Thursday, November 22, 2012

The gift of repentance

Pray, forgive yourself, appreciate others, tru...
Pray, forgive yourself, appreciate others, trust your gut, do things you enjoy, and remind yourself that you are loved. -Sandra Lumb (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)
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THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE


You know we see Paradoxes in Gods word or what seem to be paradoxes

We have the " Paradox Box "

We are saved and yet we are being saved,

We are not saved by works and yet we have works to do for without works our faith
is dead.

We ask for forgiveness and yet we are forgiven.

Jesus comes to bring peace and yet he does not come to bring peace but a sword.

We see in love that Jesus suffered a violent slaughter, that by His stripes we are
healed.

We see that there is no life without death,

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find
it. Matt 11:39 NIV

When we are cursed, we bless;

when we are persecuted, we endure it;

when we are slandered, we answer kindly.

Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
1 Cor 4:9 - 13 NIV

We have the wisdom of fools, and the folly of the worlds wisdom is paramount it seems.

We rely on Gods wisdom which indeed is a gift...

We have our strength in weakness and our treasure stored up in God.

It seems when we are weak God gives us His strength and He lifts us up.

This is not of ourselves but is God given.

Now we have paradox after paradox, we seem to have different messages coming at us
in different directions.

We might think that we are the ones in control and yet we find that God is.

We might believe that we come to God when in fact, no one can come to God unless
it is permitted.

We say God is in control and yet if we do give Him the controls of our lifes
He may not be.

We say " God can do anything" and yet He sometimes cannot because of man.

God cannot or will not force our wills, nor can He make or force us to love Him.

As puppets the world is carried along on strings and yet they look at the Christian
believer as if they are the ones on strings.

The world says " I am in control " when God is.

The Christian might say " God is in control " and yet not allow God entry into the
heart.

Nothing can separate us from God and yet it can, we ourselves can separate ourselves
from God, and we can deny God rule in our lifes.

The rich and famous seem to prosper while the poor and forgotten seem to have no life.

The wisdom of the world can seem to be above all things while the wisdom of God in fact
is.

It is finshed and the work is done and yet , we race on towards the prize.

We are forgiven and yet we seek forgiveness


And so we look at this message .....THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE......
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"No man is able to come to me if he is not given the power to do so by the Father"
(John 6:65, Bible in Basic English).

Paul tells us: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ..."
(Acts 3:19).

Repentance and faith are like two sides of a coin.

Repentance is simply turning around, repentance is simply not just saying " sorry "
and is not just simply not doing it again !!!!

What do I mean by this ?

I can remember before I was saved ...long before I found salvation...

I had a conscience...I knew when I was doing a " bad " thing, I knew when I was in the
wrong and sometimes my parents or someone would guide me in the right direction.

Maybe sometimes I would be punished for my wrong, maybe sometimes I turned from
the wrong I was in because I saw the affect it was having on me.

Even as a " Non Christian " even as a " non believer " I knew and had a God given
Conscience that my actions were wrong and I sometimes would turn from my actions.

Simply because everyone has a God given Conscience , I suppose you could say " it is a
method of survival " as an action begins to destroy life or affect ones life a person may
decide to change his or her course, sometimes this turning around may not be a choice.

I remember my own father had to choose to give up smoking or face an early death, I
remember he had in fact to change his whole lifestyle and direction.

Could it be that a " non believer" can repent ?

Can it be that a person not walking in " salvation " can turn ?

lets discuss this now.

"No man is able to come to me if he is not given the power to do so by the Father"
(John 6:65, Bible in Basic English).

I remember as a child that I prayed to God and my prayers were answered, even though
I was not classed at that time as a " Christian believer "

How can this be ?


Repentance itself is not a human act, but comes only from
God Rom.2:4 -- it is a divine gift of God Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25

Once I found Gods salvation which was a gift to me, I found the gift of repentance..

Before this time I did'nt really think anything was wrong in my actions or life as I
simply followed every one else and although I did have a conscience I simply followed
the survival pattern.

Now as a Christian I found Gods working inside of me and started to sense the Holy Spirit
working within, for the first time I experienced " Holy Spirit conviction "

For the first time I heard God speaking to my heart and working from the inside out and
instead of things changing around me , I found myself changing and as I changed so the
things that were once a problem were no more .

