Posts Tagged ‘Repentance’

suffOr do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Unfortunately, most of us know a parent who wants to be their child’s best friend. They let them get away with everything or give them whatever they want, and it usually makes us mad. We look at the child and call him or her “spoiled”. We may say “they sure will be in for a shock when they get into the real world,” or even “that the child should be more grateful and learn that when they do wrong they won’t be rewarded”. The parent’s kindness toward the child isn’t helping them at all. On the outside it might look like kindness, but in actuality, it is hurting the child. It makes us angry just thinking about these people.

Many in the world expect God to act like this parent we all hate. They look at the hurt in the world or catastrophic events and ask, “Where is God?”. They hold the belief that this God cannot truly be a loving God when these devastating events occur. Yet, when good things happen, when there’s money in the bank and food on the table, there is no change in their life, no repentance. They continue to live in sin.

Romans tells us that God’s kindness toward us should lead us to repentance, not continual sin as the world does. When we truly understand how the God who made the world gives every good gift to us, we try to live a life that is pleasing to him. Just as the world only seems to look to God when the bad happens,we are just as guilty as Christians. It is only when things are going wrong for us that we examine our lives to see if there is any sin which needs to be rooted out.  Many times when things are going good we ignore the the sin in our life because we think God somehow doesn’t see it and is happier with what we are doing that is right instead of wrong. Examine yourself in this light then, in good times and bad repent of your sin.

Meditate on God’s kindness today and let it lead you to repentance.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”(Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus clearly identifies His mission by quoting from Isaiah 61.  This is a theme He returns to over and over again with statements such as:

The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

If you scan the gospels, it’s not difficult to see how Jesus prioritized His life and ministry:

  • The sinful over the righteous.
  • The sick over the well.
  • The least over the greatest.
  • The lost over the found.

Simply put: Seek the lost. Serve the least.

Does this describe the priorities of your life and ministry?
Why or Why not?

Yesterday I became very angry regarding our leaders and I let my opinion be known. This morning the Lord sent me this article that led me to a great deal of conviction. Funny how that works, isn’t it?…:) So here it is, the article that led me to repentance.

And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” Acts 23:5

The high priest just had Paul slapped in the face for sharing the Gospel. Paul then insults the high priest, which most of us probably would do if we weren’t too afraid. After this he is told he insulted the high priest and we have Acts 23:5. This can be a hard verse to swallow; we aren’t supposed to speak evil of a ruler. But what if we don’t agree? Too bad, do not speak evil of a ruler. A ruler can refer to your boss, supervisor, elected official, the president, maybe some other leader in your life. But why shouldn’t we speak evil of a ruler? Some might say because it hurts our witness, which it does. But, it is deeper. Lets look at the verse Paul references:

You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. Exodus 22:28

When we speak evil of a ruler, we are questioning God’s authority to appoint those who are in charge (Romans 13:1-3). Does this mean we have to be happy with how everything is going? No.  Does this mean we can’t respectfully disagree? Yes. We need to remember to trust God and not speak to others about how horrible the ruler is and how we could do better.  If we truly believe God is in charge, then we can trust that he will put the right people over us at the right time and in the right circumstances. As Christians we need to make an effort to curb negative speech about our rulers and repent when necessary, because we are really cutting down God.

Think of a something kind to say today about the rulers around you.

God…commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the worldActs 17:30-31

Maybe you have always thought that Christianity was only for Christians, that you are either a religious person or you are not. But, in fact, the God who created you demands obedience from you, no matter what your personal history or experience may be.

God commands every person, everywhere to repent of their rebellion against him. By nature, we are all rebels against our good Maker; we prefer to do things our own way, to follow our own course. As our Maker, however, God reserves the right to demand submission to his righteous, perfect will.

Why should you repent? Why should you heed his command? Because God has already circled the day on his calendar in which he will judge every part of his creation, including you. Individuals may resist his authority or ignore his demands, but no one will be able to avoid their appointment with God.

And who will be the judge on that day? Jesus Christ himself. He will judge the very people that have rejected him and his claims upon their lives. He has already given us a foretaste of his authority and power by rising from the dead (verse 31b).

And so now every person is without excuse. There is no reason not to believe on Jesus Christ; He has proven his divinity and will one day soon appear in all his glory.

How will you see him? How do you see him? Have you repented and acknowledged the claims of Jesus Christ upon your life?

howOur physical lives need routine check-ups to see that we are healthy and to prevent and see health problems before they become a major threat to our lives.  Our spiritual lives need to have the same scrutiny to problems as well and require self-examination in order to purge the unhealthy tendencies we have and replace them with the habits that God desires.

Here are 7 Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life:

1. Am I praying with faith?
I could have asked, “Am I praying?”  That would be a good question, but this question goes further.  In Luke 18, Jesus teaches us that we ought always to pray.  Then at the end of that teaching he asks a question:  “When the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?”  Notice, He doesn’t ask, “Will the son of man find prayer on the earth?” but “Will the son of man find faith on the earth?”  Why?  Because what matters is not that I am saying my prayers, like the Pharisees did, and like millions of people in all religions around the world do.

What matters is that I’m praying with faith.  Do I have confidence in God to do more than I can do?  Or have I wandered into the spiritual wasteland of evaluating everything in terms of what I see as humanly possible—the easiest thing to do when you’ve been a Christian for 10, 20, 30 years.

