My Need

need to please

 

Friday’s Thought From Charles F. Banning

Over The Edge

Wicked Conscience

 

But I Couldn’t Outrun Myself

My jaw chattered like it had a life of its own. I couldn’t feel the tips of my fingers or the soles of my feet. Fragile twigs snapped silently as I ran. White plumes blurred my vision as I desperately breathed out and sucked in the chilling air. All I knew was that I had to keep running. If I could just out run it all, it would disappear. The crippling memories would release me and I could forget all I had done. I would be free. If I kept running, maybe I could escape from myself.

– Ermisenda Alvarez

I ran and ran
for all I was worth
My feet were pounding
the hard frozen earth

The sweat pouring out
despite the cold chill
And I kept running
being driven by will

I felt the ghosts
were at my tail
My weak aching arms
were beginning to flail

As though the baskervilles
nipped at my heel
I ran even harder
so I wouldn’t feel

My chest was pounding
all out of breath
Just to go on
would mean certain death

Came to a stop
with a bone-jarring skid
To the cold ground
my body then slid

Gasping in the air
fast as I could
I had to face
what I’d not understood

No matter how fast
I ran and ran
‘Twas right back where
I had first began

Because it’s yourself that
you can never outrun
There’s no way of escape
from what you have done

The only peace that
you will ever see
Is to forgive yourself
 and then you’ll be free!

Teresa Marie   9/5/11

 My “let’s get writing” contribution for http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com

 

Today’s Sermon From The Ranch – Listening To Your Conscience

(Greg of This Day’s Thought and I have just finished putting together a book of thoughts and quotes for those were are facing the end of their lives here on earth.  We know that it’s often hard to know what to say to people at times like these, so we’ve pulled together these thoughts from quotes in the Bible and from Christians throughout the ages.  It’s called, “Loving Thoughts,” and even though it’s only 24 pages long, it contains a selection of quotes that have been of immense value to me and to those I love as I’ve walked with them as they’ve passed from this life to the next.  I’d be glad to send you an eBook version for free if you’ll just send me your email address, or if you’d like a beautiful paperback copy to give you to your family or friends, I’d be glad to send you one (or several) for a donation of any size to our ministry this month.  Just send me an email at eric@theranch.org for the free eBook version, or use the link below to make a donation and get the paperback.  Get the paperback  Thanks!) 
 

The Ranch: A Place of Healing and Restoration

Listening To Your Conscience

Lesson 5 from
Romans: Lessons In Renewing Your Mind
By Eric Elder
www.theranch.org
 

 
When Steve Jobs finished designing the first Macintosh computer, he did something special:  he asked everyone who helped him design that first revolutionary machine to sign a large piece of paper.  He then took that paper and turned it into an engraving template.  When those first Macs finally rolled off the assembly line, the names of their creators were engraved inside the case of every one.
 
Signatures inside the MacYou couldn’t see the signatures from the outside—and most people never even knew they existed on the inside because few people had any reason to open up a computer in those days.  But if you opened one up and looked deep inside, you’d see them—the signatures of their creators, including “steven jobs.”
 
But Steve Jobs wasn’t the first one to sign his creation on the inside.  God did it when He created you, too.  He’s written His name deep inside you.  And if you take a closer look, you’ll find that it’s not just His name that’s written there, but also His laws—His words of instruction to help you live the fullest life possible.
 
As God said in the book of Hebrews:
 
“I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. 
I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Hebrews 8:10b).
 
The Apostle Paul echoes these thoughts in his letter to the Romans, saying that your conscience “bears witness” to the fact that God has written the requirements of His laws upon your heart.
 
“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them” (Romans 2:14-15).
 
Your conscience has been implanted in your mind by God.  It helps you to consider your options and the outcomes of your actions.  It helps you to regulate your passions and desires, comparing them to God’s passions and desires for you.  When your passions and desires are different than God’s, your conscience kicks in to let you know that something is amiss and needs to be addressed.
 
But your conscience is a warning indicator only.  You can override it.  You can ignore it.  You still have free will.  But God has put your conscience within you to help you make the decisions you make, if you choose to listen to it.  It’s a warning indicator to let you know you’d better check something out before proceeding.
 
