August 1, 2020

A Conscience Ruled By the Holy Spirit (Proper 18a)

(Watch on Youtube channel "John Gishler" Aug. 2)


The Readings are a profound message to all church leaders and anyone who would like to develop a serious Christian life. Jacob was wrestling with his conscience and afraid for his life. It was like wrestling with God Himself – and God let him win! Jesus is in grief over the death of John and overcomes it by focusing on what those around Him need – not want. Paul is also in spiritual grief over the Hebrew people who do not believe him about Jesus. We learn that listening to the Holy Spirit is why it is that some people “get it” and many do not.

1. Jacob’s conscience is bothering him for good reason

He is about to meet his brother Esau who may want to kill him. Jacob tricked Esau out of his inheritance as the eldest son. He cannot go back because he has just tricked Laban out of most of his sheep:

·      He dreams he is wrestling with God – and God lets him win!

·      He needs forgiveness and God meets his need as a sign of God’s love

2. Jesus also gave people what they really needed

The story of the feeding of the 5,000 reminds us of the difference between what we think we need – and what God knows we need. We think we need physical bodily things – like bread. What we often really need is the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

·      Love, Joy, Peace and Wisdom in planning our lives

·      Jesus probably just wanted to grieve alone

·      Instead Jesus found renewed spiritual energy by focusing on the needs of others for healing, compassion, signs and experiences of the love of God

·      This is a profound lesson for all of us caught up in “our ministry” - without being led by the Holy Spirit to focus on the needs all around us

3. A conscience ruled by the Holly Spirit

In Romans 9.1-5 Paul is pouring out his spiritual anguish that the Hebrew people “…who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.” (Jeremiah 5.21):

·      This is the challenge we all face as believers

·      Paul makes the critical point that the Holy Spirit can live in our personal spirit as our conscience and convict or guide us to truth

·      This is intuitive knowledge – we know it is the truth

·      I was never taught about the Holy Spirit and only became a serious believer when I had personal experiences of the Holy Spirit and intuitive guidance


Good News is that the Holy Spirit teaches us the truth in a world full of lies and deception. We pray on the spiritual armour every day for protection against deception:

·      Helmet of Salvation to protect our mind

·      Breastplate of righteousness to protect our heart

·      Belt of Truth, the Holy Spirit hold us together

·      Shoes of the Gospel – not be moved from truth

·      Sword of Holy Spirit of Truth to beat back lies

·      Shield of faith to protect us from attacks

No comments:

Post a Comment