Practical Proverbial, from 2 Timothy, 17 April 2019

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.   2 Timothy 2:8-9 (NIV).

Another word about Notre Dame.   Reflect on what happened, on the Parisians who sang Ave Maria as the church burned.   Reflect on the heroism of the firemen struggling to save the magnificent church.   And then, most of all, reflect on what Jesus has now started doing through the financiers, and politicians, and the unknown people who will use kindness and talent and heart to rebuild it for the glory of God.

God’s word is not chained.  Nothing on this planet can chain it, bind it, contain it.   God’s word is the power of life and eternity.

God’s word is best spoken from the cross.   God’s love is found in His only Son, Jesus, dying there so that we may live.   God’s loving Word is found at the empty tomb, on Easter Sunday, when it crushed death and gave the world real hope.   God’s Word lives in you and me and the singing Parisians as His Spirit that came at Pentecost and now lives with us so many centuries later.

God’s word isn’t chained up by a beautiful church building that can be burned.   God’s word is written on your heart, fused into your DNA, living in your bloodstream and in the thoughts that course through your mind.   When you reach the end of this life, God’s word is the only thing you’ll have left.   What will you think of it then?   Will you have used your time to get to know Him, to confess your need for Him, and to have accepted His gift of salvation?

A friend of mine died on Monday.   What I knew of Kim (Page) Granger was that, in her last years, when the world had literally taken everything from her, she held on to faith.   That wasn’t easy, given that she came from a background of abusive relationships and a family history of dysfunctional religion.    Yet in the end, she still believed in Jesus, meaning that her end here this week was the start of a forever with Him.  Kim and I had been co-workers over the years, and she supported me through my own tests of faith.  I’ll miss my friend, but am happy that her pain here is over – she had brain cancer – and that she met Jesus in person.  God’s word didn’t keep her chained to pain here forever.   God’s word broke her chains because His word itself can never be bound in chains.  It’s true in Paris.   It’s true with my friend.   It’s true with you today.

For further reading: Acts 2:24, Matthew 1:1, Romans 2:16, Acts 9:16, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:10.

Lord Jesus, nothing can contain You, or Your Word.   Forgive me when I fail You.   Teach me Your better ways.

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Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 23 October 2017

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?  Hebrews 12, verse 25.

Now.   Because eternity matters most, the time is now to talk about it, to listen about it.  There is no tomorrow guaranteed for any of us, and yesterday is done.  Today is the day to listen to what God is saying to you.   Today is the ONLY time to listen.

I took off last week from writing these proverbials because my wife and I were moving.   We did “the big move” from our small farm in Paris to an apartment in McKinney.  There are a few reasons why, some good, some not so good.  In time, I’m sure I’ll talk about them here; for now, it’s just raw.  You’ve probably moved a few times in your own life, so you know it’s hard work; emotional and physical work.   We’re almost done with it, but it’s hard work all the way up to the end.   So I needed some time off.

I’ve spent that time wondering what Jesus is saying in all this.   We’re moving to make sure we don’t lose our livelihood, and to be closer to family that needs us.   Yet it hurts.   I’ve always felt we were led to Paris, to buy the farm and start a new life together.   Now I also feel we are being led elsewhere, to start another new life together in a different way.   We are both following God’s lead, and so we understand that, no matter what happens, it will all be ok.   One of my favorite movie lines is from “The Best New Marigold Hotel.”   Judy Densch:  “everything will be alright in the end.   If it’s not alright, then it isn’t the end.”   Very Indian; very Hindu; very apropos.   I know things will be alright because God ALWAYS works in our lives for good.   In the end, because of Him, it will be alright, all right, all the time.   If it isn’t yet alright, then it isn’t yet the end and He isn’t done leading us through better things.  If we don’t believe that, then don’t we simply bring on ourselves the consequences of not following God?   If we don’t follow God, don’t we get what we ask for?   The verse today implies this is so.

