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Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

Repenting isn’t fun.

After all, who thinks apologizing to God is a happy time?

But everybody sins.

And that means that everybody should repent before God for doing what we shouldn’t have.

Hopefully, as we mature in faith, our repentance becomes less frequent because our sin becomes less frequent.

Like you, I’ve found that it’s much more pleasant to sin/repent much less often.

You have your list of recurring sins just as I have mine.

Thank God that He is gracious and leaves opportunity for us to repent our way toward restoration of intimacy with Him.

Let’s reject Satan’s lie that repentance is an unreasonable demand of a cloud-based control freak.

Let’s remember that Satan refused to repent and was condemned to eternal suffering as a result.

Acknowledging our failure and our need for restoration through God’s mercy and Christ’s blood is a pain but without it, we won’t experience the gain of peace with our Father who was previously pained by our choice to ignore Him.

Here’s what repeatedly repentant King Solomon wrote about repentance in Proverbs 14:9…

“Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.”

Peace with God is always awaiting us on the other side of repentance.

When you sin — and we all do — please run down the path of reconciliation.

God will always welcome and restore a repentant heart.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Dirty diapers are a very small price to pay in return for the joy of parenting a baby.

And what successful athlete wants to give up competition simply because it takes time to work out and practice?

The fact is that life is a series of trade-offs. If we want the rewards and blessings, investment of effort, patience, resources and cooperation are required.

A successful life is not built upon the shifting sands of luck but instead upon the bedrocks of determination and cooperation.

Part of determination is staying with the task even when circumstances stink.

Sometimes, even literally.

King Solomon owned many thousands of horses and oxen so he knew something about stalls.

He knew that fields weren’t plowed and harvests weren’t transported unless there were oxen to pull the plows and wagons.

With oxen, life was ultimately more affluent.

Even though oxen make big messes in their stalls.

It was a trade-off people were willing to make.

The better lives were more than worth the stinky mess that had to be tolerated and regularly carried away.

“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” (Proverbs 14:4)

Listen, dealing with certain people at work or church or school — sometimes even at home — can really stink on occasion.

But if we’re not willing to deal with people who aren’t perfect in word and deed according to our perception, then are we being the kind of people God has called us to be?

What if others decided to avoid us unless we behaved perfectly in their view?

The person who never wants kids in their home or only invites over white-gloved clean freaks or who expects others to never say or do anything of a faux pas nature is going to be a lonely person.

We all make messes that sometimes stink.

Let’s make sure that our lives are beneficial for others so that our blessing to them is more evident than our “messing” of a relationship.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We’ve all seen the cartoon drawings of an ostrich hiding its head in the sand and we’ve thought “How foolish.”

If only we’d never been as that ostrich when it came to our attempts to hide from accountability for poor choices.

Oh well. There’s always the opportunity for improvement.

I’m reminded of how Adam tried to hide from God after the tragic decision to believe the serpent rather than to believe God.

As if God couldn’t see through the bush that He had created.

God saw through those leaves.

He saw through Adam’s finger-pointing blame of Eve.

He saw Adam’s real need — an atoning sacrifice of blood so that Adam wouldn’t have to die for his sin.

All because of divine love for the one who made a foolish choice.

We’ve made foolish choices.

All of us.

And sometimes, we’ve even tried to hide from God in the bushes of skipped church, ignored prayer, worldly partying, workaholism, perhaps even obsessive hobbying.

It never worked.

God still saw us.

We were still in sin.

We still needed an atoning sacrifice of blood so that we wouldn’t have to die for our sin.

God still loved us, despite our foolish choices.

It is this set of facts that we should have in mind when we read passages such as the one for today from The One-Year Bible:

“But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

Whether it’s the pledge to turn our lives over to the Lord when we’re saved or the pledge to tithe or the pledge to be faithful in church attendance and volunteerism, let’s do our best to keep our word.

It’s never good to tell God we’ll do something — or not do something — and then we break our promise.

Excuses don’t make good masks when it comes to how God sees things.

Let’s keep our promise to serve and to give and God will keep His promise to bless.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There’s no question that God’s Word is infinitely powerful.

It’s just a matter of if we’ll let our will plug into His.

Just how powerful is God’s Word?

Check this out….

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.” (Psalm 33:6)

Oh my.

The entire universe poofed into existence via a spoken word of God.

Sure lines up with the concept of a big bang beginning, doesn’t it?

Something from nothing.

All because God willed it and spoke it.

That’s a powerful word.

That same God with that same power is waiting to launch a “big bang” moment in our lives.

His Word has already spoken of the power awaiting us to create where nothing was before.

If the unsaved person embraces the Word of the Gospel, a new life in eternity will be created.

If the saved person who has fallen into sin embraces the Word of grace through repentance, restoration will replace corruption.

If the discouraged person embraces the promise that struggles + scripture + prayer + surrender = strength, renewal will be created in the place of despair.

There is so much that God wants to do for us and has already promised in His Word. We just have to receive that power so that He can create within us a new heart, a new vigor, a new perspective, a new hope and a new desire to share each with those who also need to hear His voice.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Some things about our Christian faith are really fulfilling and even thrilling.

These are what I call the “magnets of faith.”

But there are a few other things, however, that are far from being magnets.

They’re actually more like fender-bending guardrails.

They’re designed to keep us from driving off the cliff spiritually.

They’re not endearing.

But they are essential.

A segment in today’s devotional reading from the One-Year Bible explains why:

“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)

I don’t know anybody who enjoys feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit about a poor choice of behavior or a carnal pattern of thought.

But when we consider that alternative — a life without the spiritual guardrail of spiritual conviction — we should rejoice that we feel guilt when we lie or lust or gossip or covet or steal or resent or whatever sin over which we stumble.

If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t warn us.

And He certainly wouldn’t have sent Jesus to the cross as atonement for those times we wouldn’t listen.

We know for a fact that Satan doesn’t love us.

In fact, he hates us.

How do we know this?

Does he ever warn us of danger?

Has he ever tried to steer anybody you know away from the cliff?

Let’s thank God when our consciences are goaded by God.

It’s a powerful sign of His love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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