Now I had received the " Gift of Salvation " I had also received the " Gift of the Holy
Spirit
"

And with the " Gift of the Holy Spirit " of which was speaking into my life long before
my salvation, I received the " Authority Robe " and the gift of " repentance "

Now the Holy Spirit was able once I had received salvation to work inside of me and so
convict me of sin, now for the first time I began to see things that I had never seen
before.

Now slowly over the years God began to bring to my attention ...through His Holy Spirit..
those things which got between Himself and me.

Now for the first time I found the " gift of repentance "

Now I was able to turn from my way to Gods way, before this I only knew my way.

Now I was able to turn to Gods way, becasue through His salvation now I had His Holy
Spirit guiding me,.

You see before I would say " this is my life " I can do what I want"

Now it was His life, now I had received the "Gift of repentance "

Now what is repentance ?

How can you turn unless you have something to turn too?

What is the differnece between my past turning and this turning now as a Christian ?

Could it be that I am taking up the Cross ?

What does it mean when i take up my Cross ?


You see I can repent and turn to God and this is a gift , this is a gift that I receive
because I have the Holy Spirit within me and what might be wrong for me and what might
convict me might not convict another person !!!

Why do you think this might be ?

How can something be wrong for me and yet be okay for someone else ?

When I hear God speaking through His Holy Spirit into my heart I feel I need to repent,
I feel an urging, a wanting, a bubbling up within me, a spring rising up, a drawing, a
need to repent and turn to God.

Sometimes this repentance and need to repent might may not mean that I have to repent
in sack cloth and ashes, in other words I do not need to pubicly express my repentance,
but my repentance can be before God alone.

It does not mean that we have to punish ourselves and go for a length of time letting
people know about our sorrow.

We do not have to be like the Pharisee and screw up our faces to let everyone know about
our discomfort and our agony.

This is a repentance that is between us and God.

I have known times when in fact I have seen the need for repentance but also have not seen
the wrong I have done or have felt the Holy Spirit showing me something and yet I do not
want to repent because I simply canot see the need or because I want to continue in
that way.

This then becomes what I call the " yo yo "

Where the Spirit convicts me to turn and yet I want to continue in my way ,

I then have a struggle between my flesh and thinking and the Spirit that works within me.

I can ask for forgiveness and God may have already forgiven me and yet afterwards I can
still continue in my way and so I go back to ask for forgiveness and yet still I go on
and continue to do the same thing over and over again.

And at this point some can feel as if they have failed, they start to feel as if they
are are useless and the enemy begins to take a foothold.

Do you think there is a difference between " asking for forgiveness " and " repenting " ?

Has'nt God already forgiven ?

Is saying " sorry " enough ?

or does it require an action ?


This then becomes a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit and between my will and
His will and at these times I find myself wrestling with God and I simply ask that God
would give me the desire to repent from the thing He is showing me, give me the desire
Lord.

Make that thing repulsive to me, make that thing vile to me, that everytime I consider
that way it might be repulsive to me like a bad odour.

Often times when I pray for the desire to change and the desire to repent from something
I often find that , that thing that had a hold on my life has been removed.

Or I find that the " thing " has lost or is loosing its power over me.

Learn to pray for the desire within ....

Soemtimes we may find that we know of a " sin " and we become convicted of a sin that
has lodged itself between us and God, sometimes we may want to hold onto this " sin "

PRAY for the desire to be loosed...

Remember salvation is a gift, the opposite of repentance is faith, this is a two
sided coin.

Sometimes it may be that we need to act out our repentance before God.

Once just after salvation I became convicted and I knew I had an addiction that was
affecting my Christian life, at that time I had to act, before God, the addiction was
drink, yes alchohol and this had a hold on my life at this time as a young Christian
of 6 months old.

I also had a medical condition brought on by drinking that affected my life at this
time, one night I opened the cupboard and before God I emptied the bottles of drink
down the drain and I asked Gods forgiveness.

Since that time drink has held no hold on me and my medical condition was after wards
healed.

As if instantly I was healed and restored.

Sometimes our sin can be hidden sin that is revealed by God and is suddenly open for
all to see, at these times God in His mercy shows a sin in His light that all might
see and that we might repent and show before others a Godly sorrow.


