Tag: repentance

Calling all sinners!

Scripture reading for March 9th: Luke 5

Key Scriptures: Luke 5:27-31 “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.””

Jesus prayerfully and carefully selected those He wanted to follow Him as disciples and whom He would appoint as apostles. His selections were not popular with the local religious folks. They particularly held their nose up at the call of Levi, a tax collector and the dinner party Jesus attended at his house afterwards. They asked His disciples why they were eating with the “deplorable” sinners like these tax collectors were judged by them to be. Jesus answered them Himself. He came to call sinners to repentance. Only those who are sick will admit their need of a “Physician”.

Psalm 14:2-3 “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for healing my sinful heart and inviting me to Your table for fellowship. Give me grace to call others in need of healing from the devastation caused by sin into fellowship with You.

Psalm 51:10, 12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. . . .Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

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Excuses on Judgement Day?

Scripture reading for February 10th: Romans 2

Key Scriptures: Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

How easy it is to become judgmental of others and condemn bad behavior and ungodly attitudes! Paul warned the Jewish believers against judging the Gentiles or others while still doing the same things themselves. This is hypocrisy and is spotted and ridiculed by others on a regular basis. But even worse, this behavior is sinful and unless repented of will bring God’s wrath on those practicing it. Just because God’s wrath is not evident today does not mean that God has overlooked it. Without our repentance, He stores it up for the day of wrath. He is kind and patient with all sinners, giving time to repent. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance–a change of mind and behavior. There will be no excuses when we stand before God.

Genesis 3:12 “The man said, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.””

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing kindness and patience with me, a sinner. Thank you for sending Gospel messengers to lead me to repentance and faith. I ask the Lord Jesus to defend me on the day of wrath, not my worthless excuses.

Romans 2:15-16 “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

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The fruit of obedience!

Scripture reading for January 25th: Mark 6

Key Scriptures: Mark 6:7-13 “And He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts–but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And He said to them, Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.”

Jesus had taught His disciples and modeled for them ministry by preaching repentance, healing the sick, and casting out evil spirits. He now sent them out two by two with careful instructions to live by faith and follow the Holy Spirit in ministry. They were to go where people would listen and receive them. If they were rejected, the act of shaking dust would be a witness against them. They were given authority to heal the sick and cast out demons and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins. This simple ministry assignment was embraced with obedience. They preached, they anointed sick people and they were healed and they cast out unclean spirits. All ministry is by faith in simple obedience to Christ’s commands. The results are up to Him and He receives all glory!

Psalm 119:112 “I incline my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the end.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I thank You for the simple instructions You give Your disciples concerning ministry. Help me to listen, heed and obey each time You give me opportunity to minister to those You send me to. To You be all glory, honor and power, now and forever! Amen!

Mark 16:20 “And the went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.”

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Blessed godly grief!

Scripture reading for September 24th: Habakkuk; 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Paul had written plainly to the Corinthians this second time to appeal to them to forgive a brother who had been disciplined for sexual sins. He had some regrets at first, that he might offend them, but he ended up rejoicing when their godly grief over this brother’s sin caused him and them to repent and do the right thing. Worldly grief leads only to death–sorrow for sin alone won’t bring forgiveness and life. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and true transformation.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to receive correction with grace and humility and true repentance. May I not shrink from godly correction of one who may need to experience mercy by repentance.

Habakkuk 3:12-13 “You marched through the earth in fury; You threshed the nations in anger. You went out for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your anointed.”

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God’s kindness meant to lead to Repentance!

Scripture reading for May 25th:  2nd Samuel 18-20, Psalm 34, Romans 2

Key Scriptures:   Romans 2:1-5 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, everyone of you who judges.  For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.  We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness  and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”  

Paul carefully explained to the Romans that judging others for sins they were committing would bring God’s wrath.  To them God’s patience was being mistaken for God’s approval of deeds He had stated in His Word as sinful.  These sins were enumerated in Romans chapter one.  Suppressing God’s Word and truth resulted in a downward spiral of ongoing judgment leading to sexual perversion and idolatry.  Failure to repent would lead to eternal wrath!  Beware!  Thankfully, God has kindly provided the way to escape His wrath and the bondage of practicing sin through faith in His Son.

Psalm 34:16  “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Thank You Lord Jesus for Your kindness and patience with me and all sinners, allowing time to repent and believe.  Use me to faithfully declare the Gospel that none may face Your wrath.

