“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:19 NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you this time we can spend in your word. Please speak to me and to everyone reading this as we know your word is empowering and transformative. Open our eyes, wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen
There is a call going out from the pulpits – going out from other believers – going out from the faithful – The call is to a higher standard. The call is to an uncompromised obedient life style. I hear God telling me it’s time to be obedient. Enough with the excuses and enough with justifying.
This week I had multiple conversations with Christians about forgiving and asking forgiveness and honestly feel repentance is a daily thing. Because being human is hard. We are utterly and completely fallible and dying to sin is completely against our nature. Moreover, as we grow so does the definition of sin.
We are pretty familiar with the basic definition of sin. Here is what Jesus says defiles us:
“And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23 ESV
And John said:
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4 ESV
And Paul said:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
Sin defiles us. It is lawlessness which is the opposite of righteousness (God called us to righteousness which is given through asking for forgiveness of our sins). And those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Yes – those who do even the least of sin don’t get into heaven.
Why isn’t this preached more? We are all taking our time to give up sins and slowing getting right with God – but if it is the end times, shouldn’t we be ready? Not still working on it.
Makes me think of the parable of the 10 brides.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
Five of them were foolish and were not ready yet when the bridegroom came. When they finally took things serious and got themselves ready, they came to the feast and Jesus says “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.”
These verses are abundantly clear. Why then is compromise tolerated in modern Christians when it was clearly not accepted by Christ or by the early church.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14 KJV
So the cure for sin is to confess to Jesus and ask forgiveness of those sins – and he will be faithful and just to forgive and clean us from all unrighteousness.
Now to briefly go deeper. When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray he gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13. Without digging into this prayer I just want to point out that Jesus said, ‘When you pray, pray like this’. And we know all the verses that say pray daily and pray without ceasing – so this is a daily prayer and then I want to point out verse 12: “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (ESV). This verse makes it very clear that repentance is a daily activity. AND verse 15…
“but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15 ESV
Unforgiveness is huge! We must forgive others and we must be forgiven in order to get to heaven. This is such a big deal that Jesus himself includes it in a daily prayer for us.
Now, briefly just a little deeper. I know I have shared this verse yesterday, so today I will use a different version:
“21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
Again – let us focus on the second half of verse 21 where they describe who actually enters the kingdom of heaven, who is the one who does the will of God. So, the deeper definition of sin is to disobey the will of our Father. By way of example: God says to you: Go to church on Sunday and you respond: I will watch it on the internet. It is a sin if God said to go. And you’ll need to repent.
There is therefore, now no condemnation (Romans 8:1)!!!! So how does this work? I know I am a sinful mess and we all are. So what do we do – some of us are working on things.
Repent= confess, ask forgiveness and turn away from it – daily while forgiving others.
Focus on Jesus – It is hard to sin when focused on Him.
Struggles do happen – ask God for deliverance and assistance getting through it.
Repent again! Remember this is daily. This isn’t for the same sin necessarily. Usually it is for new sins – but I have noticed within myself with bigger sins God keeps reminding me of different areas of a multifaceted sin – some times each area need repentance. This is not out of condemnation of sins which have already been cleansed – but rather it is for conviction of sin not truly or fully repented of.
Finally walk in your relationship with the Father through Christ Jesus with a heart after Godliness and full of love and grace, marvelous grace does the rest.
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!