Monday, April 8, 2019

Living a Lifestyle of Repentance: Unhooking the Plugs of the World

Matthew 4:17 "From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

God has transformed my world! The crazy thing is it happens over and over again. I get to watch as God reshapes me over and over again!  It's intense man, it is really intense sometimes.  But it's also incredibly joyous.  

I want everyone to experience God this way. But we have to go deeper with God than most really do.  I hate, hate, hate going half-way.  I want radical, all out, all in faith in God.  I want all of God, or nothing at all.  I'm not willing to just give God a few minutes here and there and call it good.  No, I'm going to praise God for an hour.  I'm going to study His word longer, and go deeper.  I'm going to chase after wisdom and knowledge.  I'm gonna read, I'm gonna watch sermons and listen to podcasts.  I'm seeking God, all of God.

God show me your glory!  Is that the cry of your heart? I truly hope it is.  Too many have settled in. We've gotten comfortable. Too comfortable!  Things need to be shaken up.  We need more prayer.  We need more of the Christian worldview.  We need deeper depths of experiencing God.  We need harsher challenges.  We need more furiously burning trials.  We need to sleep and dream of heaven's glory, we need to wake and see a battlefield for the souls of humanity.  

We need repentance.  True repentance, deep repentance.  We needs tears before the throne of God.  I lament for my the state of my soul.  I lament for how easily I do stupid things that God calls sin.  I lament for any bit of sin in me.  I want holiness.  Make me holy Lord!  Make us holy as you are holy! 

We need a time of fasting, prayer, and confession of our sin.  We need extended times of openly forgiving those who have hurt us. We need a time of repentance, to confess that we've set God off to the side of our lives, when He should be the center.

It's not to make us feel bad.  It's not to hurt our feelings.  No. This is about being transformed by God.  This is about God clearing away things in us that need to go, so that we can grow in his grace and become all that He has called us to become.  

What we have failed to realize in our lost generation of passivity, luke-warmness, and tolerance of sin is that the sins we don't repent of are deadly, and they will take us away to hell.  We have a very cavalier attitude toward sin in our modern time.  We just promote 'grace, grace, grace' and we don't even teach our people about heaven and hell and the reality of the coming judgment.  

If we have sins in our lives that we haven't repented of, do you think God will hold us guiltless?  No, he will not.  God loves us incredibly, so very deeply, but God cannot allow sin into heaven.  Sin is what pollutes the Earth.  He has died for us to cleanse us of sin, so we may live in holiness. 

Ephesians 5:6-8 "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord."

We have a lot of preachers today who don't talk about sin and accountability.  It's just grace through faith, that's all, and it's true we receive salvation by grace through faith.  But they leave out the repentance.  We have to repent, which means to turn away from sin, and live pure lives.  Don't let anyone deceive you with hollow words.

Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap."

But if we persist in unrighteousness, if we continue to gossip, if we continue to commit sexual immorality, if we continue to slander others behind their backs, and curse, and mock, and get drunk, and indulge in lustful thoughts, we will not be entering the kingdom of God.  We will go before God and he will say, "I never knew you, you worker of lawlessness. Depart from me."  Now that would be a very, very, very bad day.  

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

I don't share this to scare anyone, or to hurt anyone, or to be mean or judgmental.  But I have to share the truth.  We take sin too lightly! And we are in need of a great cleansing in the church.  Please take some time to repent of sin. Live in holiness. Reject the enemy and the ways of the world.  Embrace Christ, all of Christ.  That is the way of love! We must unhook the plugs of this world that pour sin into our souls, and plug into the Holy Spirit, so that we may walk in purity, as Christ walked.  

This should be our daily practice.  At the end of each day, get down on your knees before God, and ask Him to search you, and put all your ways before Him.  God will walk you through the past day. Take an inventory, and repent of any sins you committed that God shows you.  Be zealous, be quick, and turn away from sin.  

Fight against it tooth and nail. Fight until you're exhausted.  Fight until the flesh cries out for satisfaction, and refuse to give in!  Fight for your soul, fight for your life, fight for eternal life!  We must be Holy as God is Holy! That is our calling.  That is our life.  And God will help us.  Jesus loves us so much.  He will be here everyday to help us live holy, though the enemy attacks, and the flesh is weak in temptation, the Spirit is strong in us to resist.  Stand firm in the faith.  Put on the armor of God each day in the morning.  God will help us.  Let us live a lifestyle of repentance.  Let us unplug from the world, and plug into the kingdom of God!  God be praised for the victory.  Amen. 

1st Peter 1:13-23 "Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially,live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."