Summary: Thank God for godly sorrow that produces repentance. May the Lord help us to be more senstivie to the prodding of His Holy Spirit’s conviction so we may please the Lord more and bear fruit in every good.

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1. We live in an age when people are very careful not to offend one another. Yet, truth always is a two-edged sword that convicts people of not living up to Godâs standard of righteousness.

Theme: Conviction is a healthy process that the Lord takes people through to bring them to a realization of their own guilt and help them seek reconciliation.

When the Lord said to Paul, "It is hard to kick against the goads of God, what did He mean?" (Acts 26:14) Fortunately, the Lord has quite an arsenal of ways to prick our conscience including:

1). The Bible

2). The Holy Spirit

3). Preachers

4). Teachers

5). Godly Friends

6). Examples of those who are suffering.

It has been said, "If Stephen had prayed, Paul might not have preached." No doubt, Paul must have remembered Stephen’s prayer as he was martyred and felt convicted. Remain true to the end and the Lord will significantly use your testimony to convict others of how they should be living in Christ.

Application: Ask the Lord to use you in life and in death as a testimony that will convict others of their response to the truth of Jesus.

2. The Lord can use circumstances to bring conviction and blessings to many. Thousands have wondered why tragedies were allowed to wreck such havoc in their lives and turned to God for answers. During trying times help people learn to pray,

"Thank you God for the way that hardships convict me of the way I have neglected to talk to you except in times of crisis. Father, thank you for using this circumstance to cause me to find forgiveness for my sins of commission, sins of omission, sins of disposition or sins of wrong assumptions. Bless you God for the way that adversity teaches me to choose better words so I will not hurt others.

Thank you Lord for the way you teach me greater trust and obedience as a result of this difficult time. Praise you for the way that this illness teaches me to appreciate the good health I do enjoy.

Thank you for leading me through these trying times without which I would not be tough enough to stand future challenges. Honor you Lord for the way that you have convicted me that without pain there is often no progress.

I give you glory for the way you that without agonizing repentance no one can find salvation. Lord God, I turn this entire matter over to your controlling hands as you are capable of causing all things together for good."

3. The Lord can use conviction in our life as He did with Paul. The great apostle could not rest with a life of mediocrity. Paul constantly harkened to Godâs voice to press on to higher levels of Christian maturity in social, moral, relational, educational, purity, financial, service, missions, evangelism, disciple-making and church growing ministries. Use the conviction of the Holy Spirit to help you to excel in all aspects in Christ. Ask the Lord to convict you of any area where you are not living up to His highest standards.

4. Teach other people that unless they respond to Godâs present conviction it will only get worse. People who resist the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit are bound to experience little spiritual rest, joy, love, kindness, faithfulness, or self-control. Just as God went to great lengths to convict Jonah of his sin, so He will do what it takes to bring you to a point of submission to His will.

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