LifeKey: Praying with Faith

2. Am I serving with zeal?
I take this question straight from the Scriptures.  Romans 12:8 says “The one who leads,” must lead “with zeal.”  There’s something about passion here, something about vision and something about direction.  The leader must care passionately about where he or she is going.  1 Peter 5:2 says to leaders, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers, not because you must but because you are willing as God wants you to be.”

In the film, Parenthood, Steve Martin plays an overworked father trying to do his best for a family under pressure. One day he quits his job, and when he gets home, he finds the kids running wild and his wife tells him that she is pregnant.  He does not react well.  Then when it’s time to take his son to a baseball game, his wife wants to talk and she says, “Do you have to?”  He says, “My whole life is ‘have to.’”  You’ve been there, and so have I.  But that’s not a place from which we can lead others. Are you serving with zeal?

3. Am I believing with confidence?
God says that “the gospel… is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).  Do I believe that?  Do I believe that when I pray for an unbelieving friend or relative?  Do I believe that God is able to save them through the Gospel?

When I struggle with a powerful temptation, with a habit that is difficult to overcome, do I believe that God is able to deliver me through the Gospel?  When I become tired, get discouraged, begin to wonder how long I can continue, do I believe that the God who saved me is able to keep me?

4. Am I confessing with humility? Martin Luther said “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ He meant that the whole life of a believer should be repentance.”  Christ calls us, not to a prayer of repentance, but to a life of repentance, a life of turning ever more fully to Jesus Christ.

A life of repentance is not a life of misery, but a life of growth.  It’s a life in which the Holy Spirit is constantly opening your eyes to how you can take the next step in becoming more like Jesus.  A process of examination like this may begin to connect this reality with your life now.

A Christian is a person who has light to see what there needs to be less of and what there needs to be more of in his or her life.  This leads to a life of confession, in which you see your sins and your failings, and you keep bringing them under the blood of Christ.

When you live life like this, you don’t waste your life in the shallow water of compromised obedience, instead you launch out into the deep oceans of following Christ.  Can you name a sin that you have confessed in the last week?  In the last month?

LifeKey: Where Confidence Meets Humility

5. Am I worshipping with joy?I come to worship.  Do I participate or do I observe?  In the presence of Jesus, there will not be a single person with their arms folded, listening to the angels and observing the worship.  We will all sing.  We will all shout for joy.  Ask yourself, “Am I worshipping with joy?”  If not, why not?

Video: What is Worship? How Should a Christian Prepare Himself for Worship?

6. Am I giving with gladness?
Giving is an indicator of love within marriage.  A marriage that’s marked by withholding is not healthy.  Giving is also an indicator of your love for Christ and your love for the bride of Christ.  “I work to earn money that I gladly give to the bride.”  Is that true of me?  Or am I tiring of that?

7. Am I reaching out with love?
Here we are in a world of need, and some Christians are stretched out in sacrifice, so that lost people on their way to an eternal darkness may see the light of Christ through the Gospel and be saved.  What about you?

repentAs many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent– Revelation 3:19

Are you right now  against God? Do you have sin in your life, that you know upsets God, and yet you still have not confessed or turned from it? So often we put off the important act of repentance by justifying or excusing our sin to ourselves.

Why? Why do we postpone repentance? Maybe it is because of the embarrassment and shame of coming before God and acknowledging our  sin…maybe for the second, or tenth, or hundredth time. Another possibility is that, because of the guilt we feel, we have begun to dread prayer and even begun to think of God as mean or dominating. Closely related to this is also the excuse that this particular sin does not seem to be all that dangerous, or wrong, or harmful.

But God tears away all of these excuses when He tells us that his commandments — and even his rebukes and chastening — are for our good, because he loves us. For this reason, we shouldn’t feel reluctant to admit our sin to him — he already knows about it and it is he who is drawing us away from it. Also, we can know with certainty that the restraints that his commandments put on us are for our good, to keep us from the real harm and deep sorrow of sin.

It is out of love that God corrects us with his word, the Bible; it is out of love that he warns us against every sin; and it is because of love that he is willing even to chasten us, if that is what it will take to yank us out of our sin. Our trials, our conscience, the admonition of our godly friends — God uses these things to wean us, to confront us, to awaken us regarding our sins. Such enduring love on his part should inspire zealous repentance on our part. “Be zealous therefore, and repent.”

imagesRepent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted outActs 3:19

Peter is here addressing the very people who had helped to crucify Jesus, but his words are appropriate to anyone who denies the claims of Christ upon their lives, or who just want to change their sinful habits when they feel trapped by them.

Repent of your obstinate rejection of Christ. But more than that, Peter says, be converted. Peter is not just looking for these guilty men and women to confess their past mistakes; he wants them to change, to turn to the Lord.

It is not dhard to find individuals, from many different walks of life, who are willing to admit that they have made mistakes, even sinned, in some of their life choices. Almost everyone will admit that they have done some wrong, even bad, things.

However, it is another thing altogether to actually be willing to turn from a past mindset and way of life, to turn from sin and to God. Therefore, Peter did not just insist on the need for repentance in the form of an apology or confession. He desired to see true repentance, which is displayed in a change of direction and action.

To those who repent and are converted to the ways of Christ, Peter gives this assurance: your sins will be blotted out. Have you submitted to the divinity of Christ? Have you turned away from sin in order to serve Jesus as Lord?