So we’re following Jesus yet it still hurts.   Now it’s tough.  Now I’m mourning what’s lost, ambivalent about today, unafraid of the future but also uncaring of it.   Even angry.  I suppose I’m actually numb because I’m having difficulty sorting out what I’m feeling and prioritizing what I can and can’t do about it.   What is God saying to me when I’m numb, when I don’t know where I fit in right now?   What’s He saying to my family when my wife and I are both working so hard to get set up to ‘be there’ for those who need us yet feeling distant and hurt?   What is the Lord saying when it’s the end of some things but it doesn’t really feel alright?

You know what He’s saying.   So do I, even when I don’t want to admit it.  He doesn’t promise the easy road:   He promises to walk it with us.   He promises to abide with us when His words say “I know the work is hard but you aren’t finished.   I’m with you, so keep it up.”  He’s calling me to submit to Him in all this, and He’s calling me to trust in Him even though that hurts.   He NEVER guarantees that things in life won’t hurt because, in a fallen world, we feel hurt when it stings into our lives.   He simply says “I’m with you.   Always.”   Why, Christ’s last words here were “lo I am with you even until the end of the age.”

That’s now.   That means He’s with me, with us, now.   Ages end every day; yes, I mean that.  Things begin and things end and through it all, like we talked about a few days back, these are the days of Elijah when we get to declare the word of the Lord.   We do that because we listen to Him when times are good and bad both and we declare that, in both, He’s with us.   He’s celebrating with us when we’re glad, and He’s holding us, mourning with us, hurting for us, when we’re hurting.  He meant what He said and He’s with us now.

Because now is the time.   Eternity does matter most so now is the time to listen and make ready for it.  No matter what happens today, He’s abiding with us, working with us to make things better.   He already did everything to make eternity matter most, to make it possible.  And He’s with us each day to make things alright in the meantime.   Right now, today, He’s talking to us and telling us what matters most.   That HE matters most because He is our everything and He makes all things all right, right up until the very end.

For further reading:  Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 8:5, Hebrew 11:7, Deuteronomy 18:19, Hebrews 2:2-3, Hebrews 10:29, Matthew 28:20, Mark 8:36.

My Lord, abide with me these days.   I’m hurting and struggling.   Thank You for walking with me now.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 27 September 2017

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  Hebrews 12, verses 12-13.

These verses strongly echo Isaiah 35, which says “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”   And it carries the echo of Galatians 6 which cautions men to counsel each other wisely and in Godly love, but to be wise ourselves to not be pulled into temptation.

So I’m attending a School of Discipleship and Ministry at the Calvary Chapel where we attend here in Paris.   This week’s lesson was about how to carry out the mission of the church.  In doing that, Jesus followers are encouraged, even expected, to live in ways that edify and glorify God, that are Godly and upright, and can be a good example for others.   That doesn’t mean being goody-goody or snotty:  it means ‘walking the walk and talking the talk.’   It means being honest and moral.  And that’s tough, especially in a poor town full of drug use, poverty, despair, and economic disadvantages.

Every day you live your life like that is like working out hard in the spiritual gym.   It’s like pumping serious iron of the soul.   Every time you say ‘no’ to temptation, you lift the weight, then put it down.  Every time you walk away when you could be confrontational you run the extra spiritual mile.   Every time…you get the picture.

Yet it’s true.  In order to walk a Godly walk we have to choose the best path.   We have to train ourselves up in the ways of the Word.  That requires studying Scriptures.   That requires personal prayer with God.   That requires doing things that Jesus wants us to do:   loving, listening, helping, serving, being selfless.  When all I want to do is buy a six pack and forget my many troubles, God calls me to write these words instead.  To listen to other believers, to share my story and work to serve others.   To walk away, confess my pain, accept His peace.

Man, that’s a tall order.   You better believe, then, our Savior is a tall, tall man.

