Tag Archives: repent

A Call To Repentance

I’m reading through the “Killing Kryptonite” devotional by John Bevere. In it he said, “Repentance means changing our mind so deeply that it changes our personality from the core of our being.” As I read that, i thought about today’s world. Our culture is just the opposite of that. As a society, we celebrate and encourage people to be who you are. The problem with that is that we are encouraging them to identify with their Adamic nature rather than the image of God that is in them. We encourage people to suppress the new creation God is trying to bring out in order to celebrate their sinful nature.

When God called us to repentance, He called us to leave behind our Adamic nature so we can identify with His fingerprint on our life. Repentance means to turn around and go the opposite direction. We are not just called to accept Jesus, but to repent as well. The old life is gone and God turns you into a new creation from the core of who you are. There is a transformation God wants to do in each one of us, but it’s up to us to turn away from the fingerprint of Adam on our life, which is a spiritual cancer that God wants to put into remission. Your transformation starts with salvation then begins when you turn around and walk towards the life God has for you.

Here are some Bible verses on repentance.

1. In the past God tolerated our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away. He commands us all to repent and turn to God.

Acts 17:30 TPT

2. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.

Acts of the Apostles 20:21 NLT

3. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].

MATTHEW 5:4 AMP

4. Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.

Romans 2:4 GNT

5. You must prove your repentance by a changed life.

Those who repent I baptize with water, but there is coming a Man after me who is more powerful than I am. In fact, I’m not even worthy enough to pick up his sandals. He will submerge you into union with the Spirit of Holiness and with a raging fire!

Matthew 3:8, 11 TPT

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

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Lessons From Simon

Have you ever been at the wrong place at the wrong time? That’s what happened to a man named Simon. He was traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. As he was heading into the city, a large crowd was coming out. They were shouting and yelling at a man who was badly beaten. He was struggling to walk under the heavy load of the cross He was carrying. As he watched, the man must have fallen right in front of him, and it was clear He couldn’t go any further.

Matthew 27:32 says, “Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross” (NLT). The word “forced” catches my attention here. Jesus asked us to voluntarily take up our cross daily, but Simon was forced to do it. I believe that he stuck around to watch the crucifixion and later learned to take up his dross daily on his own.

If you think about it, He was also turned around. He was headed into the city, and because he carried the cross, he had to make an about face to head the other direction. When we accept Jesus as our savior, we are to repent of our sins. That word “repent” means to turn away and go the other direction. As Simon watched Jesus forgive those who crucified Him, he too repented of the sins he had committed and began to live different.

You and I have to learn to take up our cross daily, crucify our fleshly desires to it and turn away from those desires daily. When God’s spirit resides in us, there is a constant battle between His spirit and our flesh. If we’re willing to crucify our sinful nature and obey God’s voice, our lives will be forever changed. It’s up to each one of us to learn the lessons from Simon’s brief mention in the Bible. He is a picture of what God wants to do in each of our lives.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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Spiritual Refreshing 


When I was in high school, we would have 2 hour practices after school. Coach always started and ended practices with running. He would say, “Since we aren’t the tallest team, we are going to be the best conditioned team.” There were some brothers on the team who lived in some apartments across from the school. While running, we would say to each other, “Hey, once this is over, let’s go jump in the apartment pool.” The thought of jumping into that cool water was often enough to keep us going.

There was something about diving head first into that water after practice that was so refreshing. We would swim from one end to the other under water to make sure our whole body got cooled down. It was so refreshing, and we needed that because a couple of us worked jobs in the evenings. After all day of school and a two hour practice, we still had a four hour shift to complete before coming home and doing homework. Refreshment was needed.

There are times when we need spiritual refreshing as well. Sometimes things seem to hit us one after the other. It feels like we never get a break from it all. Those times of spiritual refreshing come and keep us going. Other times, we face the consequences of our actions, and those can lead us to spiritual exhaustion. The Bible says we can have spiritual refreshing in those times too. Acts 3:19 – 20 says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins. If you do, times of spiritual strength (refreshing in AMPC) will come from the Lord” (GNT).