2nd Samuel 18:33  “And the king (David) was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept.  And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, . .”

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Confronting Evil Spirits

Scripture reading for May 8th:  1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:16-20  “And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks.  And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.  And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.  And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

The disciples of Jesus were performing many miracles of healing and deliverance from evil spirits in the Name of Jesus.  Certain Jewish exorcists tried to use the same “formula” and suffered a great beating by the possessed man.  This became widely known and brought conviction on many who brought their demonic materials to the apostles and they burned them up.  The stronghold of demonic activity was brought down by the Word of God and the Name of Jesus.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Name and authority over evil spirits.  Help me to walk in faith and power to see Your Word increase and prevail in this region and time.  May I never seek help from evil spirits, but confront and overthrow them.

1st Samuel 28:7 “Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”  And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.””

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The Gift for repentant hearts!

Scripture reading for April 28th:  1st Samuel 15-16, 1 Chronicles 1, Psalm 39, Acts 11

Key Scriptures:  Acts 11:15-18 “As I (Peter) began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us as the beginning.  And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’  If then God gave the same gift to them as He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”  When they heard these things they fell silent.  And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.””

Peter recounted his visit to the Gentile Cornelius’ home and how God used his message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring repentance and the infilling of the Holy Spirit to these Gentiles.   He had remembered the Word of Jesus concerning how Jesus would baptized with the Holy Spirit and understood that God was giving that same Gift to these who were not Jews.  God’s ways are above our ways.  We must not stand in His way!

Psalm 39:7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in You.”   

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great plan of salvation and Your gift of the Holy Spirit given to all who believe in their heart.  May the Holy Spirit fall on all those hearing the Gospel message from my lips.

1st Samuel 16:7  “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees:  man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  

 

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The priority to obey God!

Scripture reading for April 21st:  1st Samuel 3-5, Psalm 23, Acts 5

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5:29-32 “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree.  God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.””  

The apostles had been arrested for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Sanhedrin admonished them never to speak in Jesus’ Name again.  Peter spoke up for the group, telling the Sanhedrin that they would obey God and not men.  Peter then exalted Jesus as Savior of these men who had crucified Jesus, calling on them to repent!  What amazing grace God gave to those Israelites through the apostles!  Their example of obedience to God beacons to us to follow that all men might be saved by our merciful Savior and Leader!

Faith Confession and prayer:   Lord Jesus, thank You for the example You set of obeying Your Father God and not men.  Thank You for the apostles who imitated You. As my Shepherd, help me to hear Your voice today and do Your will in me and through me.

1st Samuel 3:10  “And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”  And Samuel said, “Speak Lord for Your servant hears.”” 

Psalm 23:1  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  

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Obeying God over men!

Scripture reading for April 20th:  1st Samuel 1-2, Psalm 120, Acts 5

Key Scriptures:  Acts 5:28-32 “”We strictly charged you not to teach in this Name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree.  God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.””

The Pharisees charged the apostles not to teach in the Name of Jesus ever again.  The apostles explained that they must obey God first because He had charged them to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men.  Peter respectfully explained how the religious authorities and the people of Israel had crucified Jesus and how God raised Him from the dead.  God also exalted Jesus the highest place of honor, His Right Hand!  Jesus alone can grant forgiveness of sins.  The apostles were witnesses as the Holy Spirit spoke through them.

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, thank You for the Name of Jesus and the instructions to preach the Gospel to all people everywhere.  Help me to obey You today through the Holy Spirit who lives in me.

1st Samuel 2:2  “”There is none holy like the Lord; for there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.”  

Psalm 120:1  “In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.”  

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Walking in the Light of Jesus!

Scripture reading for November 19th:  1st John 1, Psalm 89-90, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  1st John 1:5-9 “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  

John was the “beloved” disciple.  He followed Jesus when he was very young and now as an old man, he wrote to the Church of Jesus concerning the light of Truth as found in Jesus.  If we walk in the light of Jesus, we will experience true fellowship with God and one another.  The blood of Jesus will continually  be at  work bringing cleansing and sanctification from sins we confess and repent of.  Denying real sin in our lives cuts us off from Jesus and truth.

Faith Confession:  I desire to walk in the light of Jesus and His Word.  I want to be sensitive to sins and find repentance and cleansing through Jesus’ blood, keeping my fellowship with Him and His church.

Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

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