Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man—Acts 24: 16.
Our consciences require regulating, as do all the other features of our fallen nature. If our consciences are to be regulated, we must have some standard by which to set and regulate them. The conscience is like a watch whose dial is properly marked with the hours, but whose correctness as a time-keeper depends upon the proper regulating of its mainspring, so that it may point out the hours truthfully; so, our consciences are ready to indicate right and wrong to us, but they can only be relied upon to tell us truly what is right and what is wrong after being regulated in connection with the new mainspring, the new heart, the pure will, brought into full harmony with the law of love, as presented to us in the Word of God.
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As Justice is the foundation of God's throne, so should it be the foundation of all our acts as children and servants of God. It consists of duty love to God with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, and of love to the neighbor as to self. We may be sure that any service for God or man which is performed contrary to the requirements of justice is unacceptable to God and harmful to others and ourselves; for to obey, i.e., to do justice, is better than to sacrifice, when the sacrifice is performed in violation of justice. Like St. Paul we should exercise constant vigilance to act justly toward God and man; and thus only may we have a conscience free from accusing us of sinning against the Lord and our fellows. Then, based upon such a good conscience, our sacrificial acts will be in order and will be acceptable, if in harmony with the Lord's Spirit, Word and providence.
Parallel passages: Acts 23: 1; Rom. 2: 14, 15; 9: 1; 14; 1Cor. 8: 7-13; 10: 27-31; 2Cor. 1: 12; 4: 2; 1Tim. 1: 5, 19; 3: 9; Heb. 9: 14; 10: 22; 13: 18; 1Pet. 2: 19; 3: 16, 21; Prov. 28: 1; Acts 2: 37; 1Tim. 4: 2.
Questions: Have I had this week a good or an evil conscience? How? Why? With what results?
FATHER, now the day is over,
Weary, worn, myself I bring;
My defenseless head, oh, cover
With the shadow of Thy wing.
Pardon all the day's transgressing,
Cleanse from every stain of sin;
Lord, I come, my need confessing,
Make and keep me pure within.
Wipe away my tears of sorrow,
Take me to Thy loving breast,
Make me stronger for the morrow,
Give me peace and holy rest.
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