You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘repentance’ tag.

art 3

The book of James is all about a faith lived out, a faith expressed in the way we behave, our behaviour the advertisement of what we believe.

We are living billboards declaring that God is real and that God is love and the way we live has a massive influence on those around us.   It has been quoted here before someone will read the Bible or come to a church they will read our life first, we are the first Bible most people read.   What a challenge.

In James 4:8 we have one of the most familiar and popular verses of the book.  If there was a bible verse countdown of greatest hits of the bible James 4:8 would be on it.  I share it almost every time I have a mic at church.  But there is a part B to James 4 that I never read out loud.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  James 4:8-10

 

James is going after Christians who say they love God with their mouths but live life their own way.

He’s going after Christians who use their perseonality defaults as excuses for their character flaws.

He’s going after Christians who pick and chose what parts of the Bible they accept and believe in.

He’s going after those who look great on Sunday but whose workmates wouldn’t even know they’re Christians on Monday.

He’s going after those who think they’re fine living one foot in the world and one foot in the church.

He’s going after you and me.

 

We live in a world that lives for self – if it feels good do it – and that pushes against the boundaries that God sets.

We live in a world that has made sin so accessable and acceptable.

In fact if you hold to biblical values you are often branded as bigoted, judemental and narrowminded.

 

But this world is God’s world.  He makes the rules.  Not because He is a kill joy but because of His great love for us.  His boundaries are to bless us, to bless our relationships, to bless our future, to bless us with wholeness and the peace that comes from right living.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

9cb7ba10eabdb483427d5e28a30196fd

Instead of running FROM God we need to RUN to God.

For Jonah it was in the whale. It was in the Darkness where Jonah turns and finds God, where Jonah runs TO God. 

Jonah prays: Jonah could of prayed on the dock, on the shore, even on the boat. But it took the whale experience to bring repentance and surrender.

Jonah encounters God. Jonah’s heart has turned. He was running form God and is now running to God. He acknowledges how bad the situation is.  He cries out to God his only hope. He sees his salvation in suffering. He offers his voice and praises to God because that is all he has to give. “Salvation Belongs to the Lord!”   It is in this dark place that Jonah finds the saving Grace of God.

This is an open invitation. You might be 3 steps out the door, 3 miles down the road, 3 days in the belly of a whale. But the invitation is there. Our God is compassionate and merciful.

What is your turning point? What is the turning point where you STOP running FROM God and start running TO God?

For some of us it is the storm and the whale that stops us in our tracks.

For some of us its one day we wake up and realize that our hearts are cold and we can’t remember the last time we had peace with God.

For some of us it’s when the wheels fall off our marriage, our finances, our health. When the anger overtakes us and we fall apart emotionally. When we feel like we’re drowning and that we’re at the end of our rope.

Let me tell you, you are never too far away from God. Jonah was in the belly of a whale. He had run as far as you could away from the will of God. He was a prophet – his job was to hear from God and he stuck his fingers in his ears and rebelled.

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you.” Jonah 2

BUT let’s look at it this way. Does your turning point need to be at the lowest when you’ve hit the wall?

Every day we have the opportunity to say YES to God.

Yes I will choose to forgive. Yes I will choose grace. Yes I will choose to hold that gossip in. Yes I will choose to be grateful. Yes I will choose to be salt and light.

You don’t need to run to turn.

And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Mark 1:16-18

Immediately the disciples followed Jesus. They turned from their old life to their new life.

72b196ba064e1c67066b02965645c2b5

"Grace. This is, perhaps, the best word to summarize what we believe about God as Christians. That we are sinners, but that God is gracious. That unlike other religions, Christianity does not teach that you need to pay God back through reincarnation. Paying off your karmic debt. Going to purgatory. Dying and going to hell. Suffering in this life. That God is a God of grace. That we sin and God convicts us, but as we repent, God is gracious with us, undeserved favour, unmerited love. God is not obligated to us in any way, but he has given grace to us in every way because he is such a great and good God. That our relationship with Jesus is absolutely tethered by grace. That God is a God who gives grace. And what that means is that we are to receive God’s grace humbly and we are to share it gladly. That if you sin against me, and you repent; well, I’ve sinned against God and I repented. How did God respond to me? With grace. You know what that means? You get grace too. That we are grace receivers. That we are grace givers. And, as Christians, grace is the demarcation of how we work." ~ Mark Driscoll

248350358_02f7e35081

Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord.  2 Samuel 12:13

 

“I have done nothing morally.  My only hope, my only plea, my only confidence is in the blood of Jesus Christ. When Christians understand this, they will go to God, rather than from Him, and allow His mercy to lead them into further repentance. [This] is a mark of Christian maturity.  I stand before you … as a perfect, spotless child of God by no act of my own but by an act on the cross.  This is how we combat sin and grow in maturity – [through] an understanding of what the Gospel is.”  Matt Chandler

 

Nathan the prophet confronted David about what he had done with Bathsheba and with her husband Uriah.  And David responded with repentance. 

