Arm Your Conscience (Psalm 119:11)

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Have you ever had a guilty conscience? Sure. We all have, and it’s not a good feeling. But we should be thankful for our conscience because it is a gift from God. It sends us signals about right and wrong. It helps us to make good choices or to correct bad ones.

But how does conscience know what to make us feel guilty about? Where does it get its information? Much of it comes from our upbringing or from our secular society. That’s why it is vitally important to know the Bible. It gives us God’s view of right and wrong. It arms our conscience with truth, strengthening us to resist the weak morals and lame rationalizations of a morally decadent society.

A young man who had been a Christian only a short time was sent to Asia for a military assignment. He was surrounded by temptation and open invitations to sin. No one back home would ever know. When he got back to the States, he said, “I’m so glad I studied the Bible I went. When you’re 10,000 miles from home, it’s easy to think you’re 10,000 miles away from God. But the Scriptures and my conscience were my source of strength in resisting temptation.”

Thank God for your conscience. Arm it with the truth of God by learning His Word. You’ll be glad you did – wherever you are! – Dave C. Egner

My conscience must be well-informed

From God’s own sacred Word,

For conscience may be much deformed

When standards pure are spurned. – Fraser

Conscience is a trustworthy compass if the Word of God is our chart.

  • August 5, 1992, Our Daily Bread

Safe in our Substitute (Isaiah 53:5)

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As a missionary told the story of Jesus to a tribe in South Africa, the chief listened intently. When the missionary finished, the chief asked to repeat the story. As he got to the part about Jesus’ death, the chief suddenly rushed forward and pleaded, “Hold on, Bwana, hold on! Take Jesus down from the cross! Take Him down! He doesn’t belong there. I do! Take Him down and put me there!” the tribal chief had recognized this important biblical truth: Jesus died as our substitute.

A look at various verses reminds us how clearly God’s Word explains this concept:

Isaiah 53:6, “… the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:24, Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”

Romans 8:32, “He … did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.”

1 Peter 3:18,For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

Yes, God judged our sin in the person of His Son. The wrath that should have fallen on us fell completely on Jesus, our Sin-Bearer. When in faith we believe on Christ, God credits to our account His righteousness. We can no longer be condemned. By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice, we become safe in our Substitute. – Paul R. Van Gorder

Wounded for me, wounded for me,

There on the cross He was wounded for me;

Gone my transgressions and now I am free,

All because Jesus was wounded for me. – Ovens

Christ become a curse FOR us to remove sin’s curse FROM us.

  • August 15, 198, Our Daily Bread

Destroying the Destroyers (Revelation 11:18)

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A young woman tearfully confessed that she was having doubts about God because she sees so many wicked people getting by with their sin. A relative had been murdered by two dope-crazed young men who had not been apprehended. She asked, “Why does God sit by and let these evil people destroy our country?” I thought about Revelation 11:18 where we read that God will “destroy those who destroy the earth.” The Lord will ultimately bring about perfect justice for everyone. Many passages in the Bible, like Revelation 11:15-19, depict Christ’s return to defeat His foes and establish His kingdom of righteousness and peace.

Our faith is tested during this age when we see the enemies of God boldly promoting evil just because the Almighty doesn’t punish them immediately. Those who peddle dope, produce pornographic materials, encourage homosexuality, mistreat their fellowmen, and promote secular humanism can indeed be called “destroyers.” They are weakening the moral fiber of our world. Were it not for the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit through the church, these forces of evil would soon bring about the total disintegration of society. The time is coming, however, when the Lord will suddenly and dramatically come from heaven and destroy the destroyers. For believers in Christ, this is a great encouragement. For unbelievers, it’s a somber warning! – Herbert Vander Lugt

God rules as sovereign on His throne,
He judges great and small;
And all who would destroy His earth
Beneath His rod shall fall. – D. J. De Haan

The sinner has only two options: to be pardoned or to be punished.
– August 1, 1988, Our Daily Bread

Perfect Justice (Revelation 20:12)

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Rom Eaton spend 16 years in prison even though he was innocent. At the end of that time behind bars, he made this observation: “I didn’t have a dime in my pocket or a friend in the world when they put me on trial for armed robbery. That’s why I spend 16 years in prison for a crime committed by two other men while I was 1,700 miles away. I am free now, completely vindicated. Life played a dirty trick on me in Circuit Court.”

Such an injustice will never occur in God’s “courtroom.” No one will ever hear the penalty of another person’s guilt. No one will be able to claim he or she got a “bad rap” or was the victim of a “dirty trick.”

Today’s Scripture reading previews that day when the unsaved will stand before God, the supreme Judge. The charges made against them will be confirmed by the record of their lives in the books that show their works. The Book of Life will also be opened, and that fact that their names are not found in it will prove that they never trusted in Christ.

