Clearing Your Conscience

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008. They were written by a Godly lady for other ladies young and old so that their walk with the Lord may be strengthened.

Used with permission from New Beginnings Baptist Church.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Clearing Your Conscience

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

As we discovered in our last lesson, God uses adversity to reveal and shape our character, making a way for truth to be established in our hearts. Today we'll actually see adversity begin to mold the hearts of Joseph's brothers and dig up their guilt. If you remember, they were placed in prison where Joseph purposely kept them for three days, insuring their future obedience! A wise plan indeed... As Joseph approaches to release his brethren, he begins his second conversation with them that consists of a plan for them to follow that will spare their lives if obeyed. Let's listen in and see what both parties are saying as we read Genesis 42:18-23…

And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so. And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

Joseph settled at last that one of the brothers should be kept as hostage while the rest go home and fetch Benjamin, the youngest. In view of how Joseph had been treated at home, no doubt he wanted to ensure that Benjamin was still around! Yes, Joseph wanted to verify the words from their very own lips that they were "true men". Following this stern plan would not only require a sacrifice on their part, but also preserve their lives. Even so, Joseph exhibited mercy by letting them take corn home with them this trip. Ladies, there are benefits to doing right and so it is when we follow God's plan for our lives! Would you have submitted to Joseph's plan if you were his brothers? It's certainly easier to trust someone we know than someone we don't know, isn't it? By the way, do you trust God's plan for your life? How well would you say you know Him today?? Perhaps the Lord has had to put you under adverse circumstances to insure your obedience! At any rate, testing and trials validate the depth of our trust in God…

Job 13:15
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...

It was a very encouraging word that Joseph gave to his brothers, in that he said, "I fear God." With those that truly fear God, we may expect sound treatment. Incidentally, how fair are you in your dealings with people? Joseph's plan was reasonable, as is God's - cooperate with me and live, or fight against me and disobey, and I will work against you. Ladies, our Lord is always fair with us though we may not understand His plan at the time. Therefore, it is important that we have the right attitude toward submitting to His good pleasure…

James 4:15
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Contrary to popular belief, giving in to God brings peace of mind - something Joseph's brothers did not enjoy at this point in time! You see, their consciences were awakened by Joseph's plan to bring Benjamin back to him. Keep in mind the fact that after they had thrown him into a pit, these brothers were actually able to wine and dine at the very scene of the crime where they made light of Joseph's anguish of soul! But now, years later, their formerly dormant consciences sharply accused them and they attributed their present plight to the judgments of God. With their very own lips they swiftly declared their own guilt and it made them afraid! Because Joseph spoke to them via an interpreter, they assumed he could not understand their language and gave no thought to discussing this matter in the governor's presence. You see how the Lord graciously allowed Joseph to witness their remorse for the way they had ruthlessly tormented him. However, of all the brothers, Reuben alone remembered with relief that he had done what he could to prevent the harm brought upon his brother Joseph. Today he was enjoying the comfort of a clear conscience while his other brothers were suffering the guilt of their evil ways. Oh, the turmoil of sin! It is always a great relief to have the testimony of a clear conscience in that we did not participate in evil but rather stood against it…

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

Before we close, have you always had a conscience void of offence toward God and men? Are there any past dealings of yours for which you are full of remorse? Is there anything haunting you that you need to face up to, anything at all that is stinging your conscience? It's true, the past cannot be changed, but our response to it can be! You can't grow in the Lord by continuing to ignore your sin. Neither will your family problems be resolved without addressing your own wrongdoings. The Lord loves you too much to see you burden your soul in this destructive manner! By means of adversity, Joseph's brethren began to discuss their guilt concerning Joseph - something they had never done before! What set of adverse circumstances will you allow God to use to shape your character? May all our experiences cause us to exercise our conscience day and night, to confess our sin to God and clear our minds, and then bring us to the place of yielding to His perfect plan of shaping our character in truth. Despite the severity of family quarrels, in Christ we can move out of our past and straight into a meaningful present!

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

Past Weekly Devotions

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