Monday, January 24, 2011

Acts 24

In view of the hope Paul had in God and the resurrection, he did his "best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men."  

I also have that hope.  What challenged me is sometimes, I have a hard time maintaining the blameless conscience before both God and people.  I know when I operate in the Spirit I am okay with having a blameless conscience.  But sometimes, when I am suddenly in a situation where I don't know just what to say or do,  I am afraid my conscience is "blamefull" before one or both.  

An example comes to mind:  A friend began a theological conversation with me the other day.  After quite a long conversation, I began to share the Gospel with him, the law in particular.  The trouble arose when I wasn't sure where to go with it based on his response to a couple of questions.  I understand God is sovereign...I am so grateful for that...but I wonder how I was supposed to proceed.  My heart was very full to make sure that his hope was valid and not misplaced; but I got stuck.  

You see, another mutual friend had struck up a theological conversation with me some years ago.  That conversation was quite pleasant and at one point, we actually followed the script of a well-known evangelism program (I was a student of that program, at the time).  It was a very natural conversation and in the end, she declined the offer to receive God's gift of salvation.  I thanked her for her honesty and said if she wanted to talk about that again, I would be happy to do so with her.  We ended up spending more time discussing a variety of topics.  When we parted, it seemed quite normal and cordial.   However, I didn't talk to her for about a year after that...given the circumstances and our proximity, I believe it was avoidance and not schedules that kept her from further conversation.  God is sovereign and all-powerful, He allowed some circumstances to bring us together and we've been speaking ever since...just that one year gap.

Okay, so fast forward to present day and where I am stuck.  In regard to these and probably every other Gospel interaction, I struggle with desiring to share unto salvation or at least plant/water someone else's planting and not wanting to go too far so they uproot any seed that may have been deposited.  I want to have a  blameless conscience before God and people in having shared the Gospel; but I don't want to  roto-till a potential harvest. 

I am reminded that God does work all things for good to those who love Him and are called by Him.  But I have a responsibility in this, too.  I want my life to demonstrate holy intentions and truth spoken carefully wrapped in His perfect love so that I might be blameless in thought and deed before God and man.  God is the Knower and Discerner of thoughts and motives; He knows.  Man may or not figure it out; but man will live in response to me.  I am not sure I can maintain a blameless conscience before  him/her if I fail to adequately impart the grace of the Gospel.  

God, I don't even know if this makes sense to anyone but me; but I want that blamelessness of conscience.  Help me to rely increasingly on You and Your leading, be bold in the opportunity You present, and to share how and what You have given me to share.  I understand that this does not mean I will get along with all people and that I will never be voted most popular; but I do crave the peace that accompanies the blameless conscience.  Thank You for making this possible and for teaching me Your ways.  ♥

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