Saturday, August 2, 2008

Repent...the big, scary church word.

"For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and Live."

Ezekiel 18:32
I have shared part of my testimony with you about giving my life to Christ my junior year in college. It wasn't like I hadn't heard the gospel before then, I HAD. My parents had taught it to me, my church, my Sunday School teachers, my Young Life leaders and on and on... The problem I had was an unrepetant heart. I did not want to let go of the life I was living and stop doing things that I knew weren't God-pleasing. I also didn't want to surrender my life to God because I didn't know what He would want from me. I had a twisted image of a god who would take things away from me. What if he called me out of my comfort zone?
Even though my sins were destroying me, I hung on to them with all of my might. I just didn't know the truth about God and His character.

Everything changed on November 1, 1996 when I surrendered my life to the control of God. I repented. The word, repent, really isn't a scary word at all. The original Hebrew word in this verse from Ezekiel is "shuwb" which is defined to turn back, return or to show a turning away. Webster's definition includes this... to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better.
Did you see the end of that?? FOR THE BETTER. It wasn't until I prayed to receive Christ's forgiveness and committed to stop doing the things that I knew to be sinful, that I received assurance of my standing before God and the refreshment that is found from living your life in the presence of the Lord. That is when my life changed FOR THE BETTER. I knew that Christ had died in my place and had given me life... abundant, eternal LIFE.

I have to clarify that this wasn't a one-time deal. I am constantly repenting and asking the Lord to help me do better and to sin less. We are never sinless but we can, by the power of God,

Again, "repent", the big, scary church word is not really scary at all. It is a gift! That we may turn away from things that will ultimately hurt us and run back to the God Who never will.
Repentance is always life-giving.
"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

"...the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Mark 1:15

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew 3:2

If you are just beginning a relationship with Christ and want to know more about walking with Him, please email me...


Hey guys, it's Tim. Steph really did a good job describing repentance, I just wanted to add a quick thought. It is impossible to repent on your own (like the new year's resolution that lasts 6 weeks, but worse) because what you're trying to do is do a U-turn away from you. It's only possible with God's help, which He wants to give. But you know what? Once you do things His way for a while it actually becomes what you want to do - it becomes increasingly obvious that it's a better way. As you walk together with Him through some life you'll see what I mean. Like Steph said, if you have any ?s feel free to ask, we certainly want to be available for you.

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