"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men."
Paul makes this statement while defending himself before Felix, the governor in Cesarea. As I meditated on this verse I began a self examination of my own conscience. Do I exercise myself to have a conscience void of offending my God and others? I pondered the word, "exercise" relating it to how hard I have been exercising my body to run an upcoming marathon this fall. Am I nearly as diligent and disciplined not allowing myself to take or give offense? The eyes of my heart were opened by the Holy Spirit, and I was convicted. I cried out for mercy as I so often do, and asked for His help to change.
The Greek word for offend comes from a word, skandalon, which originally referred to the part of a trap to which bait was attached. Allowing ourselves to be offended, or to offend destroys relationships, and that is what our enemy thrives on. We must learn to recognize the bait of the enemy of our souls. It is offense! May I humbly recommend a book, "The Bait of Satan" by John Bevere. Your life will be changed by his insight from the Holy Spirit.
The most important thing in life is relationship. My relationship with my God and Savior must come first in order to have healthy relationships with others as much as it depends on me. May we all lift our hearts to Him this morning, and determine to exercise our conscience to be void of offense in order to love Him and others as He said was the greatest commandment.
In His love.
How easy it is to love a child! Yesterday was spent with my grandson, Levi. We hiked, biked, and hunted bears with our sword and gun! I loved being pulled into his world as we danced a journey of sheer joy!
Photos taken at Morrow Mountain State Park, Albemarle, NC.