During this School of Discipleship and Ministry, the pastor is talking about core beliefs of the church, about church history, about mission and vision, about leadership in the Lord.   The center of all he’s taught is Christ and only Christ.   I find that refreshing, and even though change is coming in my life I intend to keep returning to finish out the course.  I find it refreshing because so much else of the world in which I walk is focused elsewhere.   You know yours is as well.   NFL debates, same sex marriage, public corruption, celebrity wreckage, divorce, unemployment, kids having kids and kids aborting kids:   pick your poison.   In 2017 America there’s plenty to go around.   So I find my respite these weeks in going back to God, in focusing on first principles.   First of those is Jesus Christ is God who lived, died, and lives again to redeem sinners like me and you.   He did everything necessary to make that happen, and now He asks us to follow Him.   To follow requires a spiritual workout where you’ll flex muscles of the soul, sinew of the conscience, blood pumping and heart racing to new beats.

Yep:   that’s a tall order indeed.  Are you willing to stand up for the mission?   “I don’t think I can” you might be saying.   It might seem too embarrassing, too inconvenient, perhaps even too risky given the social world we live in.  But let me propose that, if you’re even thinking about it, God’s Spirit is already working within you, calling you to a new purpose, a new mission.   He’s giving you a mission He’s prepared just for you, and He’s going to ready you for it.   Put on your gym shoes, my friend.   We’re in training.

For further reading:  Isaiah 35:3-4, Proverbs 4:26, Galatians 6:1.

Lord, help me to train up more to serve You.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 17 April 2017

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’”  Hebrews 10, verses 5-7

A happy day after Easter to you.   Here in east Texas, it’s pouring rain.   I’m thankful that the rain held off until today because yesterday it would have drowned out everyone’s Easter plans.   On the homestead north of Paris, after church my wife cooked a great dinner while I went outside to do some overdue yard work.   I cut down some nuisance bushes and thinned out plants all around the property, and it gave me time to think about a thought God had put on my brain during church.

Think about Easter Saturday.   Maundy Thursday we understand.  Good Friday we understand.   Easter Sunday:   we get it, and even the days between Easter and Pentecost, when we observe God imparting His Spirit to us so that we can live life as Jesus’ eyes and ears.   Historically we know what happened on those days.   Ecclesiastically we comprehend the meaning of their events.  What about that in-between day?   Who ever thinks about Easter Saturday?

Have you ever really noodled the idea that God provided everything on Easter Saturday?   On Friday, we humans, His ‘very good’ creation, publicly and desperately murdered God who lived among us as a man.   We didn’t just murder Him:   we brutalized Him physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally in the worst ways possible.   If you haven’t watched “The Passion of the Christ,” I urge you to do so because it is as close as you’ll get to actually watching Jesus being crucified.   Me thinks the real thing was even worse.

He who bore that torture had only come to do His Father’s will.   The man Jesus lived perfectly to do that perfect will, then died perfectly on a gruesome torture tree to do that same holy will.  He came to atone for all the things He never did wrong because we, as a people, simply didn’t ‘get it.’   Animal sacrifices, burnt grain offerings, good works, even clean living didn’t atone for sins.   They still don’t and never will.  Yet people clung/cling to them as if doing so will please God and bring us closer to Him.   Perhaps it’s just another way we try to be God instead of living our lives to reflect Him.   Jesus understood all that and yet He still chose the nails so we wouldn’t have to take them.

And still, on the day when Jesus’ body lay cold and dead in the Arimathean’s tomb, God again provided.   Air, water, food, shelter, love, friendship, vocation:   for everyone living on planet Earth that day God still showed up.   Just as He had every single day since He spoke life into being, God provided all that people needed to get through the time between midnights.  The Roman soldiers who flogged Jesus then nailed Him to that cross?   Alive and thriving.   The Sanhedrin that had cajoled a death sentence?   Alive and kicking with hot food in their bellies.   The crowds who cheered and cried as Jesus agonized along the Via Dolorosa?   Alive, breathing, going on about their business.  God.  Still.   Provided, and He provided to those who deserved it least.  Can we even begin to comprehend that kind of love?  In the whole story of Easter and the miracle God provided through it, perhaps that’s the most overlooked miracle of all.  God showed up when we least deserved it.

