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    September 27, 2022

    THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 27 September 2022

    Second Corinthians is an intensely personal letter; in it, the Apostle Paul was vulnerable with the Corinthians (and with us also) as he identified difficulties he experienced. One of his unpleasant experiences was the criticism he received from some of the people in Corinth because he changed his travel plans and appeared not to have been faithful to his promise. Much hurt can occur whenever misunderstanding occurs between close friends and associates.

    Another problem that Paul experienced was opposition to his authority as an apostle. He also experienced great sorrow because he needed to discipline a member of the church (possibly a leader). There were also difficult circumstances that he endured in Asia, which was so painful that he despaired of life.

    With so much against him, how did he not fail in his mission, and to even enjoy success in his circumstances? What kept Paul motivated? The answer is his integrity, the testimony of his conscience.

    The conscience is our moral intuition; it is the inner faculty that approves us when we do right and convicts us when we do wrong. The conscience is not the law of God but it does bear witness to it. We can think of the conscience as a window that allows light to enter. If the window is dirty – through lack of integrity or a seared conscience – the light becomes ever dimmer.

    Paul used the word conscience regularly in his writings. In Acts 24:16, he said, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.” If a person has a good conscience, he or she has integrity and can be trusted. Paul’s integrity was questioned by some of the people in Corinth and this was leading to distrust of his words. However, regardless of what his accusers may say against him, Paul was resolute because he had a blameless conscience.

    Paul could say, “But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.” What he meant is that he sought the leading of the Lord. Sometimes he was certain what God wanted him to do and other times he needed to wait on the Lord. His motives, however, were sincere because he was seeking to please the Lord, not men and women. Paul was a man of true character because he was a man with a blameless conscience.

    When you have a blameless conscience, you are able to bring glory to God. Paul (and those who labored with him) said, “Through Him [Christ Jesus] is our Amen to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor 1:20). One of the blessings of a blameless conscience is not being apprehensive to give an account to God or someone else, and also to claim the promises of God’s Word.

    Maintaining a blameless conscience will keep you in harmony with the Holy Spirit, whose ministry enables you to serve God and to live a godly life. He is the One who grants spiritual discernment to serve God effectively. The indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit allowed Paul to have a blameless conscience and to respond to misunderstandings with love and patience. Misunderstandings will greatly discourage you if you are only living to please people; however, if you live to please, God, you are able to respond to misunderstandings with courage and faith. When your life pleases the Lord, He makes even your enemies to be at peace with you (Prov 16:7).

    Interim Bible Study

    REMINDER

    Capitol Commission Bible Study is next Tuesday, 4th of October

    Meeting via Zoom and in 318 CLOB (Senate Committee Room) @ 12 Noon