 

Psalm 51 was written as a response to what happened at this time of David’s life.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

 

what is repentance? Is it saying sorry, feeling remorse? Can we be repentant and carry on living the same way?

Webster Dictionary defines the word as "to feel sorry for or reproachful for what one has done or has not done". It goes on to say that it is also “as to feel such regret and dissatisfaction over some past action or intention as to change one’s mind about it or to change one’s way.”

Repentance usually begins with sorrow – remorse – regret – recognition that our behavior is wrong and that it has hurt us and others, usually on many levels. Sin always has consequences and does not bring blessing upon our lives. The fruit of sin are death, destruction and distance. Sin brings avoidable mess. We begin repentance in the heart. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

 

Confession is not repentance. Repentance is change. – Danny Silk

 

But repentance is more than saying you’re sorry. Sorrow and regret can be just feelings. It is changing your mind and affections to the degree that your actions and behaviour change as a result. Repentance is translated into change – leaving behind the sin, disobedience and wrongdoing and changing our lifestyle to do things that please God.

 

Repentance puts God back as Lord of our life, agreeing to obey Him in all things, to follow His ways and His plan for our life. Repentance puts our flesh back in its place, bowing to the rule and authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Repentance is part of the process of restoration. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery – go and sin no more – John 8 – Repentance begins in the heart but is proved by a changed life. It is often described as a 180degree change in direction.

 

God is our heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be broken down by the effect of sin in our lives. Sin hurts ourselves and our relationships, especially with Him. He is a Holy God, who made a way for us to be free from sin, forgiven and made righteous, part of His family. He has a plan and a purpose, for us to know Him and make Him known. Just as sin put distance between Adam and Even and God in the Garden so it puts distance between us now. Because God loves us He disciplines us – He draws us to Himself to repent and change.  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” Romans 2:4

 

“Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind, it is a change of action! God requires that if we are sincerely convinced that sin is wrong, then we will turn from it to God, and commit ourselves to not take part in sinful deeds any longer. God blesses such decisions and commitments with abundant grace.” Keith Green

 277323289523694992_3Dl42ODx_f

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak

and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;

you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will turn back to you.

Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51

 

 

this psalm is so poignant in its rawness, so real in its expression and so powerful in the way that we can all identify with those feelings of brokenness and repentance and failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

3781196299_4158550947

John the Baptist and Jesus both preached "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. Acts 2:38 and then again in Acts 3:19 he said “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

In the book of Revelation Jesus tells a number of the churches to “Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:5

But what is repentance? Is it saying sorry, feeling remorse? Can we be repentant and carry on living the same way?

Webster Dictionary defines the word as "to feel sorry for or reproachful for what one has done or has not done". It goes on to say that it is also “as to feel such regret and dissatisfaction over some past action or intention as to change one’s mind about it or to change one’s way.”

Repentance usually begins with sorrow – remorse – regret – recognition that our behavior is wrong and that it has hurt us and others, usually on many levels. Sin always has consequences and does not bring blessing upon our lives. The fruit of sin are death, destruction and distance. Sin brings avoidable mess. We begin repentance in the heart. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 

But repentance is more than saying you’re sorry. Sorrow and regret can be just feelings. It is changing your mind and affections to the degree that your actions and behaviour change as a result. Repentance is translated into change – leaving behind the sin, disobedience and wrongdoing and changing our lifestyle to do things that please God.

Repentance puts God back as Lord of our life, agreeing to obey Him in all things, to follow His ways and His plan for our life. Repentance puts our flesh back in its place, bowing to the rule and authority of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Repentance is part of the process of restoration. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery – go and sin no more – John 8 – Repentance begins in the heart but is proved by a changed life. It is often described as a 180degree change in direction.

