Biblical repentance is godly sorrow for one’s sin together with a resolution to turn from it.* Repentance is necessary for salvation and necessary for godly living. Daily repentance should be present in the daily life of every believer. There is a faulty idea about repentance that it is for salvation only. The process of conviction, confession and repentance is not only the path to God in salvation it is the path back to God as we deal with sin every day. Through Christ we can have peace with God and forgiveness of every sin.
But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3 (NIV)
When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: John 16:8 (HCSB)
If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 (HCSB)
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19 (NIV)
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
James 4:8-10 (NLT)
* Definition of repentance from Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson
After Resurrection Sunday Jesus appeared to His disciples over a period of 40 days before He ascended to Heaven. Acts 1:3 Believers in Christ can celebrate our Savior who is Alive! He is not only Alive, but He is interested in us.
#1 Jesus PURSUES us where we are. John 21:1
#2 Life with Jesus is an ADVENTURE. John 21:6
#3 Passion for Jesus is Rewarded with His PRESENCE. John 21:7
#4 Jesus INVITES us to join Him in His work on Earth. John 21:9; John 20:21
#5 Time with Jesus is CRITICAL and cannot be replaced. John 21:12
Let me state the obvious: We need rain. If you live in Dalhart, Texas you know exactly what I am talking about.
Since moving to Dalhart, I have developed the habit of praying for rain. We desperately need the heavens to open and for rain to fall down on our dry land. Psalm 63:1 says, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (NIV)” This Psalm shows us the way we can pray for rain.
The first priority in prayer should be to seek God with our whole hearts. God reigning in our lives is our first priority. Notice how passionately David pursues his God. He says, “earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you.” There is a great spiritual principle here. When we passionately pursue God, He will meet our needs and work in our lives in ways only He can. Let me ask you a quick question. How passionately are you pursuing God? This is a heart-probing question that we must ask. There is always room for pursuing Him more and focusing our attention and affection on Him. My church, First Baptist Dalhart, or one of Dalhart’s Bible believing churches can help you along this path.
Once we are pursuing Him earnestly we can approach Him with confidence and ask Him to meet our need for rain. Philippians 4:19 declares, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Seeking God first and then trusting Him for our spiritual and physical needs leads to transformed lives and a changed community.
In his book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson tells the story of Honi, the circle maker. Honi lived in the time between the Old and New Testaments. He followed God passionately and persisted in prayer until the rain came. This is an uplifting book that I would highly recommend. Click here for more details about the book. It is my prayer that God would raise up many in our community who would seek Him with their whole hearts and pray for the rain we so desperately need. Seek Him and pray for rain!
This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.
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.” 1 Samuel 16:7
There is a fascinating account in the Bible in 1 Samuel 16. When it was time to replace King Saul, Samuel went to Bethlehem and called together Jesse and his sons. Each of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel and God would select a new King. As seven sons passed by Samuel there was no suitable replacement found. Samuel asked if all of Jesse’s sons were there. Jesse had one more son, David, who was tending the sheep. They called for David and he was the one and was anointed by Samuel to be the future king of Israel.
This compelling story raises the question: What was the difference between David and his brothers? 1 Samuel 16:7 demonstrates that it was a matter of the heart. We tend to look at the exterior and God looks and the interior, the heart. 2 Chronicles 16:9
What does God see when He looks at your heart?
Pride – Proverbs 21:4, Jeremiah 17:9
Our hearts will naturally focus on me, myself and I.
Guilt – Matthew 5:19
Brokenness – Psalm 51:17
Emptiness – King Saul – 1 Samuel 13:14
Belief – Romans 10:10
Jesus – Ephesians 3:14-19
What should we do?
Examine our OWN hearts
Eliminate pride and sin by confession and repentance
Turn our hearts toward God
Trust Christ to dwell in our hearts as Savior and Lord