No Forgiveness Without Repentance

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Micah 6:8 is a short verse, and is packed with instructions to become a better person. This post could be entitled, ‘How to become a better follower of Christ’, or ‘Improving our walk with Christ.’

“…there is no forgiveness without repentance, and that repentance is but a name, unless there be a ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well…” (Benson Commentary. Biblehub.com)

I have written many posts that focus on forgiveness. There is no end to the process. With each reading we learn more about forgiveness and repentance. They are tied to justice, compassion, kindness, mercy, humility, and sacrifice. These are traits Christ modeled during His walk on earth.

If we want to walk with Christ, it requires more than simply testifying that we forgive, we mush repent and as Benson wrote, cease to do evil. We must replace evil, e.g., being self-righteous, and self serving and become servants, and ambassadors of the Lord. This type of action does not determine salvation. We cannot acquire it to what we do, it is not by our work, salvation is a gift from God. HOWEVER, it is through our work, actions, and practices that we become closer to God because we must think on these things before we act, this links us to God’s instructions in a deliberate way.

We cannot expect justice until we act justly; we cannot expect compassion until we have compassion for others; we cannot expect kindness until we demonstrate kindness through our actions; we cannot expect a merciful society and world until we demonstrate mercy in our daily walk; we cannot expect the world to be a humble place until we demonstrate humility towards others; we cannot expect others to sacrifice until we work to strip ourselves of being self-righteous. Walking with Christ is more than trying to keep in step with His walk. He was sent to earth to model what it means to possess God in our hearts.

We are one people, culture and race create diversity, but does not negate oneness. We are all God’s children. A friend put it this way, Christ came to earth, modeled His purpose, was Crucified, said to the thief, ‘on this day you will be with me’. He did not take time to evaluate if the thief was worth saving, no, He takes us as we are, that is our salvation. The way in which we choose to live life demonstrates that receiving Christ is more that reciting scripture, it is acting the intentions set forth in scriptures in our daily walk. Our faith is demonstrated through our actions.

If our actions do not align with our faith, it is incumbent upon us to ask for forgiveness, repent, and cease doing evil. We are asking God to forgive us. This happens when we experience the need to repent from the heart, not the mind, meaning we truly experience the sorrow our actions we committed that are not aligned with God’s Word. This is Godly sorrow, heartfelt sorrow, not a sorrow we experience momentarily before we repeat the act we are seeking forgiveness for.

You can ask for forgiveness, but until we truly repent, the forgiveness is fleeting (because) there is no heart felt godly sorrow. Godly sorrow creates the process of change. It weakens and eliminates the evil we demonstrate in our walk, we continually become new creatures in Christ as we strip away our carnal behavior.

Resources: Bible hub.com; Photo – Vikas Nirmal, Twitter

Non-Conforming Minds, Breaking Carnal Patterns 

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It is easy to conform to the patterns of this world. Doing so is little more than following those around us who seek popularity, career advancement, and conformity. Non-conforming lives requires thought, commitment, and yes, repentance.

~ Lisa Blair

There are two scriptures that I feel go hand-in-hand. The first is Romans 12:2, “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.“ The second is Matthew 3:8 NLT, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and return to God.“

When we choose not to conform to the pattern of the world and choose to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, we are committing to become more like Christ. We become more loving towards those around us, as well as loving ourselves differently. We think about our actions in a different way. During which time we recognize our earthly actions require change known also as repentance. Repentance causes us to critically (objectively) review our action or actions and choose different paths. That is what Matthew 38 is saying, we prove (demonstrate) the way we live through recognition of our actions past and present, to repent means changing direction and leaving those old habits and thought patterns behind, to again, become more like Christ.

Images: 1) Our Daily Bread; 2) YouVersion. Roger Cole. Bible.com

Do Not Lose Heart

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We will age and fade away but as we do so, we are being spiritually renewed day-by-day.

~ Lisa Blair

Our faith becomes stronger with the renewing of our minds. We mature as Christians, God’s children, and grow in the Word. We receive salvation, are forgiven of our sins (overcome our sin nature), are healed from backsliding, and choose obedience to and dependence on God over my own free-will.

Resource – YouVersion, Bible.com; Google Images

Fulfill the law with love

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www.bible.com/111/gal.5.14.niv

The entire law is fulfilled when you love your neighbor, not because you like them, or you agree with their behavior, but because they too are a child of God. when I was young we were taught to dislike/disagree/hate the behavior, not the person. Our carnality often dilutes our love for one another.

This is the day the Lord has made. Let us br glad and rejoice in it.

Seek, Knock, and Find

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If you look for the Father through Jesus Christ you will find Him. Seeking God is His commandment to let us know He is all around us. He hears our prayers and is waiting for us and challenging us to interact with Him in conversation. He is calling us to enter into a relationship with Him. His grace and mercy are in abundance for the giving.

I view knocking at the door as a metaphor requesting entrance into His home. Knocking also takes the form of praying. We seek Him through our Heart. The Holy Spirit invites us into His dwelling.

Under the Holy Spirits guidance and influence, we are taken out of captivity and are no longer wanderers. In our wandering, the evil one led us astray and away from our Father. The greatness of our Lord invites us home just as we are. All He asks is that we establish genuine intimacy with Him through integrity, honesty, sincerity, and faith.

The idea of seeking God is expressed throughout the Bible. Adam and Eve may be the only people who did not have to seek Him. He was present in the Garden of Eden. God loves us, so He does not leave us alone seeking Him. In Jeremiah 24:7 He said, “ I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole hearts”, much like the Prodigal Son returned home after his wanderings.

Throughout the Bible we are urged to seek Him, to let Him know we are searching for Him and want an ongoing relationship with Him. We have been invited to seek God through Jesus who left the Holy Spirit to live in us during His absence. As believers, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit, and our access is through our heart and love for God.

The scriptures below are taken from the NASB Bible.

Jeremiah 29:12-14
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back from  exile.’”

Psalm 24:1-5
“The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

Psalm 27:8
“When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.””

Psalm 63:1
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.”

Isaiah 45:15
“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!”
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Matthew 11:25
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Seek, knock, and you will find our Lord.

Related Post: Ask. Seek. Find. Receive. https://wp.me/p98Coa-rd.
September 19, 2018