A Clear Conscience

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12)

When you allow Him to love you, you will hear Him impress on you that it is only by His blood that He can give you a clear conscience.

Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves. Behind the second curtain, the tabernacle was called the most holy place…

With these things set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. But the high priest alone enters the second room, and he does that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the most holy place had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. This is a symbol for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper’s conscience. (Hebrews 9)

All the practices and regulations dealt with the outside. They existed until a better way was provided:

11 But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), 12 He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9)

Dead works are the things that come from within us… lust, jealousy, apathy, fear…

He told them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. [16 If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!]” 17 When He went into the house away from the crowd, the disciples asked Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a man from the outside can defile him? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated.” (As a result, He made all foods clean.) 20 Then He said, “What comes out of a person—that defiles him.21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.” (Mark 7)

When you do not have a clear conscience, it consumes you. It affects everything in our lives.

The blood of Jesus — we don’t deserve it. We cannot earn it. But we require it.

Facing the Future with God’s Peace

Today, we honor and encourage our high school graduates!

When someone is pregnant, what can they do to cause that baby to grow? Nothing, except take in food and water. The same is true in our spiritual life. All we can do is to pray and read God’s Word – it is God who does all the rest of the work.

This is what the Lord says:

The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me—
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

…how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

God did not come and do what He did to simply patch us up. He came to make us entirely new.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Some translations call us to “submit to Him in all your ways.”

Hearing the Word of God is a daily act. Just as we need water every day, we need the Word of God every day. Don’t resist what He tells you.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

When we manipulate circumstances and try to make it happen, it doesn’t. It’s as though He steps back and says, “Go ahead. I will wait until you allow Me to work.” If we stop struggling and rest in Him, in prayer and reading His Word, then He takes our burden and He does the work.

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

The Lord wants us to experience His peace every day, not just a couple times a year. It is a peace that cannot even be explained. If you are fully dependent on God, you can fully have His peace.

Fear is the opposite of peace. There are over 300 scriptures that tell us not to fear. If Christ is in your life, you do not have to live in fear.

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4)

“…we are as He is…” And where is Christ? He is seated at the right hand of God, in His presence. You don’t become more holy by fearing God’s punishment. “…fear involves punishment…” (Some translations say “torment” instead of punishment.)

Your character does not produce righteousness or blessing. Only resting in Christ does that.

I am in them and You are in Me.
May they be made completely one,
so the world may know You have sent Me
and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17)

I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you. (Isaiah 43:2)

Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…
For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:35, 38-39)

 

Summer Events!

June 9 – Graduate Sunday: Appreciating our graduating high school seniors

June 12 – Men’s Life Group: New life group for men studying the book of Matthew. Pastor’s house, 7pm.

June 16 – Father’s Day: Baby Bottle Fundraiser for Possibilities Pregnancy Center ends – bring your bottles back to the church on this day.

June 26-29 – Youth Camp: Cost is $199. For youth in grades 7-12.

July 15-19 – Junior Camp: Cost is $199. For kids in grades 3-6.

August 16-18 – Church Family Campout: Spots are still available! To reserve a spot for a tent or trailer, contact the church office ASAP. $30 deposit due on sign-up.