By Mary Smith
Today's Scripture: Acts 24:1-27
Central Thought: A clear conscience is attainable-and precious.
Years ago a teenage girl and her dad entered the clothing store where I worked and approached the cash register where I was stationed. The dad did all the talking, while the girl stared at the floor with a troubled look on her face. Her dad handed me a small sum of cash. 'Count this up and see if it will cover a pair of jeans. My daughter,” he said as he looked over at her, 'stole a pair of jeans a few weeks ago, and she wants to make it right. I hope you'll allow us to do this.” I figured up how much a pair of jeans, with tax, would cost. Then I gave the man his change. When the sale was completed, the daughter looked up at me and smiled. Perhaps she was feeling the comfort a cleared conscience brings.
When Paul was standing before Governor Felix, he spoke of striving to keep his conscience clear (Acts 24:16). Paul was wise in doing this. A clear conscience makes life better. One proverb says that it as a 'soft pillow.” You can rest better when the conscience is clear. But how can anyone keep it clear? As Paul talked to Felix, he gave three good principles for doing this.
- Live in such a way that you create no guilt. Paul did this (verses 11 through 13). He lived so that the charges brought against him simply could not stick. Living this way keeps the conscience from being troubled.
- Live according to God's Word. Again, Paul did this (verse 14). He worshiped God faithfully and lived according to the Law and the Prophets—the Bible of his day. There is no reason for a conscience to be troubled when one lives this way.
- Keep looking forward. Paul lived in light of the future. He kept before him the fact that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (verse 15). With that in view, one is less likely to be involved in anything that would soil the conscience.
Someone said that 'a quiet conscience sleeps in thunder.” Do the things that keep the conscience clear. You will rest better tonight if you do.
Devotional Prayer: Help me to maintain a clear conscience, Lord. Forgive me of the things I have done that have hurt my conscience.
Today's Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4; Acts 24:1-27; Psalm 4:1-8; Proverbs 18:16-18