Like He’s showing up now in the miracle of rain pouring down outside my office door.   It’s filling up my pond, the same pond I wasn’t sure would ever fill again.  Nature really is a miracle, you know.   Watching trees bud and bring forth leaves.   Fish swimming in the pond and young chicks just hatched growing feathers in just a few short weeks.  The sun that warms us and brings weather to nourish and rejuvenate the planet.   These are all daily miracles we see.   They’re all ways God still provides.   If you try to count all the ways God provides for you in just one day, you won’t get anything else done.   That’s a miracle, too.   In the days when we deserve it least, God still provides everything we need.   And after living, dying, and then rising on that day we commemorated just yesterday, He still lives on in our hearts, minds and hands, still saying “here I am” as both identification and proclamation.   That’s the biggest miracle of all.

For further reading:  Hebrews 1:6, Hebrews 2:14, 1 Peter 2:24, Ezra 6:2, Jeremiah 36:2, Psalm 40:6-8, Matthew 26:39, .

My risen Lord, thank You for providing for me when I’ve so not deserved it.   Thank you for life, air, food, shelter, and love.   Thank You for dying for me, then living for me.   Teach me ways to live for You today and every day.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 6 April 2017

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.  Hebrews 9, verse 24.

There is a line from “The Shack” that I continue to ponder.   When Mack (the protagonist) is talking with “Papa” (the Father character), they talk about Jesus and how He died on the cross.   Mack says he doesn’t understand how the Father could abandon the Son.  Papa reveals to Mack that he (Mack) truly doesn’t understand, but not how he thinks.   “I was with him there all along,” says Papa.   On its face, that statement seems to be contrary to much Christian doctrine which states that Jesus died a full and human death and that God the Father turned His holy face from His Son.   Who knows if the statement is true, either that the Father abandoned the Son, or that the Father was with the Son even through death.   Only they know, and we are only left to believe.

But think about that for a second, then consider verse 24.   When Jesus died, He did something that nobody else could do; this you know.  Jesus, being fully God and holy and having lived a life without sin, took ALL sin on Himself and wiped it out.   He erased the consequences of it from ever touching sinners who believe in Him.   When He did that, He took on that sin yet remained holy and perfect.   It’s a mystery, perhaps the greatest mystery of all time.  How could God actually do this?   When you figure that out, call me.   Better yet, call me, Franklin Graham, the Pope, and the Dalai Lama.   Come to Paris and I’ll buy you all dinner.  Invite Bill Young, the author of “The Shack,” too.

Yet there’s something undeniable about it all.   Jesus died the death we deserve and then entered God’s holy presence again.   He who had given up being in His Father’s presence for a time re-entered it fully, righteously, and having made all things new again.  He didn’t need to go to the Temple and offer a sacrifice for sins:   He had been the sacrifice.   That Temple, and before it the desert tabernacle, had been made to represent the Holy Temple in heaven where God resides in person.  Now came back Jesus to the original Temple – the presence of God – and He had been made all sin yet made all pure on our behalf to stand in His Father’s presence again and proclaim “Abba, we did it!”

I don’t know if the Father abandoned the Son during the time He forsook Him.   I don’t know (and neither does your pastor) whether or not the Father was there in Spirit or in person, and I don’t know exactly how the miracle was fully completed.  Like the transaction of actually requiring blood, I don’t fully understand the mystery.  In the end, I also don’t know if that really even matters.   To me, it seems like a fine point of theology ripe for navel gazing.

Bill Young is on to something, namely that it doesn’t matter how God accomplished our redemption.   Yes, I said that.   It doesn’t matter how God did it, but it does matter THAT He did it.  It isn’t for us to fully understand the mechanism through which God made right what we could not.  It doesn’t matter whether the Father was present throughout the Son’s passion or whether He turned His holy face away.  What matters is that, however it happened, God accomplished our salvation.   We know it required blood – meaning it required submitting life to God – and we know that it required the full submission of a sacrifice.   And we know that Jesus gave both of those, taking all our filth onto His pristine Spirit to make us righteous again.   He did this for our benefit, and He then ascended back into heaven to regain His place at the Father’s side.

