Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Convictions - What are they?

Convictions – What Are They?
Read: Genesis 39:1-18
“Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.  It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’  But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. There is no one greater in this house then I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do this great evil and sin against God.” (Genesis 39:6c – 9 NASB)
          Joseph was a man of principle and conviction.  When Potiphar’s wife attempted to get Joseph to commit adultery he refused and defended his actions by claiming such action would be a great sin against God.  Not a sin against her or her husband, but a sin against his Holy God.  (Gen. 39:8-9)  It is apparent from this context that Joseph believed in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman for life. 
          Around the lake where I live there are approximately forty or fifty ducks and geese.  Whenever it rains (we’ve had a wet spring) puddles of water gather on our sidewalk and in the back yard.  A beautiful Mallard duck and his mate (they mate for life) spend most of their time splashing around in the water.  The male does not allow any of the other ducks or geese  to interfere with his relationship.  The same holds true for the mating of the geese.  I have watched male geese chase their counterparts away if they get to close to his mate. 
          Joseph held the same conviction as our duck and geese friends.  He had no intention of interfering with the relationship between his master and his wife.  Of course, the same was not true for Potiphar’s wife as she persisted in her attempts to seduce Joseph.  Joseph made a final refusal and ran away from her leaving her with a vindictive spirit whereupon she accused him of rape.  Without being given an opportunity to defend himself against the false accusation, Joseph was thrown into prison. 
          What do we mean when we say, “\We have convictions?”  We are claiming to have a system of belief about certain issues in life.  Upon what should our convictions or beliefs be based?  Biblical convictions must be based upon truths found in the word of God.  In order to undergird our Biblical belief system, we must be saturated with the word of God.  God’s word is our standard by which we compare and judge truth or untruths.  Without a knowledge of the truth, we will be unable to spot error.
          Periodically we need to stop and check our belief system.  What do we believe about the sanctity of marriage?  Is it God ordained?  Is marriage between one man and one woman?  Is it for life?  Or do we believe it’s okay to bail out whenever it comes inconvenient or something better comes along?  And what about our obligation to children?  Friends?  Finances?  Morality?  Church?  Is there sufficient Scripture to deal with all these issues?
          What should we do if doubt arises or questions persist?  When that happens it is time to set down with the Bible and do some research until we come to a solid conviction concerning each area. 
          The mistake that I’ve made in the past, and many others make, is we ask God to help us interpret his word to suit our preconceived ideas, or the worldly philosophy of relativism.  This can only lead to more confusion and uncertainty.
          Trust the Holy Spirit indwelling with you for guidance in finding the truth, and allow him to mold your God given convictions in such a way that truth will prevail. 
Thought for the Day: God promotes truth; Satan is a liar and promotes error.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to stand upon convictions that are based upon the truth found in the Word of God.


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