Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Repentance not Rededication

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 

Repentance is one of the most positive of all words. John the Baptist centered his preaching on repentance (Matt. 3:2, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3). Jesus also preached repentance, commanding His disciples to do likewise (Mark 1:14–15; Luke 24:47). The angel predicted that the Messiah would save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). The requirement for this salvation would be repentance. To repent means to stop going one direction, to turn around completely, and to go the opposite way. Repentance involves a dramatic and decisive change of course. God urges us to repent when the path we are taking leads to destruction. Repentance will save us from disastrous consequences! What a wonderful word! How comforting that the Creator loves us enough to warn us of impending danger! Our problem is that we think of repentance as something negative. When we recognize our sin, we prefer to “rededicate” our lives to God. We may even tell others we have resolved to be more faithful to God than we were before. Yet the Bible does not speak of rededicating oneself. It speaks of repentance! Repentance indicates a decisive change, not merely a wishful resolution. We have not repented if we continue in our sin! Repentance involves a radical change of heart and mind in which we agree with God's evaluation of our sin and then take specific action to align ourselves with His will. A desire to change is not repentance. Repentance is always an active response to God's Word. The evidence of repentance is not words of resolve, but a changed life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

I have heard and experienced what Blackaby writes here in this day's devotional.  

We are a people of shortcuts. Whatever it takes to either feel something or to not feel something.  If indeed sin begets sadness we really want to get away from it. The sadness that is.

We are a people of justification.  We also like to reason away our choices.  That we were ok in what we did and why we did it. 

So much in the news these recent days about so much to do with riots. With the devastation there are many seeking to justify their position.  There is no justification for preventing firefighters from saving a child in a burning home that was set on fire by rioters. 

Reminds me of a passage in the Bible. People beat Jesus before they crucified Him.  People beat the Apostles. All were justified in their own eyes.  

Repentance is to turn away and go the opposite direction of that sin.  Not saying I am sorry and continue to do it.

Rededication isn't helping if you didn't repent in the first place. 

Justification in man's eyes means nothing if it's not the same in God's eyes!

We who are in Christ are to live as Christ wants.  Not as we think it ought to be. 

Look at your life. Are you justifying your sin?  Are you making excuses for it?  Are you looking the other way at the sin of others?  Are you content with your sin? 

That last one should scare you. 

Look at whether or not you have repented. Look at whether or not you are actually enjoying your sin.  

We are the professionals at justifying sin.  We find excuses to why we do exactly what God's Word says not to. We write it off as not being 'that bad'. It's not 'as bad' as this or that, that someone else does or did. A sin that is a lie is the same as a sin that is murder.  Think about that. 

Think about the peace you really don't have right now.  You see the problem but aren't addressing it.  King David could have had a different outcome after his fall from grace with Bathsheba had he immediately turned back to God rather than try to hide it.  He knew better!  Yet his silence also allowed the sin of his son Absolom to be fruitful and multiply. 

Look at your life this day. Regret isn't repentance.  Feeling sorry but not turning away from sin isn't repentance. 

Look at what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Much of the Old Testament is about actions and consequences. The people or persons did something and it wasn't what the Lord wanted. Consequences followed. 

You must realize consequences will follow your not repenting.  This too I have lived and still live.  As it is written so I pray "create in me a clean heart Oh God".

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