How do you check it out?  Compare what you’re wanting to do with God’s Word. 
 
Even though God has written His Word on your heart, sometimes you can’t read the writing so clearly.  Your vision gets blurred by your own thoughts and desires.
 
That’s why God has also given you His Word in black and white—on the pages of the Bible—so you can read it clearly.  That’s why He’s given you His Word in the flesh—in the form of His Son Jesus—so you can hear it clearly from His lips.  That’s why He’s given you His Holy Spirit—which Jesus said He would send to His followers after He was gone—to remind you of all the things He has already spoken to you.
 
I can think of times in my own life—and maybe you can think of times in yours—when I’ve done some things that felt so “right” on one level, but on another level felt so “wrong.”   At those times when I’ve ignored the warning lights and overridden them, I ended up in places that God never wanted me to go.
 
But at those times when I have taken notice of God’s warning lights and decided to check out what I was doing and compare it to what God wanted me to do according to His Word, I’ve found that it’s way better to do what’s right—even if it means laying down some things that I personally desire.  Whenever I’ve done that, I’ve found that God’s plans for me are so much better than the plans I had in mind, giving me peace of mind and life abundant.  As someone has wisely said:
 
A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.
 
If you’d like to sleep on a soft pillow tonight, I’d encourage you to listen to your conscience.  If there’s something on your heart or mind that has turned on the warning lights, check it out.  
 
Take a look in God’s Word, as written on the pages of the Bible in black and white, and compare what you’re doing with what God wants you to do.  If they don’t match up, a change is in order.  Just thank God for His warning light and do what’s right, whatever it takes.  As Paul said:
 
“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” (Romans 2:13).
 
As I was thinking about the idea of Steve Jobs engraving his name inside his computers—and God engraving His name upon your heart—I was inspired to write a haiku for you from God.    A haiku is a short Japanese poem that doesn’t usually rhyme but is often made up of just 17 syllables—five in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.
 
So here’s my haiku, from God to you:
 
my name is written
upon your heart awaiting
…rediscovery
 
God loves you so much that He’s taken the time to write His name on your heart.  He’s written His instructions for you there, too, to help you live the fullest life possible.  
 
If you’d like to renew your mind today, listen to your conscience.  Check out what it’s saying and compare it to God’s Word.  Listen to His Son.  Obey His Holy Spirit.  If you do these things, you’ll live!  If you don’t, you risk losing everything, even those things you love the most.  
 
Listen to your conscience—and live!
 
Will you pray with me?
 
Father, thank You for writing Your Words on our hearts, and thank You for giving us a conscience to help us know when what we’re doing is different from what You want us to do.  Help us to listen to You, to follow Your Words, and to live the life that You’ve created us to live.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit to help us to stop doing anything that doesn’t bring glory and honor to You, and to start doing those things that do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
Loving Thoughts

P.S. As I mentioned above, Greg Potzer and I have just finished putting together a book of thoughts and quotes for those were are facing the end of their lives here on earth.  We know that it’s often hard to know what to say to people at times like these, so we’ve pulled together these thoughts from quotes in the Bible and from Christians throughout the ages.  It’s called, “Loving Thoughts,” and even though it’s only 24 pages long, it contains a selection of quotes that have been of immense value to me and to those I love as I’ve walked with them as they’ve passed from this life to the next.  I’d be glad to send you an eBook version for free if you’ll just send me your email address, or if you’d like a beautiful paperback copy to give you to your family or friends, I’d be glad to send you one (or several) for a donation of any size to our ministry this month.  Just send me an email at eric@theranch.org for the free eBook version, or use the link below to make a donation and get the paperback.
 
Questions for Reflection
1.  Read Romans 2:1-16.  Can you remember a time when your conscience warned you that something you were doing was amiss?  What were the results when you either did or didn’t do what you’re conscience warned you about?
2.  Read Hebrews 8:7-13.  While some people might think that their consciences are formed based solely on the conditions in which they were raised, what does this passage in Hebrews and the above passage in Romans suggest is the true basis for your conscience?
3.  What reason does Paul give for God being so kind, tolerant and patient towards us in Romans 2:4?
4. After reflecting on today’s message, are there any changes you’d like to make in your own life, or warning indicators that you need to check out according to God’s Word?
 
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