Keeping Short Accounts
Any time your conscience is outraged and you don't settle things, you are weakened, hindered, and deterred from doing that which is effective in the Will of God.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right today? I hope so. Bless your heart. This is your good friend Bob Cook, and we’re back again together – thank God for that! Nice to get together around the word of God, isn’t it? Oh I’m so grateful for the privilege of sharing God’s Word with you day by day. So here we are. The miles fall away and we’re together with our Lord – you and I.
Now we’ve been talking about this matter of conscience, going down some of the scriptures that help to shed little daylight on the idea. And I think the last time we got together we were looking at 2 Corinthians 4:2. “By manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.‟ Now the way to appeal to another person’s conscience is not to tell him, “Hey, you’re wrong.” The way to appeal to another person’s conscience is to live the truth.
Manifestation comes from Greek verb which means “put it in a human package‟. God’s truth in a human package. It’s the same verb that’s used in describing our Lord Jesus, who took on him the form of human flesh. It was God in manifest in the flesh – same, same verb. God manifest in a human package is the concept. Paul said, “The secret of the Christian life is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Paul said, “Christ liveth in me, in the life which I now life, in the flesh I live, by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Jesus said to the disciples, “It is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.” The whole genius of the Christian life is not a successful effort, but a continuing miracle. That makes the difference. So the way to appeal to anybody’s conscience is simply to live out God’s truth everyday. Now does that mean that you’re going to have to keep mum and never say anything? No, I didn’t mean that. You take your stand for the Lord as things happen, and as circumstances arise.
But you won’t appeal to a person’s conscience by lecturing him or her or them. You will appeal to the conscience by the working of the Holy Spirit of God through your life, manifesting the truth of God and the person who is himself the truth. I say it very reverently, when you walk into a room it ought to be God in a human package, walking in. That beloved, is normal Christianity – a continuing miracle of the presence of God in our lives. That’s why he said, “Commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
You live God‟s truth, and other people will be convicted, and persuaded – indeed they will. Well this whole matter of a conscience, as long as we’re on it, let me turn to 1 Timothy, may I? 1 Timothy 1:5 it is. “Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” The end of the commandment – that word “end‟ is “telos‟, which means “purpose‟ – what it has been planned for, in other words.
The real underlying purpose of the law, the end of the commandment, the purpose of God’s commandments – you follow me? The real underlying purpose of God’s commands is what? Love. And that’s Calvary love – John 3:16 kind of love. Out of a pure heart and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Now you get the pure heart by going to the Word of God, confessing your sins and letting the Lord cleanse you. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to Thy word” it says in Psalm 119. And you read over in 1 John, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful.” He – God does the work. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So you get the pure heart by going to God and heeding His word, and letting Him cleanse you. Then it says,“A good conscience, a good conscience…” They use a word “agathos‟, which means basically “good‟, good in itself. And the only way that can happen of course is by the indwelling Holy Spirit who quickens your conscience. Through habitual sinning many a person has deadened his conscience. But the Holy Spirit of God quickens your conscience and makes it a good conscience.
By the way, don’t be afraid of getting over-conscientious. Some people say, “Oh well, you don’t have to, you don’t have to be so strict and let your conscience drive you.” No, it never will if you’re walking with your Lord, see. God’s purpose is that you have a good conscience – which means by the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within you, He will speak to you concerning His will in the light of His inherent, infallible Word, the Bible.
Then it says, “And of faith unfeigned.” Faith unfeigned, faith that is that commits the whole bundle to God without any strings tied to the bargain. Faith unfeigned. See it’s not, it’s more than a profession. It’s a commitment. I was speaking the other day with a gentleman who had come to do some work in our house. He knew the Gospel. As a matter of fact his son is preparing for the ministry – I’m sure he must be very proud of that fine young man. So he knew the, he knew the Gospel. But he never really had come to grips with his own need of Christ.
Well all I said to him was, “You know, this is a matter of commitment. You never yet have been willing to commit yourself absolutely to the Lord Jesus, have you?” He said, “No I haven’t.” See theres the problem. It’s not what you know, nor indeed what you profess. It’s whether or not you’ve committed yourself to God in the matter. Now I’m talking about very real situations in our lives. Faith when you take, make the commitment of faith, faith gives up the right to try again on your own.