Now we feel a shame as we know that others know and sudenly our sin is revealed before
others and at these times we want to hide away and we feel shame and we feel Godly sorrow
as God reveals and yet forgives as others forgive !!!!! ( or do they ? )

O it is hard when we see our old friends ... the people who knew us as we were...

OO how we like to hold onto our old ways and those things which we felt made us
accepted by others.

ooo how we like to be liked and have our old friends around us and have it like it
was once before.

But now things have changed and we have a new life and we are no longer the same
( inside ) but a new life has begun and yet we still struggle as Jacob.

Do you know when God forgives He forgets ?

when God forgives us He forgets our past sins. "For I will be merciful to
their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more"
(Hebrews 8:12; compare Psalm 103:11-13).

Your slate is wiped clean, you are forgiven, IT IS FINISHED.

your salvation is an ongoing salvation as you turn and walk with God every day.

Repentance is an ongoing thing, turning to God , turning to God, turning to God....

Every day ..Every day ..Every day ..Every day ..Every day ..Every day ..

I cannot count the number of time I have said " sorry " to God as He has revealed certain
things to me.

I cannot count the number of times I have had to repent and turn backor the times I have
had to ask for the desire to turn back, to ask Him for that inward working of The Holy
Spirit to give me that inward desire to turn away and to follow Him.

These times have not been evident to anyone else accept God Himself and at these times
I have known the evidence of a changing and the thing that held me pass away.

It has not been that the problem has diminished but it has been that I have changed
therefore although the problem is still there it is no longer a problem.

You see Paul himself while on the road to damascus suddenly knew he was wrong. He
repented. His life was so completely changed that he immediately
risked his life to preach in the synagogues that Christ is the Son of God (Acts 9:20-25

Repentance is a gift at salvation and of salvation...


The problem is "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom.3:23)


The message that Paul preached was: "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord
Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). In repentance, there will be confession of sin to God
(Psa. 32:5; 51:1-4).


Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return
unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly
pardon" (Isa. 55:7); "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth
and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13).

"... to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they
may receive forgiveness of sins ...although the slate is wiped clean the Holy Spirit may
draw out those things we must bring to God, this is not a working of ourselves but a
working of The Holy Spirit.


When we repent and turn to God ...this also is a working of the Holy Spirit and
not of ourselves, although we need to put the inward repentance into words before
God , God so too gives us the words to utter" (Acts 26:18,20).

"... I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matt. 9:13).

Sometimes we can actually pray to God without words, soemtimes we can respond in the
heart or by our actions.

This too is an enabling and ability given through the Holy Spirit.

For is it was left to us we would indeed not see or understand or be equipped or have
the ablility to walk away.

Time after time through Gods word we see that the dog always returned to its vomit.

We see that Gods people had hardened hearts and such was the death of animal sacrifice,
time after time and so God called out to His people and we see again and again there was
nothing that could save, was there anyone in heaven or on earth who could save ?

"No man is able to come to me if he is not given the power to do so by the Father"
(John 6:65, Bible in Basic English).

Jesus died ...once for all and we now have the ability which is the anointing, the
Holy Spirit, He leads us into all truth and it is He who shows us the right way to walk and
lights our path.


"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5).

We do not want an abomination to desolate our lifes ....do we ?

Lets come before God now and in His light and in His mercy and in His grace and in His
Love and in His compassion and in His revealing Holy Spirit consider our ways and each day
confess to Him and repent and have a right spirit renewed and have the joy of His
salvation.

Let us come to Him now and let Him search us and see if there is anything,

Psalm 139:23-24 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my
anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the
everlasting way."

He searches and He knows the secrets of our hearts (Ps. 44:21)

Lets pray

Father God in Jesus name we kneel before your throne and we ask for the desire to
follow deeper with you, for the inward desire to seek that which is your will for
our lifes, that inward drive through your Holy Spirit to work within us, we give you
permission Holy Spirit to search deep within us and bring out those things that might
be a stumbling stone to your work through us.

Lord we ask you now into our lifes and into our deepest fears and thoughts and motives,
that you might work within us and that the gift of repentance might see a turning point
that would bring many others to salvation, that others would follow on as we walk and
follow the Great Rabbi.

Enter in Lord and have your way among us in Jesus name amen