On November 19 we had a snow storm and icy roads that kept some girls from coming. However, we had a wonderful time with the smaller group that was able to brave the weather. During our singing, we enjoyed having an “orchestra”! Besides the usual piano, we had a violin, cello, mandolin, and flute. It added a lot to the music!
For our lesson time, we talked about the importance of keeping a clear conscience. Our conscience is a God-given sense of knowing the difference between right and wrong–God’s law written on our hearts (Rom. 2:14-15). We can have ne of 3 consciences. A good conscience is one that is sensitive to evil and free from guilt. A guilty conscience is one that is bothered and troubled because of unresolved sin. A dead conscience is one that is hardened against evil.
A guilty conscience is God’s way of saying, “You need to confess your sin and make things right.” But what happens when we don’t deal with the sin that God has brought to our attention? What are the results of hiding our sin?
- Living in fear of being found out (Num. 32:23b). When we deal with the sin in our lives, we no longer need to live in fear. Although, it takes courage to confess what we have done wrong, there is freedom in having a clear conscience.
- Hinders relationships with those we have wronged & with the Lord (Ps. 66:18). When we strive to maintain a clear conscience, our relationships with others are strengthened. Having a clear conscience is an important part have having a good reputation. Also, when we have a clear conscience before God, there is nothing between us and we grow in Him as a result.
- Easy to continue in sin. When others know your struggles (in particular your parents), they can help you by holding you accountable so that you don’t slip back into sin.
- Affects our testimony and ministry. When we are hiding sin in our lives and it is hindering our relationship with the Lord, we cannot serve Him to the fullest. However, when we deal appropriately with the sin God brings to our attention, we grow in character and are better equipped to serve Him to the best of our ability.
Little sins which are never made right will affect us our entire lives. Each of us has made mistakes and sinned against the Lord and others, but we can obtain a clear conscience by going back and asking forgiveness from those we have offended and wronged. Not dealing with sin in our lives will hinder our ability to grow in the Lord and serve Him. This is very difficult to do, but the rewards are great and totally worth it. There is great joy and freedom in “striv[ing] to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16)
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.“ -Proverbs 28:13
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9
Practical Assignment—Do you have hidden sin that you need to deal with? Make a commitment to deal with it as soon as possible!
For our activity time, we packed some Christmas shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We originally planned to pack 3 boxes, but everyone brought enough things so that we were able to pack 5 boxes! This is a great ministry opportunity because the children who receive the shoe boxes hear the gospel and have a chance to be discipled. We watched a couple of promo videos to get us excited for packing the boxes.
When we went to drop off the boxes at the collection site on Friday, the lady there told us they were closing in on 3,000 shoe boxes at their collection site! She also told us that one shoe box on average impacts 10 people! Samaritan’s Purse is also very dedicated to sharing the gospel and providing follow for the communities where the boxes are distributed. What an amazing opportunity! Here’s a picture of some of the shoe boxes and cartons (each containing 15-23 boxes) at the collection site.
We donated the shipping money for the boxes online so that we could get a tracking number for the boxes. All going well, in January, we should be able to announce where our boxes were delivered. Remember to pray for the girls who will be receiving our boxes, that they and their families will come to know Jesus as their Savior.