Let’s take the matter of temper. We all have a temper. Some of us have more, or more volatile than others. Now take the matter of temper. Now let’s suppose that you really are distressed over the fact that periodically you blow your top and lose your temper. And you say, “Oh I’ve prayed about that so many times.” And I believe that you’re telling the truth – you have prayed indeed. And you say, “Lord help me, help me not to lose my temper” or words to that effect.
But the problem is you have never yet committed yourself to your Lord in terms of giving up the right to try to control your temper yourself. You’ve never given the right to control your temper to Him. So if that were done, what would happen? Why you know before you get mad that you’re going to, don’t you? A split-second before you blow your top you’re, the little mental moral monitor in your mind says, “Shall I let him have it or not?”
You know when you’re going to lose your temper, don’t you? In that split second Paul says, “As you have yielded the members of your body slaves to unrighteousness…”, even so same procedure. Now he said, “Yield your members, servants to righteousness.” What do you do? You give up to Jesus. In that split-second you remember that you don’t have a right any more to try to control it on your own, and you say. “Lord Jesus, you take hold.” Now anything I tell you, I’ve been there.
And I want you to know that when you turn over to your Lord the right to control your feelings, your temper, your reaction to something – He does it, He does it. My regrets, and I have a few, are made up of the memories of times when I did not, did not turn things over to my Lord. Oh beloved, this matter of faith unfeigned, what is it? It means turning the right to control the situation, turning it over to Jesus, in time. See, many of us wait until after the damage is done, and then we go around and pick up the pieces and say, “Oh God, please forgive me.”
And He does. “There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared” the Bible says. Yes there’s forgiveness with God. But turning the controls over to the Lord Jesus in time averts the crash, you understand that? Good conscience, faith unfeigned. Well you go over to 1:19 of 1 Timothy, and he says, “Holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away have made shipwreck.” Holding faith…
Now this is a good warfare. You know you are in a battle with the devil and his demons and the forces of evil – the world system around us. See the, the world of, of mountains and, and, and forests, and flowers, and bees, and birds, and mountains, and cups and saucers – the world, the physical world is a beautiful world. But the world system – that’s what John is talking about when he says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”
The world system is run by Satan. He’s the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now worketh in the children of disobedience. The world system is run by the devil. Not the things, not the beautiful things, not the beautiful concepts, but the world system, see. So you know, you’re in a battle – no doubt about that. How do you do it? Holding faith. “They overcame Him by the blood of the eleven, by the word of their testimony‟ we read in Revelation 12:11. “And they loved not their lives until their death, holding faith, trusting Jesus, turning over to Him the right to give the orders‟ as I said to you a moment ago.
And the rest of the warfare is a good conscience. Why? Now guilty conscience is a deterrent to successful action. Any time your conscience is outraged and you don’t settle things, you are weakened, and you are hindered, and you are deterred from doing that which is effective in the will of God. Now guilty conscience is a deterrent to production – any personnel man knows that. And a guilty conscience is a deterrent to learning – any professor knows that. So, holding faith and a good conscience, keep that conscience clear. Keep short accounts with God. Keep prayed and confessed up to date.
Missionary told me that he visited a certain part of Africa where there was a perennial revival. Always a stirring of the Spirit of God in the place, and the atmosphere was almost like Heaven. And he asked somebody, “How is it that you maintain this, this constant spiritual life and vitality, constant atmosphere of revival – how do you?” He said, “Why the moment any of us is aware of stepping out of the will of God we, we immediately confess that sin and trust Jesus to forgive us, and go on. Any time we’re aware of stepping out of the will of God, we immediately confess that sin and trust Jesus to forgive us, and go on.”
Ahhh! That makes the difference, you see. That wins the war. Committing the situation to your living Lord who is greater, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.‟ Committing the situation to the all-powerful Christ of God, and keeping short accounts with God so that your conscience is clean, and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Amen.
Dear Father, oh may we completely trust Thee to control the situation, and me we know then the victory that God can give. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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