I needed to shampoo my hair, but the shampoo would not cooperate. I had shaken the container once, twice and more times – each shake progressively more vigorous than before; but the shampoo remained unmoved inside! I wanted to give it freedom; admittedly a freedom to benefit me.

It reminded me of times when I had remained unmoved in my thinking. When I had approached a crossroad in my life, refusing to take another path; preferring to stay where I was.

God attempts to shake us up. He wants us to move from our comfort zones and reach out and trust His promise. He wants us to share Him and His longing to give us more than we can imagine while here on earth, as well as an eternal kingdom filled with His freedom!

Instead, we often stubbornly refuse to cooperate? We choose to remain stuck – unmoved – snug inside our bodies and our mind sets. We are either comfortable or we are stuck! Either one can keep us from the growth and the amazing blessings that God wants us to enjoy!

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom, which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. (NKJV)

Prayer: Abba, we seek Your guidance and ask that you keep shaking us up in order to get our attention to what You need us to do for You. Amen

Patricia Day, Innisfil, Ontario

A Clear Conscience With Man

A loud fog-horn blared behind me and joined a police officer’s flashing lights. His cruiser was nearly touching my bumper. He angrily motioned for me to get over. With a car ahead of me, and other cars on my right, I had no place to go. My heart bolted and fear crammed its way into my mind. I frantically pulled over into the grass and the officer whizzed right on by me, screaming at me as he passed. A few seconds later I saw him get out of his vehicle, jerk on a vest with a orange florescent tape and begin calmly talking to another officer at the intersection. He was in a big hurry to assist the other officer direct traffic at a stop-light that motorists were treating like a 4-way stop. There was no emergency. Though relief flooded my mind, my heart still pounded in my chest. I’d done nothing wrong, but my mind replayed the scene over and over.

For me, it is a scary thing to see flashing lights in my rearview mirror. It’s scary because I don’t expect to see them. I try my best to obey the laws of the road. So when an officer blasts a siren or horn behind me, I immediately question what I’ve done.

“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” Acts 24:16

What does it mean “to have a conscience void of offence”? You can think of nothing wrong between you and God. There is nothing wrong between you and anyone else. You are not angry and no one is angry at you. You hold no grudges and no one holds a grudge towards you. You have no guilt. You have lived up to your word; kept your commitments–been truthful and honest.

In Psalm 51:3, David knew the hounding of a bad conscience when he said, “My sin is ever before me.” The bondage of guilt consumed him; it can consume us. Guilt holds us tighter than any shackles of iron. No torture the poets describe can match the fierce unutterable pain of a bad conscience. We know we’ve sinned and yet we do nothing about it. We hold onto it and let it strangle us and keep us imprisoned, unable to move forward.

As Christians, we are made free in Christ. Through Christ we are released from the guilt of our sin. We are given a clear conscience for the sin in our life because Jesus has paid the penalty for our sin. He took our place for the punishment we deserve. When we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God’s mercy and grace gives us fresh starts–it justifies us. The trials of life are easier to face when you have a clear conscience.

Then when Satan, and life blares angry horns of accusation, you can know that you are free in Christ. The criticisms are easier to face. Paul wrote that he exercised himself to have a clear conscience. He knew he was free even though he was chained to guards, even though he was surrounded by prison walls. He held onto that conscience–void of offence as he lived out his ministry. He also lived in a way that kept his conscience clear toward man.

PRAYER: LORD, assure us in our times of guilt that You want us to live in the freedom of Christ’s love and forgiveness. Remind us wherein we may fail that You have won the victory for us. Help us right our wrongs and move forward in Your grace without condemnation and guilt.

© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

The Sweet Taste of Freedom

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Peter 2:19

I never thought I’d know what it felt like to be a slave, but we are. You see I remember studying in grade school about the Underground Railroad. I remember reading about how slaves had to escape from their master’s property to be free. I remember the stories of how terribly hard it was to escape and that when they were caught trying to escape that many were beaten. They were often beaten just to the point where it wasn’t fatal. For many though the risk of being caught was worth the chance.

Many of us have things in our lives that we’re slaves to. We’re slaves to being liked. We’re slaves to temptation. We’re slaves to being someone we’re not. We try so hard to run away from what master’s us, but often just before we taste that sweet taste of freedom we are dragged back by what master’s us. We continue this process time after time and we feel hopeless.

There is Good News my friend!

Jesus paid the price for our freedom. He came to earth to die for us to be free. You don’t have to be held back by whatever is holding you back. Be brave! Be like the slaves did and run towards your freedom. Run towards the one who came to set you free!