Archive for the ‘Repentance’ category

Giving My Best to God

November 17, 2011

Can you imagine someone standing before the altar of God to give a second rate sacrifice? Israel was guilty of that in Malachi’s day.

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:6-8)

Singing, praying, giving, serving and any other sacrifice to God must be our best. We have to watch ourselves carefully because the devil certainly tempts us to give less than our best. I remember an older preacher saying he always tried to be in bed before 10:00 on Saturday nights so he would be completely rested and be able to give his best the next day. I wonder if we might not benefit from that mentality? Do we sometimes stay up too late so we are bleary-eyed during worship? Can we be so rushed from getting ready that our hearts are not able to focus on the Holy One? My mother always layed out our clothes when we were children so everything was ready first thing Sunday morning. As we grew older she encouraged us to do the same.

Can it happen that we get so involved in recreation that our financial contribution to God suffers? Do we give only what is left and not what is right? Do we use all our energy earning a living so that God’s work gets only the leftovers at the end of a hard week? So often the Devil fills our lives with urgent things that steal away from the important and necessary. Our Father deserves much more than the minimums and the scrapings of what is left over.

Pray today for God to help us order our lives so we can give Him what is rightfully His. God gave a principle that should still be observed today…

But if ithas any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 15:21)

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You Will Mess Up, What You Need to Know When You Do

September 27, 2011

The Devil really loves to blind us to simple truths. When he can get us to forget the nature and work of God he can discourage us enough to give up. Don’t let that happen. You should treasure these thoughts in your heart so you never forget them.

  • You are loved by God (Eph 5:1; John 3:16)
  • He showed his love when we deserved it the least (Rom 5:8).
  • There is nothing in this world or the heavens that can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).
  • The sacrifice of Jesus blood covers all the sins we confess before God (1 John 1:7-9).
  • You can repent of any sin and God will remove it from you (Acts 3:19).
  • Once a sin is forgiven it is gone for good you’ll never be held accountable for that sin again (Psalm 103:12).
  • It’s not to late to change and follow Jesus (Heb 7:25).

Confession and asking for forgiveness brings back the “joy of God’s salvation” (Psalm 51:23). It restores us to God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, we can easily forget that when we head away from God into sin.

The Devil is a liar (John 8:44), he deceives you into living below the privileges given by Christ. Don’t let him win when you falter and sin. Instead, turn your heart toward God and bask in his forgiving grace. God loves the contrite and penitent (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). He is overflowing with love for all of us (Psalm 51:1). He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), including those who have fallen back or fallen away.

Restoration and full fellowship comes to all who seek God’s forgiveness. No matter what your sin is God’s kindness, grace and mercy is greater.
God is calling today, he is pleading with us to come partake of His mercy and love. What are you waiting for? Come home today!

Don’t Get Caught in Your Own Mouth Trap

November 4, 2010

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

Isn’t it amazing how quickly people will resort to harsh, gossip, slander and evil epithets. Even best friends have fits of anger bringing angry words that sever friendships.

It is often our speech that betrays us. Jesus reminds us that evil speech reveals an evil heart (Matthew 15:19).

Hateful speech is bewildering, especially coming from Christian folk talking about other Christian folk. How can we speak hurtful gossip or slander about another child of God? The wicked one loves it when he can sidetrack the church by division. That division can always be traced back to wicked hearts speaking evil words.

Sadly, the destruction spewing from hurtful lips is doing as much damage to the soul of the speaker as it is to the hearer. Giving in to the sinful desire to gossip or slander leads the heart deeper into sins dreadful ways.

Fix your heart and tongue and you are well on your way to living as God wants you too. You will feel better when you uplift instead of cut down. You will draw closer as family when you talk about wholesome, encouraging subjects.

Father, please help me to use my speech to build up and not destroy, to encourage and not divide. I need your help desperately to control my heart and lips.

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I Am Sorry! Three of the Most Powerful Words

June 3, 2010

When was the last time you heard a true apology?  Not one of those “If I have offended anyone at anytime in any place, for any reason, I apologize.”  What ever happened to coming right out and confessing the sin and asking for forgiveness?  Without confession and petition for pardon, wrongs are not righted.  This is a Biblical concept that many of us fail to remember.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)

Pardon is based upon confession.  Perhaps it takes a different frame of heart and mind to be willing to admit fault than to just generalizing about our failures and misdemeanors.  There is a great cleansing that comes from admitting shortcomings and infractions against God and fellowmen.  The contrite spirit finds joy in expression of that contrition.  Saying I am sorry brings reconciliation and forgiveness.  Quite a trip for just three little words.  The journey to the penitent heart and broken spirit is a hard one though.

When I was a boy it always hurt me physically to be at odds with my siblings or my playmates.  Nothing was right when I knew we were not getting along because of something I had done to hurt them or vice versa.  That child like spirit is so easily lost as we grow tougher hides in the dog eat dog world. Some lose all sensation of broken fellowship and the pain of losing friendship.  It’s time to go back and learn to say “I am sorry for ___________” and truly repent of whatever it is we have done.  This is true in our relationship with God and with men.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
(Joel 2:12-13)