Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Active Conscience

This beautiful Sunday morning I want to share with you how thankful I am when my conscience is pricked about a thing.  Have you ever waked up with a nagging feeling?  You sometimes know exactly what it is, and sometimes you don't. Have you ever ignored that still, small voice?  

I have.  You have too; I just know it.  I have to include you so I will feel better about what I am going to say. Our Heavenly Daddy has taken us into His throne room, sat us on His knee, tried to hold us close and whisper that He doesn't want us troubled and wants to share with us how to have the "mind of Christ."   When we ignore that conscience prick, we are actually ignoring the God of the Universe with a thought "wave of the hand," like we would swat a fly or indicate with a gesture to someone that what he was saying was vastly unimportant in our world.   

Since I have never been a parent, I can only speak to this from my experience as a child and then as an overseer for children I have taught, for nieces and nephews at different times in their lives, for my younger brother and sister, and even as a supervisor in the workplace.  

There is a vast difference in correcting or disciplining because I am angry that someone has disobeyed my rules or inconvenienced me because of his or her disobedience  - and correcting or disciplining because I genuinely want the best for that individual.  I want her to be safe or I want him not to fall in the proverbial ditch or pothole; and I want her to honor the Lord because obedience to God is in the ultimate path to joy.  That is selfless correction and the way our "Heavenly Daddy" approaches us.

I think that difference in motive is what the Lord was talking about when He admonished us not to "provoke [our] children to anger by the way [we] treat them."

This is the point of today's sweet musing.  The Lord woke me up this morning gently whispering in my ear (conscience) in the kindest corrective manner that I needed to make something right in order to be obedient and to have the greatest joy available to me today.  He wanted that for me because "the Lord corrects those He loves, as a father [corrects] the son He delights in." (Proverbs 3:12)

Amazing love - agape love - that my finite mind can barely comprehend.  I share the words to another hymn this morning that reach to the depths of my soul and "almost" help me comprehend the depth of my Heavenly Daddy's love for and delight in me.

"How deep the Father's love for us; how vast beyond all measure; that He should give His only Son and make a wretch His treasure. How great the pain of searing loss; the Father turns His face away; as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory. 

Behold the man upon the cross; my sin upon His shoulder; ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.  It was my sin that held Him there, Until it was accomplished. 

His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished.I will not boast in anything - no gifts, no power, no wisdom; but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer; but this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom

Sweet reader and friend, I want to be thankful for an active conscience that recognizes the still small voice of the One who gave all for my redemption and joy. I am in grave danger if my relationship with the Lord becomes so mundane that I don't even realize I am not hearing His voice, until I need Him for something.  That's pretty much treating our Redeemer as if He is our Genie, right?

I want to share a practical application that I just thought about.  I work for an educational child care company.  We speak often about how important it is to really know the parents and children. We need to know them by name, their likes and dislikes, what they value and hold important, whether or not they are just satisfied or very loyal to us for what we are providing to the child and family every day. 

If we don't make that extra effort, they can be gone, and we don't even realize they have taken their child to another child care facility until we notice they haven't paid or have been absent for an unusual period of time.  The point is, we don't miss them until we need something from them - payment.

"Thank you, sweet Lord Jesus, for running to me because you loved me first and delight in me always.  It is all about You, Sweet Jesus, and your unbelievable, unfathomable agape love. Help me not to ever treat you as my genie, coming to you only when I need something."

As a believer in Jesus Christ and His redemptive power in my life, I have to approach this and every day with JOY.  You do too, if you are a believer and "know what's good for ya."

And all God's people said, "Amen."