What is Repentance?
Some would say it is “to turn” but toward what. Without an encounter with Christ I find many who just continue to turn. The power of repentance is not the confession and we will talk more about confession later but in the beholding of Christ. Christ isn’t looking for you to confess all you sins at salvation but He desires you to confess the one sin and that’s your unbelief. That is the one sin that keeps the blood and grace of God from empowering us to overcome our sins. Sin as defined by Paul is anything that is not faith. In other word forgiveness comes when you know you’re forgiven! I am not repenting to be forgiven but I am repenting (beholding) to believe I am forgiven.
John the Baptist said “here comes the Lamb of God who will wash away the sins of the BELIEVES no the WORLD.”
He has washed the sins of the world away. So are you telling me that God is pleased with self-righteous rebellious state? No! Without faith it is impossible to please God. The only thing that is going to make an unbelieving world believe is the goodness of God that leads people to behold Him. It the signs and wonders that point to a loving savior that will remove the heart of stone. God’s wrath in not set toward men but men’s sin that separates them from a loving God.
That’s why the cross is the measuring stick of God’s love. Yes God does love the world but it’s the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life that makes us enemies of God in our minds through wicked works. We need greater manifest works of God’s love presented to a dying world. They need to see the Jesus we proclaim but does your life display a transformed heart?
I wanted to talk to you about how God sees us. I will be teaching out of the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. Throughout our life we have either heard of or told others about the “Great Men of God” that we know of personally or have heard of. I want to tell you that there are no “Great Men of God”! Rather there are Men who have yielded to a “Great God”. We have heard of the great testimonies and supernatural feats to the point that we disqualify ourselves from ever being used by God.
The truth is that God does not see what man sees. God see’s the heart and judges with truth. Sometimes we do not see the reality or truth of who we are. Paul make the statement that “NO ONE” knows the intent of his heart event him but God knows. Remember that the cross does not reveal your sin but your value! We see this played out perfectly with the story of Gideon. Let’s look at Judges 6:11-12…
Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:11-12)
I want you to see the beauty of this story. Gideon who would later liberate the Children of Israel was found by the Angel of the Lord in a winepress threshing wheat! Why was he in a winepress? He was hiding from the Midianites who were destroy Israel’s harvest. This man Gideon who would conquer Israel’s oppressors with 300 men was hiding in fear. What was the Angels comments to this man living in oppression and fear? “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Hold up! This man is manifest fear and self-centeredness hiding to preserve himself and his harvest and the Lord calls him his “Mighty man of valor”. See sometimes the Lord will let you see what He sees. We see our failures but He sees you value. God is calling to the deep in Gideon and pulling the gold out of him. He see who we are to be in Him not who we are without Him. Wow God is so good! So let’s look at Gideon’s response…
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Gideon then responds with a classic response, “Why have you allowed this to happen… Did YOU not deliver us before…? But now you have forsaken us…!” Let’s just say God had grace on Gideon in his ignorance. Many of you today would give the same response to God. Many of us would say just like Gideon that it was God that turned from us when the reality is because of the sin of Israel God could not manifest His grace upon them. So in times of trouble we do what we do and we cry out to God to save us and we repent. God opposes the proud and manifest His grace upon the humble. The problem is we often look to God and say “What are you going to do about it!” We really are not going to like His response. It will not only take FAITH but our ACTION to destroy the works of the enemy. But in our weakness He (GOD) is strong in us. So let’s look at the Lords response…
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
I love this response from God, “Go in this might of yours!” This might that I just told you about when I called you out of fear and defined you as a mighty man of valor. See when He set us free through the cross He called us out of the slavery of fear in His adoption of Sons. We have received from heaven a baptism of might, power! He has called us as His own. When Adam sinned the Lord placed an Angel around the Tree of Life that would protect it from every side. When you were called His own you now have the Tree of Life living in you and an Angel with a flaming sword on every side. You who feels insignificant while you hide in fear, He is calling you into a place of deliverance and victory. This is your time! Your moment! You must only believe like Gideon who led his people to freedom. He has liberated you now it’s time for you to believe the Faith. ONLY BELIEVE!!!
I fail to love like Jesus so many times a day. Too many times to count! The truth is without His grace I would not love at all. We were all born after the image of Adam so in the flesh is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
What the world calls love is self-preservation. It’s all about you filling the void left in your heart from the fall of Adam. It’s rooted within your heart to seek self. Christ through the cross and resurrection removed the chains and longs to fill the void.
I want you to know if you feel conviction of your lack of love it only shows your salvation has taken place. You will fail at times a thousand times a day in being love to the broken but grace empowers you to stand up and try again and again. You were made to love. Stand up and try again!
Selfishness is self-centeredness! Anything that takes Jesus out of your center causes everything to become all about you. Sickness, emotional pain and relationships… can easily take center stage in our life causing us to identify ourselves with our circumstances. The way that seems right to man will always take the victim route. You suddenly become the cancer victim or the emotionally abused victim. I not here to condemn you but I am here to tell you that becoming the victim often makes you the center of your world. It becomes the thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God and removes you from the ability to receive healing.
Stop the cycle today and allow Jesus to become your center. The moment you meditate on His love and goodness His peace begins to flood your soul. You might say “you don’t know what I went through!” But Jesus does. Not only that but He had a much worse day. Jesus paid it all and the moment you allow Him to whisper “it is finished” upon your heart you will find your fulfillment completely in Him.
GREAT TESTIMONY OF GOD’s GOODNESS!
Hey Brent… I have a testimony for you. I had been aleinated from my son for 3 years since my divorce. He was 15 when he left with his dad and he is now 18 years 2 weeks old before you came to Paducah, I was prayed for at Vina’s and the grief lifted. When you came, you spoke to me one time and then imparted over me a second time. The first time you spoke to me, the only thing you said as you touched me was… ‘What’s been stolen from you will be returned.’ I KNEW exactly what had been stolen… my son. Today, for the first time in 3 years, he is right now sitting on my couch. He is home. After amazing conversation today, he shows forgiveness and is ready to move forward in relationship. Today, what was stolen from me has been returned. A true miracle. Thank you Father and thank you for your servants working as your hands and feet!
Praise Jesus! Let’s pray and believe Jesus for your need
I am remind of this today after reading how so many are wavering in truth. Grace alone is not love. Truth alone is not love. Love came as grace and truth. (John 1) I see where many are using humanistic love and calling it the Gospel. Grace does not sweep sin under a rug. It destroys it. I find the problem is we lack the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit). If I present someone grace without the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit, His presence) then I have not presented love but empathy.
We need the presence of God more than ever. He must go before us in these times. Holiness is a fruit of Grace. The moment I believe I am made Holy. The moment I believe I am holy I must walk that out with conviction. This is done not by works though it does become a work of His Spirit but through believing.
Sin is destroying our witness. As the Bride we should look desirable to the lost. Instead the world despises us not on our Holiness but our hypocrisy.