Daily Reading: Hebrews 9:11–28
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ . . . cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Heb. 9:14)
I found the speeding ticket tucked away in a stack of mail on the kitchen table. My wife had been stopped again for driving too fast. I decided not to say anything and see how long before she would confess to it. Her sensitive conscience did not allow her to keep it to herself. So as soon as she came home, the guilt she had inside came pouring out. However, it was not my law she had broken, and telling me about it did not remove the penalty or alleviate her guilt. Her excuses were so lame I knew she had no chance to fight it. She had broken the law, she was guilty, and she had a fine to pay.
Living with a guilty conscience can make life miserable. Its nagging voice can rob you of peace and sleep. Like a dripping faucet, it is amplified in your silent moments—accusing, convicting, and shaming. Attempts to quiet it are never completely successful. It tells us we are sinners, so why not go on sinning?
Among the blessed benefits of the atonement is cleansing of the conscience and a release from the oppression of guilt. The blood of Christ cleanses the record of our past sins, and cleanses our conscience of the guilt of them. Conscience, the inner discerner of right and wrong, is no longer our enemy but becomes our friend.
Express gratitude that guilt has been removed and replaced with peace with God.
Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH) and has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years.