The Lost Meaning of Repentance

Language is in constant fluid motion; words often change meaning over time. Repentance is one example of a word with value and meaning shifting over the years.

Linguists, those who studies language, tell us that youth culture changes language about every 6 months. Dictionary writers update, adding new words and adapting meanings of existing words, continuously. It’s not much wonder confusion arises when certain words are used. Some members of the population may understand one meaning, while another segment may have a totally different concept in mind.

Here are just a few words as examples:

  1. Awful now means something very bad or unpleasant, disgusting, horrible or terrible. At one time, awful meant “worthy of awe”.
  2. Fizzle once referred to the act of producing quiet flatulence. Now it simply means to come to a gradual end.
  3. Clue, or clew, was a ball of yarn. Today it has the meaning of “evidence or information used in the detection of a crime or solving of a mystery”.

Repentance

Biblical repentance goes beyond the dictionary’s definition of “sincere regret or remorse“. Remorse is a deep regret or guilt for wrong committed. A person can be sincerely remorseful without ever repenting.

Remorse, regret and repentance

“Why is definition important?” one might ask?

Jesus responded to accusations of socializing with the wrong crowd by saying,

“I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 5:32

If Jesus purposefully came to draw people to repentance, it is imperative we have a clear understanding of what He was actually meaning.

After hearing Peter’s first sermon, the people were deeply remorseful and knew they needed to do something about their spiritual condition, but they honestly had no idea what to do. Peter’s response was,

“… Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2: 38

Repentance to biblical writers reached beyond feelings of guilt or shame. It was necessary for anyone coming into relationship with God. Years later Peter’s message hadn’t changed:

“The Lord … is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9

Eternal Significance

Truth is truth! Whether I believe it or reject it, truth remains true forever. Where each of us will spend eternity hangs in the balance of this one word — repentance.

In a world of political correctness and apologetic niceties, I must be honest. Eternal hell is full of those deeply remorseful and in constant regret of sin.

Godly sorrow brings repentance
that leads to salvation and leaves no regret,
but worldly sorrow brings death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10

To repent is simply to change one’s mind toward God and sin. It is a voluntary change of will, feeling and action toward God involving not just a feeling bad about what one has done wrong or the consequences faced. It is a “godly sorrow” leading one to confess and renounce sin turning away from it completely.

Repentance is a changing of one's mind

Where once sin held great pleasure and lure, now it is seen clearly for its true destructive nature,

“For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23

Sin is always deadly! Always! But when a person repents, God extends His wonderful gift of life, available because of Jesus’ work through His death and resurrection.

A Good Trade

Sometimes I have made what would be considered a “poor” trade to give someone else an advantage: taking the smaller portion of desert, using the broken pencil, choosing an uncomfortable position… I’m sure you have too.

A few years ago a man traded a single red paperclip. Fourteen trades later, he traded with the Town of Kipling Saskatchewan for a house. A paperclip for a house is a good trade, but not the best trade!

“If my people,
who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land

Now we are talking good trade! Trading pride for humility to draw close to God! Better yet, repenting and turning from “wicked ways” and receiving forgiveness and healing. That is a good trade!

I love the “I will”s of the bible. There are promises of God available if we assume our responsibility. This one verse contains three such amazing promises — all are connected directly to repentance.

No Regrets

Sometimes people genuinely feel so attached to their sinful life style they honestly feel to repent would deprive them of joy. It is a perceived “sacrifice” many are unwilling to make.

True repentance accesses indescribable freedom and pleasure in obeying God. Undoubtedly, there is a loathing of the sin that once held them in bondage. For Christians, life is not a list of “dos and don’ts”, but rather fullness of joy in fellowship with God and others.

“You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11

The fullness of joy!Sin holds pleasure for only a season! Repentance is the path to enjoying life fully now and for eternity.  There are no regrets to such a life choice!

It remains vitally important that we maintain the biblical meaning of repentance as God intended. Individually and corporately it is a principle leading to life and spiritual wholeness.

