Posted on August 27, 2014 on Youtube was an upbeat little clip from Pastor Osteen in Houston. But not the pastor you are probably thinking of. No, this is not Joel Osteen but his wife and co-pastor, Victoria.
She said with a big smile on her face and with husband Joel standing next to her in nodding approval:
“When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’s one way to look at it. We’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning. So I want you to know this morning, just do good—for your own self. Do good ’cause God wants you to be happy.
When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really! You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God…
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People can rob us of our joy. Paul was facing his problems with people at Rome (Phil. 1:15–18) as well as with people in Philippi, and it was the latter who concerned him the most. When Epaphroditus brought a generous gift from the church in Philippi and good news of the church’s concern for Paul, he also brought the bad news of a possible division in the church family. Apparently, there was a double threat to the unity of the church: false teachers coming in from without (Phil. 3:1–3) and disagreeing members within (Phil. 4:1–3).
Paul knew what some church workers today do not know, that there is a difference between unity and uniformity. True spiritual unity comes from within; it is a matter of the heart. Uniformity is the result of pressure from without. This is why Paul opens this section appealing…
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I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Acts 24:16 NIV
Conscience gives you the ability to evaluate your own thoughts and desires. It gives you that capacity to discern what is right and wrong, and to distinguish between what is good and what is best.
Without conscience you would be like an animal, acting only on the basis of instinct. Conscience is a wonderful gift from God. It is to be trained, respected, and protected throughout your life.
The English word “conscience” joins “con” (meaning with) and “science” (meaning knowledge). Conscience is the ability to act with knowledge. The way your conscience functions depends on the knowledge that you are working with.
To help us get a handle on conscience and how it functions think about an alarm clock. A good alarm clock does two things: It stays quiet when you should be asleep, and it makes a noise when you need to wake up!
That’s how your conscience is supposed to work. Paul says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15). When you are on the right path, a good conscience will be at peace. But when you are tempted toward the wrong path, a good conscience will sound the alarm.
The problem with conscience is that, like every other part of your soul, it has been disordered by sin. Similar to an alarm clock, your conscience can malfunction in two ways: It can make noise when it should be silent, or it can be silent when it should be making noise.
Can you think of any specific instances when your conscience has malfunctioned?
That’s this week’s LifeKEY!
Colin S. Smith
From the message by Colin Smith called “Conscience: Christ Changes How You Evaluate – Part 1” from the series “Regeneration: How Christ Changes Your Soul.”
by Mike Ratliff
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. (Psalms 139:1-4 NKJV)
Our God is beyond our understanding. Thankfully, He has revealed Himself to us, to a degree, in His Word. Those who claim to serve Him, but treat His Word as if it was not important, or refuse to submit to the truths therein are fools. That has always puzzled me about those who take a sliver of God’s Word, misinterpret it, and then build massive doctrines around their misinformation. Have they no fear of God?
God is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. He knows all, is…
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