God is our heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be broken down by the effect of sin in our lives. Sin hurts ourselves and our relationships, especially with Him. He is a Holy God, who made a way for us to be free from sin, forgiven and made righteous, part of His family. He has a plan and a purpose, for us to know Him and make Him known. Just as sin put distance between Adam and Even and God in the Garden so it puts distance between us now. Because God loves us He disciplines us – He draws us to Himself to repent and change.  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” Romans 2:4

Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind, it is a change of action! God requires that if we are sincerely convinced that sin is wrong, then we will turn from it to God, and commit ourselves to not take part in sinful deeds any longer. God blesses such decisions and commitments with abundant grace.” Keith Green

[tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

248350358_02f7e35081

‘Repentance is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind, it is a change of action! God requires that if we are sincerely convinced that sin is wrong, then we will turn from it to God, and commit ourselves to not take part in sinful deeds any longer. God blesses such decisions and commitments with abundant grace.’ – Keith Green

[tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

Judges 20:3-7 The Israelites called a meeting of the nation. And since they were God’s people, the meeting was held at the place of worship in Mizpah. Men who could serve as soldiers came from everywhere in Israel–from Dan in the north, Beersheba in the south, and Gilead east of the Jordan River. Four hundred thousand of them came to Mizpah, and they each felt the same about what those men from the tribe of Benjamin had done.   News about the meeting at Mizpah reached the tribe of Benjamin.     As soon as the leaders of the tribes of Israel took their places, the Israelites said, ” How could such a horrible thing happen?”  The husband of the murdered woman answered:    My wife and I went into the town of Gibeah in Benjamin to spend the night.     Later that night, the men of Gibeah surrounded the house. They wanted to kill me, but instead they raped and killed my wife.     It was a terrible thing for Israelites to do! So I cut up her body and sent pieces everywhere in Israel.     You are the people of Israel, and you must decide today what to do about the men of Gibeah.

 

What will it take to make the people of God to stand up and cry out for change and righteousness for their nation?

 

What will it take for the people of God to fall to their knees and pray for the nations to be healed and people to be saved?

 

What will it take for us to pray for the change only God can give?

 

The murder of a wife – cut up into 12 pieces and sent by courier around the country?

The murder of a 3 year old by her uncles? 

P addicts taking hostages and causing a police stand off?

A drive by shooting that kills an innocent 2 year old sleeping in her bed?

The abuse and death of twin babies, allegedly by their father?

The murder of a wife and mother – her body stuffed in the boot of her car?

The rape of tourists staying in their van in a small town?

The hold up of a burger king joint?

The abduction and murder of a 5 year old girl in a red raincoat on her way to school?

Our preteen girls having sex in the school toilets?

Our boys joining gangs to belong?

 

 

What?

What?

What?

 

What will pierce our heart?

What will move us?

What will make us stand and kneel and pray?

The faithfulness of God amazes me, takes my breath away. even when we deny him in our heart and actions he accepts and loves us and draws us with kindness to repentance and renewal again. his love is faithful and everlasting. even when we fall he is there to heal and pick us up. he calls us to greater glory and works in our lives to complete his good work. he is faithful always. we can be sure and confident that he will be always with us and forever loving us.

his eye is on the sparrow… yet he knows our name and considers us so much more worth sparrows…  how much more are his thoughts toward us…

Ezra 9:3  “this news made me so angry that I ripped my clothes and tore hair from my head and beard.  Then I just sat in shock until time for the evening sacrifice.”

 

An overreaction do you think?  When was the last time we reacted to sin like this???  Ezra is dismayed at the peoples sin.  Despite his warnings and teachings they chose to disobey God and assimilate themselves culturally by marrying women that were not Israelites.  Did the people learn NOTHING from their history and the prophets and their exile?  Did the truth of God not penetrate their mind and hearts at all?  You can see how Ezra reacts to the news of the intermarriage?  He REACTS!  Are we reacting and resisting sin in our own lives and in those we love and lead?  Are we praying for a clean heart and a willing spirit?  This is what keeps us close to God and obeying him.  As we love him and draw near we desire to obey and his will is not hard to do and in fact to disobey and sin pains us and is unthinkable!  I love Ezra’s heart for God.  In the next passage v5-15 Ezra prays for his people, repenting and asking God to forgive and restore.  He prays.  This should be – MUST be – our response in the face of sinfulness. To pray.  To seek God.  To ask for mercy and forgiveness and transformation.

Follow One Passion One Devotion on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

October 2018
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: