Be Sensitive to Conscience – 5-26-22

yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of First Corinthians chapter 8 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Be Sensitive to Conscience

Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge [a]puffs up, but love [b]edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a [c]stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 8:1 makes arrogant
  2. 1 Corinthians 8:1 builds up
  3. 1 Corinthians 8:9 cause of offense

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 20:31- “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Studying the Bible does need some study of history. I know many study and read it without, but there is new depth and meaning when we do. Of course, when studying other civilizations we can’t help but compare to our own current world and country. And it always amazes me that the same social and human problems have never been overcome – from Noah’s days to Sodom and Gomorrah, to the end of the book of Judges to the beginning of the book of Jonah, not to mention all that lead up to the Babylonian captivity.  Humans still struggle with pride, sin and violence with disregard for other human life – and a failure to repent.
In 2020, I really thought the USA was set up for a Babylonian takeover. In mercy God gave us terrible leadership to humble us. (I know I try to speak more of international news than of USA news – but today I speak of the USA.) One and a half years in and we have some humbling, but not enough. God may still send a Babylon to over throw us. We really need to figure out if we are a Sodom and Gomorrah or a Nineveh. We are looking at the first century, while reading Paul’s letters and we make so many comparisons. In many ways Rome was more corrupt and perverse in our eyes, but only because we are blind to how far we have slid into that same hole. They killed infants as birth control, gender control and population control – and we have abortions. They had sex for game and sport and entertainment in their temples and we have movies, a thriving porn industry, and have let sex slide into innocent areas like schools with sex ed, in marketing, and in clothing choices – even for small children. They had child brides and slaves – we have sex trafficking, protected by officials – just look at the outcome for Ghislaine Maxwell, guilty of trafficking girls for actors and politicians to use (and the name not released, so every last one of them must be on that list).
We often, starting in school – look at the past and assume we are SO MUCH BETTER THAN them. We are not. We say, at least we are better than Hilter, while China has camps in place and filled with suffering people and Canada wants to build the same camps. The US is not in the clear on this ne as the government did create blueprints and plans – not to mention the fact that the USA had internment camps for the Japanese during World War II. Let me argue that man has not changed and is no better.
If all of that doesn’t remind you of our grim reality – let’s discuss violence.
In the days of Noah it was sport. Don’t read Lot’s story form the bible to your children, instead read Sunday school lessons. And let’s not even talk about the violence in Judges – where one Judge’s wife was raped to death and cut up and delivered a piece to each tribe. In Roman times violence was theatre and we took that and made violent movies, games, marketing, books, and like sex – violence has slipped into every corner of our lives. We have become numb and scroll past it – instead of demanding it be removed. I can see an ad for a violent movie on my social media and the world does not call it violence. But I cannot see and ad for a gun or knife because the inanimate object is violent and evil in their eyes. In some ways we have become more depraved than Rome.
God tore down Rome when Rome began to corrupt Christianity in the Holy Roman Empire. The USA has corrupted Christianity with self-help pastors, fog machines, and bowing to the powers of this present world.

My mind is heavy – but not as heavy as my heart. The death count in the Texas School Shooting is up to 21 or 22? My heart breaks. But worse is, that I know it cannot be prevented. No other nation has this disregard for children’s lives – but no other nation is sending out abortion missionaries, well funded into the rest of the world to corrupt them and bring them down. We cannot put gun control in place and expect it to change a sin problem. We cannot talk and discuss motivation and give fame and notoriety – when it’s a lack of repentance issue. Are we going to fast and pray and get on our knees and save future children and families (and teachers and first responders) from a similar fate? Or will we give up our guns and enter into Babylon?

Today’s reading is about learning unity through NOT offending other believers – and I look to the heavens with my deep sorrow for the loss of these children and ask why we aren’t reading fire from heavens?! Why aren’t we reading that we can grab these leaders and smack them until they wake up or die so we can have good leaders in place? I know we can’t touch the Lord’s anointed – and God put Biden in place – there is no other explanation for why mules and other corruption worked without getting caught. And this is our punishment. So we fall on our faces.
Well, offenses must be. Jeremiah’s message was offensive and the priest threw him in jail and in the mud pits and beat him…. more times than I can count. Jeremiah did not offend the other prophets and godly people – only the corrupt ones. So as we read about being sensitive to others, be gentle with the baby Christians – but we are in a war and the time is short and souls depend on it!!!
Out of those 21 or 22 souls lost in Texas (yesterday for me – two days ago for you) – how many souls did heaven receive? Who told them about Jesus? Who waited for a tomorrow that now will never come?

I feel strongly Paul’s attitude at the end of yesterday’s study –  Where Paul said here is the right and wrong – but it doesn’t matter if your eyes aren’t firmly fixed upon Jesus and saving souls because the hour is so very late!

So let’s talk about nonsense like food offered to idols, while 21 or so mommies mourn the loss of their babies.

1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

Wait a minute! Paul! What is this?! It would seem Paul is setting the stage again so that we keep his words in perspective. I always laughed uncomfortably with this verse – as I study and have knowledge and must be careful NOT to be a “know it all” in all situations. I have learned to pray that God opens my eyes and ears and understanding each time I open the Bible to ensure it is new and exciting – and God does show me new things daily.
I used to attend a Bible study, but only for a few weeks – because there were 3 “know it alls” in the class and they interrupted the teacher and corrected him in front of everyone. My first thought was you do not touch the Lord’s anointed (how dare they correct him publicly?!). And then I wandered back to this verse and I chose love. I stopped attending. And God opened doors for me to eventually be alone with each of those know it all and I gave them the part of my testimony of me learning this lesson – they already knew the verse and did not hear. But I hugged them and loved on them anyway; while praying I never become like that.

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),”

I love how Paul essentially says we know their fake gods are make believe. And follows with another THIS IS WHO OUR GOD IS statement. I told you this book is full of insight into our God!

yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

All things exist through Him. We live through Him. He made all things.

However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.”

In modern words – Maybe someone was in a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. They hear you listening to rock-n-roll and they think “I thought you were a Christian! How can you be into that?!” But to them it is a representation of a sin they were delivered from and you having not been entrenched in that life style and hearing it innocently think “what is this strange beat with guitar riff, I kind of like it.”
Ok let’s try for a better example – Alcohol. Let’s say a pastor is out for a nice meal celebrating his anniversary with his wife and they order some champagne to toast with. They only drink once a year with cheap champagne to remember their toast on their wedding day. But in walks two families from there church. The first family sees and says – what are you celebrating? Followed with a God bless! Because they know the Pastor doesn’t struggle with addiction and they do not struggle with addiction. But the second family comes over and says “how dare you drink the devils juice! What kind of an example are you? Don’t you know that will rip your family apart and destroy your life and our church?” Obviously, the second sees it through a different experience.
This is what was happening in the church. The ones who were delivered from the life style were offended by those who bought the meat because it was inexpensive.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

And there it is – if you do drink in front of a recovered alcoholic it is a sin. If you listen to rock (even Christian rock) in front of a person saved from that lifestyle, you are wrong. 
We do not always know what other people’s testimonies are or how we might offend them. So we might as well raise the standard and live above reproach.

I have heard people use this argument about Jewish unclean meat laws. And never here does it refer to unclean meat and the covenant with God to keep themselves pure. It is very interesting that Luke takes note many times in the book of Acts that Paul kept those Jewish purity traditions and did not eat unclean meat. Even while traveling ad food was not always available. They bought what they could. They may have had to buy the temple’s meat – but unless it was pig or other unclean animal, it was ok for Paul to eat it as long as no one who was delivered from that life style saw and stumbled.  

Today as the world is stumbling around trying to make sense of the loss of innocent lives – be kind. Everyone is looking at this with a different lens.  As your friends spout off on Facebook with their raw feelings – show love. They are hurting just like we are.
This is an opportunity to share the comforter with them – tell them of Jesus’s love and let God move. Offer to pray with them, hurting people are more open to prayer.
And pray for our nation! Pray for our world! If we do not repent, what comes after Biden will be Babylon – and it will be a billion times worse.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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