The word “repent” there means to change your mind and purpose and then return to God. When you’re mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted, you can change your mind and purpose behind doing things so that you bring honor to God. When you do, it’s like jumping into that pool after a two hour practice. God brings a refreshing into your life that brings spiritual strength with it. Just like everything else in Scripture, the first step in activating God’s promises starts with you.

What in your mind do you need to change today in order to return to God’s way of thinking?

If you haven’t been living for His purpose and you’re worn out, pray that God would help you to return to living for His purpose.

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Prove it


I think we can all agree that there is a difference between saying something and proving something. When we were kids, we all had that friend that told tall tales. He was related to famous people. He was going to be on TV. He had a hundred dollars. You name it, he either did it or had it. After a while, we found the phrase, “Prove it!” It turns out, he could tell you just about anything, but he couldn’t prove any of it. Without proof, we had no reason to believe the things he said.

When I was younger, I heard someone ask, “If you were to be accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to prove it?” That’s a tough question we should all think about. A court can’t convict anyone unless there is some form of evidence against them. In some cases, that evidence comes from first hand witnesses. Other times it comes from physical evidence left behind. What evidence are you leaving behind for others to know you are a Christian? Can others eye witnesses tell by how you live that you’re a Christian?

In Matthew 3:8, John the Baptist was out at the river baptizing people when the religious leaders came to take a look. One of the things he said to them was, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (NLT). He knew they were manufacturing false evidence to try to prove they were righteous, but their lives contradicted that evidence. Jesus later said they were whitewashed tombs. They looked good on the outside, but were full of death on the inside.

Today’s devotion is not to say that you earn salvation by your works – that’s what the religious leaders were trying to do. It’s saying when you truly experience the power of God in your life, it changes you. Your life changes inside and out. You find that going to church isn’t evidence that you’re a Christian – living for God is. When you experience the power of salvation, you begin to leave evidence everywhere that you have repented and followed Christ. My challenge to you today is to take an honest look at the evidence in your life. What does it point to? Is it manufactured or is it natural from a changed heart and life?

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Sorry

  
It’s been my experience that there are different types of being sorry. The first type is one we’ve all been guilty of. It’s the “sorry I got caught” sorry. You’re forced to say you’re sorry because you were busted, but the only thing you’re really sorry about is that you got caught. There’s also the “sorry” sorry. That’s when you do something and do truly feel bad about it. You may or may not apologize with this one because there’s no accountability. Then there’s the “sorry after I got caught” sorry. With this one, you got busted, but that triggered the true sorry response. You realize you got out of control and apologize for it.

In II Samuel 11, David should have gone off to war, but he didn’t. He stayed behind and sent someone else to do the hard work in the war. Then when the final battle was to take place, David would go lead that charge, and take credit for the whole victory. While he stated behind, he saw a beautiful woman bathing. He sent for her and slept with her knowing she was married. When she told him she was pregnant, he sent for her husband to come back from the war hoping he would sleep with her and would think the baby was his own. When that plan failed, David had him killed in battle.

David sent for the woman, married her, and that was that. Well, at least until the prophet came and called David out. David broke down. He had a “sorry after I got caught” sorry moment. In that sorrow, he wrote one of the most heartfelt repentant prayers in Psalm 51:7-10. “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

David recognized right away that his sin was a heart issue. He also knew that even though he was guilty of adultery and murder, God could forgive him and restore him. He recognized that God responds to us when we truly are sorry for our sins and aren’t just offering lip service to him. He wrote in verses 16-17, “You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” The type of sorry we are over our sins matters to God. He’s looking at our heart more than our words.

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The National Day Of Prayer

As you read the Old Testament in the Bible, you come across several places where the nation of Israel were summoned to pray to God as one nation. It was usually during times of captivity that they remembered the Lord, fell on their knees, repented of their sins and prayed. God heard their prayers every time, delivered them from bondage and returned them to their land. Some times it only took a few people to humble themselves before God and He would rescue them. I don’t know why sometimes it took the whole nation and others it didn’t, but I do know that God hears our prayers.

Today is the National Day of Prayer. It’s a day where we as believers have an opportunity to pray with a unified voice for our country and to repent of our sins as a nation. I understand that most Christians may not join in this day of prayer and certainly not all Americans will. Perhaps today will be one of those days where God will listen to the voice of a few and restore an entire nation. Today could be the day that starts a revival that turns the hearts of our people back to God. Revival is sparked by a few and then spreads untamed across the land. Will you be one of the few that sparks it?

The most famous scripture used for days like today is II Chronicles 7:14. It says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (NLT)” This requires more than a one day commitment of prayer. It requires continual prayer for this nation. It requires us, who are called by His name, to seek His face beyond a day of prayer. The Amplified version says, “Pray, seek, crave and require of necessity my face.” We have got to seek God as if He were a necessity like air in our lungs if we want to see this nation return to Him.

I’m glad that we live in a nation where all but two presidents since George Washington have set aside national days to pray and to seek God’s face on behalf of our nation. The leadership that God has placed in our nation has always understood the value of prayer of its people for the nation. It just hasn’t always been understood by the people. When we pray for our nation, God hears our prayers and moves on our behalf. God desires to restore this or any nation who will get on their knees and seek Him. It starts with a remnant of people who will accept that call. It starts with you and me. Will you join other believers today and in the future to pray for our nation? 

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Fully Submitted

I once had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with a man who counsels kings, queens, presidents and corporate CEO’s. He said, “I want to start off our conversation with a question. ‘If you woke up tomorrow morning with $10 Million in your bank account, how would that change your life?'” That amount of money would certainly change most of our lives. You can’t come into that much money and not live differently than before. It’s the same when we give our lives to Jesus. You can’t invite him into your life and not be changed.

The message of John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter and Paul was “Repent.” It wasn’t, “Say a prayer and you’re a Christian.” The word repent in its original form means “A change of mind.” God asks us to change our mind from how we were living to a new way of thinking that in turns changes how we live. You can’t change your behavior unless you change your mind. The call to repentance was and is about changing how you live.

Jesus put it another way. He said, “If any man wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” I love how the Amplified version takes Luke 9:23 and really explains what Jesus said there. It puts it, “If any person wills to come after me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow me [cleave steadfastly to me, conform wholly to my example in living and, if need be, in dying also].” When Jesus said repent and follow Him, He wasn’t asking you to say a prayer. He was asking you to give up yourself and how you want to live.

There’s a missionary in Haiti I’ve met several times. He moved there over twenty years ago and never went back to his home country. He is involved in pastor get a church, orphan care, running a school, feeding the helpless, running a bakery and water purification shop, helping deaf girls learn sign language and so many other things. When asked why he does so much and how could he never go back home, he responded with, “My life is not my own. When I said, ‘Yes’ to Jesus, I gave up my life.” Those words should challenge us in how we live.

He understands what it means to follow Jesus by taking up his cross and denying himself. You may not be called to leave your home country and live in a third world country the rest of your life, but you have been called to change how and why you live. The call to repentance is a call to change your reason for living. It’s a call to give up what you want for what God wants. Philippians 2:5-6 says we need to have the mind of Christ who gave up what He wanted for what the Father wanted. He was and is our example of daily taking up our cross. He showed us how to submit to what God wants.

If you think back to the $10 Million question earlier, just like you can’t come into that kind of money and not be changed, you can’t have a real encounter with Jesus and not be changed. When you say, “Yes” to Jesus, your whole life and way of thinking should change. I liked that question he asked, but I think the question you and I should think about today is, “If you woke up tomorrow morning and had fully surrendered your life to Jesus, how would your life change?” Think about it and then surrender your will to His. You’ll find there’s no better life to live than one that is fully submitted to Him. 

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