Tag Archives: repentance

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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Be Humble


Over and over the Bible records people whose hearts had turned away from God. It’s hard to put it into true perspective because we can read through a hundred years of history in a matter of minutes. One minute they’re serving God, the next they’re not. It’s easy to wonder how they could switch so fast. When you put it in context and you think about our present time, it’s not very different. You can see how each generation pulls further from God until He brings judgement.

When I look at where we are today, the political situation, the racial divides, and the desperation of the Church to be accepted by society, I see God’s impending judgement. Each time God brought a judgement on the people in the Bible however, He relented if they humbled themselves and repented. I believe that’s what we are in need of today. It’s important for each of us to stop thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, recognize our only hope for healing society is God and not us, and to repent and pray for forgiveness. God can and will turn this generation toward Him if we will humble ourselves.

To help with this process, I’m sharing verses today that discuss humbling ourselves.

1. You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
James 4:4-6 MSG

2. He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? 

Micah 6:8 AMP

3. 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.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

4. My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

Psalm 51:17 GNT

5. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10 NIV

6. “Relax, Daniel,” he continued, “don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I’m here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people.”

Daniel 10:12-14 MSG

7. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 18:4 NLT

8. Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!

Matthew 5:5 GNT

9. When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak.”

2 Chronicles 12:7 NIV

10. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Philippians 2:5 AMP

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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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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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The Check Engine Light

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The check engine light has been on in my car for a while. Like most people, I’ve ignored it. The car has run well and has not given me any issues, so I’ve continued to drive it. This month, it’s time to get the annual inspection done and you can’t get it inspected with the check engine light on. I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend trying to figure out what the problem is. I’ve been able to clear all the problems except one. I’m continuing to try to solve that one so my car will be in perfect working order.

I started thinking how many of us have our spiritual check engine light on. We ignore warnings that there is something not right in our lives. We see the light, but we keep going because we either think we’re fine or that it’ll be too costly to fix. I know because I’ve done it. The Holy Spirit would let me know that there was an issue, but I’d counter Him by saying, “It’s all right. This is a one time thing. I’m not going to make a habit of this.”

After we continue to ignore His warnings, it becomes like that light in my car, we hardly even notice anymore. We continue on in our lives, knowing what is right and continuing to do something else. What we said was a “one time thing” becomes a root for something even bigger. Sin rarely starts off big. It starts as a small step and leads to another small step. We justify each step until something happens and we realize we’re a long way away from where we should be.

We should each perform inspections like we do for our cars. In I Corinthians 11:28, Paul tells us to examine (inspect) ourselves before we take communion. For some churches, that’s every week. For others, once a month. However long it is between for you, that’s a perfect time to see if your spiritual check engine light is on. It’s also the time you need to figure out why it’s on and to do what’s necessary to get it turned off. The good news is that the price has been paid, we just need to do our part to replace the things in our lives that are causing it to be on.

What I’ve found is that the longer I continue to go without examining or inspecting myself, the more I have to repair in my life. Typically, it’s relationships that I have to repair, and my relationship with God is the first one that needs to be repaired. After that, I go to others whom I’ve ignored or offended and seek forgiveness. It’s not easy and it requires time and effort. I have to put things in place that keep me from going back and doing the things that caused my spiritual check engine light to come on in the first place.

What about you? Is there something in your life that you’ve ignored that God has given you a warning over? Have you continued on in your life so much that you hardly even notice anymore? How long has it been since you’ve done an inspection of your life? Let me encourage you to do it today. Don’t go another day without fixing the issues in your life that are causing God to warn you that something is wrong. It starts with repentance and ends with a life running full throttle for God.

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