a revelation will be the rulers. Jesus is what matters and when you know this truth you can't help but want more and more and more of what matters.

When praying in Jesus name God will give us the desire of our hearts...
My desire is to know God more. I yearn for the revelation of Christ. I want the Son of God to be revealed in me more and more everyday. I want to know him intimately and desperately.
I know that God answers this prayer for me and I can rest assure He is already taking care of the other things in my life like money, security etc. Matthew 6:26 tells us that God is taking care of our needs already.
I do not want to waste my precious gift of recieving the desires of my heart on money.
All that will ever matter for all of eternity is Jesus. Why would I focus my attention on anything else.