EXERCISING YOUR HEART
Acts 24:16 AMP: Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.
Here Paul tells us that He always exercised his heart to be void of offence toward BOTH God and man!
Just as the physical body needs BOTH good nutrition and exercise to stay healthy; the heart needs BOTH divine nutrition and exercise to stay healthy: for your conscience to be clear and void offence toward God and man.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV: But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. (8) For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that, which is to come.
Luke 11:34-36 AMP: Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness. (35) Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. (36) If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light.
We need to have a clear conscience so that:
1. We can receive answers to our prayers:
1 John 3:22 AMP: And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.
2. We can ACCURATELY perceive what God is saying to us:
John 7:17 AMP: If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.
3. We will not make a shipwreck of our faith:
1 Timothy 1:19 KJV: Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
How then do we exercise our hearts?
1 John 1:7-10 KJV: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Hebrews 10:22 AMP: Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.
ii. Labouring DAILY for life (Pr.10.16, Jn. 6.27-29); in prayer in the Spirit with travail (Col.4.12, Gal.4.19, Heb.5.7); and in the Word and doctrine (1 Tim. 5.17).
iii. Seeking God EARLY both DAILY (Mk.1.35, Ps. 63.1) and in our lifetime like Joseph, Daniel, David and the Lord Jesus.
Proverbs 8:17 AMP: I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. [I Sam. 2:30; Ps. 91:14; John 14:21; James 1:5.]
Ecclesiastes 12:1 NKJV: Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: