By Marni Montanez
Acts 24:16 New Life Version
I always try to live so my own heart tells me I am not guilty before God or man
This is an admirable goal and with the help of the Holy Spirit it is an attainable goal. Without the Holy Spiritís direction and help this could become arrogance leading to a critical nature toward those who donít have the same ability. If we attempt to live doing everything right so that we are not guilty it can become works instead of grace given from God. This does not speak of perfection; this verse speaks of the honorable desire of the heart.
God doesn't call us to be guilty of anything; this is why His Son died on the cross for us. He says we are guiltless before Him, but we must maintain our part by making wise choices. God gives us the tools needed and the direction toward obedience but we have the freedom of choice to walk uprightly in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit or we can imprison ourselves through bad choices and selfish motives.
The author of the book of acts carries no guilt because he has chosen to follow God wholeheartedly and to brave the storms that come without slipping into his carnal nature. The decisions he makes moves him into a place of peace. This kind of goal is rare in this present age. It has become the exception rather than the norm to model the attitude and behavior that pleases God. Even Christians do things that are shocking and heartbreaking.
We are supposed to be excellent in our ways. When Solomon chose skilled craftsmen in the designing and building of his temple, he handpicked those who were excellent in their skill. We must meet those same standards As we walk with God in our hearts and have God on our minds we become as this writer says. Only in this way will we achieve the spiritual excellence God is asking of us.
Challenge: challenge yourself to make the right decisions based on what the Bible says. Move closer to our Creator and learn of Him.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.