Unlike Rom Eaton, who did suffer a cruel injustice, those who appear at the great white throne judgment will agree with the verdict. That’s why we must urge all people to accept Christ’s offer of pardon now before it’s too late. With God there is perfect justice. – Richard W. De Haan

When we are called upon to stand
Before the Lord someday,
Will we anticipate His praise
Or dread what He will say? – Anon.

To reject God’s grace is to incur His judgment.
– August 15, 1992, Our Daily Bread

Put Away Evil (Deuteronomy 22:21b)

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It is a dangerous and costly mistake not to take temptation seriously. The sad testimony of many who have succumbed to sin’s enticements is that they thought they were strong enough to remain in the midst of temptation and resist it. God requires that His people removed evil from their midst (Deuteronomy 21:21). One way to do this is to remove anything in your environment that may tempt you to sin. When wickedness surrounds you, you are in danger of becoming anesthetized to its destructive potential. Never assume that you are immune to temptation. Do not underestimate the craftiness of the evil one.

God does not tolerate evil, for evil cost the death of His Son. Sin causes untold pain and destruction to everyone it touches. Treating evil lightly shows foolish disregard for God’s redemptive work. An honest evaluation of your life will reveal temptations that you should remove, such as some forms of entertainment or ungodly relationships. When God convicts you of evil in your midst, remove it immediately!

There are times, however, when you are powerless to remove ungodly influences, so you must remove yourself from the temptation. Paul urges us to avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). When Joseph was enticed to commit adultery by his master’s wife, he fled immediately! (Genesis 39:12).

Do not lose your abhorrence of sin. Be diligent to keep any form of temptation out of your home, out of your relationships, out of your mind. You can do this only by maintaining your love relationship with God, recognizing that you are powerless to resist temptation in your own strength. You will not be able to walk closely with God unless you see sin as He sees it. Darkness and light cannot coexist. Run from the darkness to the light!
– August 9, Experiencing God Daily Devotionals

God Weighs Your Motives (Proverbs 16:2)

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How quick we are to question the motives of others, yet we are so slow to question our own! When others harm us, we may assume the worst of intentions. When we are guilty, we often excuse our offense, concluding that others are far too sensitive! Regardless of how we monitor our motives, God weighs them in His scales of righteousness. It is futile to try to deceive God with our pious justification, for He sees our hearts.

Is it possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason? Of course! You can attend worship services with a heart that is far from worshipful (Isaiah 1:10-17). Could you show concern for the poor and yet have a heart that is opposed to God? Judas did (John 12:4-8). Could you make bold statements of love for Christ and actually be aiding the work of Satan? Peter did (Matthew 16:21-23). Could you offer sacrifices to God and be in total disobedience to Him? King Saul did (1 Samuel 13:8-9). Could you pray with the wrong motives? James said you can (James 4:3).

Many things cause us to do what we do. We can be motivated by good things, such as love for God, compassion, generosity, and faith. Or our actions can come from unhealthy motives such as pride, insecurity, ambition, lust, greed, guilt, anger, fear, and hurt. It is even possible to do the best things based on the worst motives. When the Lord measures our motives, He looks for one thing: love. All that we do should proceed from our love for God and for others (1 Corinthians 13). Take time to look past your actions to what lies behind them. Ask God to show you what He sees when He examines your motives.

  • June 5, Experiencing God Daily Devotionals

Peace in the Storm (Psalm 37:5)

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During a terrible storm on the ocean, a small passenger ship rolled precariously in the roaring tempest. The furniture and anything else that could move was tied down, and the passengers were confined to the bunks for their own safety. Many on board thought the vessel was doomed.

Finally, a passenger who was determined to find out if there was any hope for survival set out to see the one who was in command. Clinging to the walls and handrails, he made his way to the wave-lashed deck, up a ladder and into the wheelhouse. He noticed that the ship was nearing land and was between some jagged rocks. It became apparent that the captain was trying to reach the safety of a calm bay up ahead.

Knowing he could not make himself heard above the roar of the wind and waves, the captain just turned wordlessly to the worried passenger and smiled. Reassured, the man returned to the others and said, “Don’t be afraid. All is well. I’ve seen the captain’s face, and he smiled.

When we are battered by the storms of life, we may be tempted to give in to feelings of hopelessness. But if we look to our sovereign Captain and commit our way to Him (Psalm 37:5), we will find peace even in the midst of turmoil. We can trust Him to bring us through the storm. – Henry Bosch

God’s unseen presence comforts me,

I know He’s always near;

And when life’s storms besiege my soul,

He says, “My child, don’t fear.” – D.J. De Haan

God may calm the storm around you, but more often He’ll calm the storm within you.

  • April 13, Vol. 18, Our Daily Bread