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Purge Your Conscience

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.  Hebrews 9:14 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Preaching in a prison is both rewarding and challenging.

One morning, I found a prisoner from Russia who wanted to be born again. With tears streaming down his face, he stood and confessed something to a group of some one hundred inmates I will never forget. He said he wanted Jesus in his heart, but he had a terrible problem. He could not keep from picturing all the people he had tortured and harmed. Some in the little congregation of long-term incarcerated felons understood what he revealed and nodded their heads.

The depth of pathos shared in the dining room that day felt surrounding and suffocating. I felt unprepared for such an experience.

Tears and broken hearts are no stranger to prison ministry, but such raw overwhelming pain and guilt was rarely seen. I paused and asked the Lord for protection and direction on what to tell this tragic soul who sought salvation.

Our consciences are either clean and clear or full of reoccurring memories that produce pain and self-hatred. Knowing that “the testimonies of our consciences” is a curse or a blessing, I told the crying mountain of a man that nothing can purge our conscience in God’s eyes except claiming the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross.

Every time scenes of our disgusting and overwhelming past sins flood our mind, we should confess specifically our sins at the feet of Jesus and embrace His cleansing blood. By faith, through almighty God’s grace, we will be cleansed.

Whenever we start drowning in our shame and guilt, we can purge our conscience anew by not fighting the sorrow, but by placing the sorrow in God’s loving hands and leaving it there.

When your conscience is determined to drag you down, remind it that in Christ you are a new creature, washed clean by Jesus’ completely satisfying blood.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Robert L. Segress

The Rev. Dr. Bob Segress served as a licensed psychological clinician for twenty-five years. Upon retiring, he served for fifteen years as a prison minister. Retiring again, he began writing full-time after a period of boredom. He has written: The Biblical Approach To Psychology while serving as a college educator, The Shelton Series, and, in 2012, Ten Years Inside Shelton Prison. Currently, he writes for several publications such as Halo Magazine.