When He did that, Jesus re-entered the heaven to which we aspire.   It was the same place He had left years before when He became incarnate here on the Third Rock…and yet it wasn’t.   Something had changed.   It wasn’t less perfect; it wasn’t even more perfect, as if that were possible.   Instead, the fact of man’s condition had changed because of what He Himself had done.   When that happened, the representation of heaven was no longer needed because He who would live through each of us could fully reside once again in the true heaven where perfection remained perfect.    And He did it for us, to intercede for us when we couldn’t.

For further reading:  Hebrews 8:2, Hebrews 4:14, Romans 8:34.

Lord, You are magnificent, worthy of all praise, and fully perfect in every way.   Thank You for all You have done!

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 5 April 2017

It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. Hebrews 9, verse 23.

My wife and I have taken to attending Tuesday night Bible studies at a church in Paris. We haven’t joined the church but we attend 2-3 times per month, and have started taking part in activities like these studies, dinners, small groups, and the like.  It’s a great way to worship with fellow believers as well as a way to meet like-minded folks here in a new place.   Without kids living at home, that can be a difficult thing to do.

During last night’s study, a thought hit me particularly hard:   this is for our benefit.  No, Calvary Paris isn’t sponsoring weekly men’s Bible studies just for Dave Terry.  No, the world really doesn’t revolve around me.   But all this here on the Third Rock was done by God for us.   Creation, redemption, salvation, even discipline and correction and rebuke, are all done for our benefit.   They’re gifts of love from a loving God who loves us fully all the time.  He didn’t need to do them, but He wanted to do them, give them, for us so that we might be closer to Him.

Take the earthly tabernacle, which we’ve discussed before.   God directed Moses to have the Israelites build His tabernacle according to specific directions.  He didn’t do it because He was OCD or a neat freak:   God directed it for our benefit.  He, being holy, wanted to tabernacle – to dwell – with His people in a way they could understand and appreciate.   He wanted to share with them – and us – a glimpse of heaven, a representation of it while we were still bound here by the limits of our earthly existence.   God wanted to give His people a way they could worship Him so that they would be built up through Him and would grow His love in the world.  Building the tabernacle would represent what God’s temple in heaven looks like.  It would give His people an ordered place in which to conduct that worship and a way to know that they were special in His eyes.

It wasn’t for Him:   it was for them.  It was for the people to better know their God.  It was a way for God to bless them and now us.  Four thousand years later, it is still for us.  That description of the tabernacle is for our benefit.   That Sunday worship, your time in the Bible, that time you spend holding the door for strangers and listening to friends:   they’re for our benefit.   They bring praise and glory to Jesus in ways pleasing to Him and He inspires us to do them because they’re for our benefit.   It’s more selfless love from Him.

And it just keeps going. Have you ever considered that beauty is a glimpse of heaven?   Or when you look at someone in real love, say when you see a baby sleeping, that’s a glimpse of heaven, looking at a terrestrial something through heaven’s eyes?   Have you ever thought that the times when we do good works for Jesus’ glory – which really should be every time – we’re sharing a glimpse of heaven with others?   A walk in the forest, a sunset on the beach, an hour of conversation with a good friend, working a job well done, the majesty of the mountains, doing things for other people:   those things are for our benefit.   They’re ways God dwells His love and His loving feelings within our terrestrial boundaries.

The focus of last night’s Bible study was on ways men can better manage their lives in praise of God.   We discussed Godly roles for men as fathers, husbands, leaders, and more.  And then we broke into smaller groups to continue the discussion and continue to get to know each other better.   Yet that thought stayed with me:   this is for our benefit.  It’s for our benefit that God first directed His people to build a dwelling place for Him in their midst.   It’s for our benefit, still, that He continues to do the same thing here and now.

For further reading: Hebrews 8:5.

My Lord, dwell in me. Live out Your life through mine.  Act through me, speak through me, work through me, and let it all be to Your glory.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 20 March 2017

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!.  Hebrews 9, verse 14.

You know what I’m looking forward to most in heaven?   A clean conscience.  In heaven, there won’t be guilt, or tears, or angst, or sorrow over things we’ve done, said or thought.   There simply won’t be a place or time for them when living eternally in the presence of the Triune God.   Knowing Him fully will crowd all that out.

