Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0183
CONSCIENCE and CONVICTION
One does not have to look too far today to realize that we are living in a generation that, generally speaking, does not carry a conscience or conviction of the difference between right and wrong. Our news bulletins are full of examples of people stealing, violating people’s privacy, and doing things that show that there is not much conviction that what they are doing is wrong. Our prisons are full, but society continues on its downward spiral. It is easy for Christians to sit by and condemn what is happening all around us.
But is the problem rooted in the Christian Community?
Should we not be living in such a way that we are actually the conscience of our society, and the convictions of a life of total honesty and “loving our neighbour” are clearly seen by all?
We cannot expect a humanistic society to have true convictions of right and wrong, for they have no “bottom line” of belief or conviction to know when they have crossed over that line.
For me, one of the marks of Christianity is that Christians should be totally honest. Sadly, far too often, that is not the case. One cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit of truth and continue to tell lies, living dishonestly, and still doing those things that are abhorrent to God.
Where is our conscience and conviction in that kind of living?
If we Christians do not set an example of what life is all about, then who else can?
If we do not demonstrate a positively different life-style, then we are failing in our Christian duty.
Jesus has to be so alive and real within us that we are changed to be more like Him. And the darker this generation becomes the more our light should shine unto them.
Jesus said we are “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:1-20 )!
We are here to make a very real difference, so those outside of Christ’s Salvation can see in us a better hope and life-style.
The foundations of the Christian faith are rooted in honesty, integrity and truth, which are found only in Jesus Christ. Believing on Jesus includes developing a character that glorifies Jesus Christ in us ~ for our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit and He lives inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16 ). When He is Lord of us, then there is no way that we are going to live dishonest lives that lack conviction of what is right and what is wrong. God has given us a conscience to know the difference! If we are living “questionable” lives, then there has to be a major rethink on what is required of us now that we have received the Wonderful Holy Spirit of God into our lives. He will always cause us to honour, respect and obey the purposes of God for us. He gives us a conscience and conviction of what is right and what is wrong for us.
The only authority we have to bring change is within our own lives. We cannot force our beliefs or life-styles on to others. But we can set the example. We can show them a better way.
We can demonstrate by the way we live that Jesus Christ is the Answer!
Make no mistake about it: the world is not reading the Bible ~ they are reading the Christian!
What do they see?
Is there a difference ~ a difference that would make them to want to know more of the life you and I live?
It is very sad if the only difference is that Christians go to church meetings, yet are seen as being no different to the rest of them? And if that is so, then we are not carrying sufficient conviction in our lives to give society a conscience and conviction to see their need for change. The Bible declares: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1 Peter 3:15-16 , NKJV).
In spite of the prevailing conditions around us Christians should always be ready to give an answer, to witness, to testify to others of what the Lord Jesus has personally done for us, and in our lives. We have a hope that non-believers in Christ do not have ~ and it should show through our lives so that they will want to ask us what makes us different to others. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 ) should be shining out of us! Let us remind ourselves that Jesus has given us the Great Commission to make Him known throughout the entire world. Our words carry no real conviction if our lives do not say “Amen” to what we are saying. The question is:
Do our actions line-up with our Christian faith and experience?
May we all live so that others will see that we are different and ask us the reasons why.There are no shortages of opportunity when we are living fully for Jesus! God Bless you ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be a true witness and representative of You here on earth today. Help me to ‘let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:13-16 ), and that I will always live with a clear conscience before You. Please convict me of anything that is wrong within me, and lead me in the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake each day. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”