Until then, there’s faith.

Ah faith.   Please understand, I’m not bad-mouthing faith because it’s faith in Jesus that imparts into us His salvation.   Yet I must confess I find it tedious and a cop-out for Christians (like me) to constantly use “well, in heaven…” as our fall-back position.   I’m thankful Jesus secured eternity for me, but what about now?   I desperately need His help now to get through every day here.   Temptation lurks in every minute, and my conscience bothers me about things I’ve done here on the Third Rock.   Perhaps my faith is weaker than I know because, all too often, my conscience zings me about sins long ago forgiven, even forgotten.

My judgmentalism; my impatience; my adulteries; my foul language; my lying; my hatred; my idolatry; you name a pet sin:   I haven’t done some of these in years yet the fact that I did them, or even that things were done to me, still greatly bothers me.   Occasionally, the burden wells up from my soul and I feel real despair.

It’s a taste of what Jesus must have felt hanging there on the cross.   For the first time in His life, His eternal life, He set aside the dignity and self-control He lived and allowed sin to overwhelm Him.   Things He hadn’t done:   Jesus allowed all that guilt, angst, loathing, and insecurity to flood Him and take Him.   Indeed, only a few hours before, He had been on His knees in the garden, sweating rivulets of blood so great was his overwhelming sorrow at the knowledge of what He must do.  Now that sorrow truly overwhelmed Him as He not only felt my guilt but took on Himself the penalty for it.   He who could not die was killed by it, killed for us.

I don’t deserve that.   I’ve never done anything in my life to deserve such a thing from anyone, let alone my Creator and Savior.  My whole history has been one of sin, from my first cry on that day in 1966 until just now.   I’m guilty as hell for all of it and I should be.

…Except that I shouldn’t be.   Not any more.   Dealing in “should” is a chancy proposition because “should” is so subjective.   Here’s one instance where should is actually quite sure.  I shouldn’t be guilty anymore because, in Jesus, I’m not guilty.   I’m not guilty by reason of substitutionary sacrifice.   I’m made not guilty by Jesus hanging there on the cross and taking my guilt on Himself.   I’m made not guilty by Him saying “I’ve got this.   Go and sin no more.”   And I’m made not guilty by the very last words He offered us while He was here: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   That’s hope for right now.   Right now, in whatever I am going through, Jesus is with me, in me, seeing through me, acting through me.   He’s down for my struggle right now, and it’s His Spirit that gives me the courage to turn back temptation and turn away from causing myself more hurt.

Every time my conscience bothers me, I get to remind myself that Jesus offered Himself as a living sacrifice so that my conscience is cleansed from acts that lead to spiritual death.   My judgmentalism:   judged not guilty any more.  My impatience:   forgiven by God’s patience.  My adulteries:   made innocent again by the intimate soul of my Savior and true friend.   My foul language:  cleaned up and turned for a better purpose.   His purpose.   His mission.   I get to live the rest of my life as a worker in His fields, using the talents He gave me for the mission He has me on to meet, greet, and welcome others with the Gospel.   And when it get’s tough, the Jesus living through me is a whole lot tougher.

Yesterday, the pastor at church here in Paris shared a quote.   To paraphrase, it isn’t faith in Jesus that unites us as believers.   It isn’t church, or what we do, or even following the Bible.   The Gospel of Jesus is what unites us as believers.   It is the good news of His salvation that unites us and forgives us and gives us the promise of real hope.   Without the gospel, there is no good news or redemption.   With it, there are only unlimited possibilities for God’s real good here and always.  That’s hope for here and now to use throughout the rest of our lives.   And it’s hope to live past our numbered days here to start a life forever that will have no number or end.  On that our hearts and our conscience can always be clear.

For further reading:  1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 5:2, Psalm 51:2, Psalm 65:3, Jeremiah 33:8, Zechariah 13:1, Hebrews, 10:2.

My Lord and my God, all praise and thanks to You for cleaning my conscience, for forgiving my sins when I don’t deserve it, for loving me when I’ve been unlovable.