“Repentance means turning from
as much as you know of your sin
to give as much as you know
of yourself to as much as
you know of your God,
and as our knowledge grows
at these three points so our practice
of repentance has to be enlarged.
J. I. Packer

Choice for Today

To the tender-hearted person of faith, repentance is a continuing process. Holy Spirit both convicts us of sin, bringing us into sharpened awareness of areas of rebellion toward God, while convincing us of the immeasurable grace available to all who believe.

Today is the day of salvation!

The liberating force within repentance is difficult to articulate and wonderful to experience.

“For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you,
now is the time of God’s favor,
now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2

There will be no better day than today! No better time than right now! Test and see just how good God is! I encourage you to take the step beyond remorse and regret to the freedom found in genuine repentance. It is the right time to experience God’s favor!

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Fireflies and Lightning Bugs – Let Your Light Shine!

Childhood memory flashed through my mind as fleeting as fireflies and lightning bugs. Under the thick summer canopy of elms around my grandfather’s cabin, we would race capturing fireflies to put in jars. My real joy was watching them freely rise and spin, dart and swirl, appearing and disappearing with ease.

These tiny light generators danced spontaneously through the night air. I still view them with childlike amazement. It is a chemical reaction inside the firefly’s body that allows them to light up.

Fireflies and lightning bugs!

There is nothing extraordinary about fireflies by day. But in the dark, watch and see!

Let it Shine

The evidence of Jesus Christ within us is meant to spontaneously shine, creating an atmosphere of amazement and wonder to those around us.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

Do you catch the implication? We have an ability to either hide The Light, Jesus, from others or “let” our lights shine!

I have long struggled with preferring to go unnoticed, while at the same time desiring God to be seen in my life. Only when people witness what God is doing will He get the glory He deserves – even if that means I am uncomfortable in the process!

I like the way Paul says it,

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
of whom I am the foremost.
But I received mercy for this reason,
that in me, as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience
as an example to those who were to believe
in him for eternal life.”
I Timothy 1:15-16

When people see God through the worst of the worst, it is evidence of His grace and confirmation, Jesus Christ is Saviour of all!

I can relate! Every time God uses me in some small way, I am amazed! If His grace is on my life, His grace is for any and all! I don’t say this lightly! I am no human lightning bug. Apart from God, I have no ability to produce anything good.

But Christ in us? That is a different story!

Shine in Darkness

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6-7

Let light shine! There is that small but important word again – “let”!

Sometimes it is the recognition of the darkness of our own hearts or the fragile condition of these clay pots we inhabit that condemns us enough to hide the light rather than shine it. The tiniest light is visible in darkness. In the same way, even the smallest act of faith in front of the world will allow Christ to be seen.

If, we “let” Light shine!

Let your light shine before men!

Take courage friends,

“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
John 1:5

God is Light

Don’t get confused, however, God is Light!

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
Psalm 27:1

Yet at the same time, that Light has chosen to limit Himself to inhabit and be revealed though human flesh. The limitless God, set within the boundary of humanity!

If we don’t “let” The Light shine, Jesus Christ will not be seen in our world. With this reality is a tremendous privilege, challenge and responsibility.

But here is the paradox: God is Light and so are we!

You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on a stand, and it gives light
to all in the house.”
Matthew 5:14-15

God’s supernatural light radically ignites us, transforming us into human lightning bugs and fireflies! We are His lights shining brightly in a dark world. We may prefer to cower under a basket or hide in a back room, but God has placed each of us where His light will be clearly seen.

I have no idea how fireflies feel locked in a jar while wide-eyed children examine their every move. But maybe I do understand a little!

For All The World

I don’t thrive in

the spotlight of examination,
the confines of legalized agendas,
or the boundaries of control.

Set me free to roam the dark world of the broken, rejected, and hurting! Let me loose on the streets of my city or the cells of our prisons! Lift the lid and release me into hospitals and psychiatric wards! Free me to teach and preach, mentor and disciple! It is here my little light shines freely and fully.

Arise shine for your Light has come!

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
Isaiah 60:1-3

The Light has come! Jesus Christ came, lived a sinless life and died a horrific death to redeem all mankind. Yet, there is a world that knows nothing about Jesus, The Light of the world. How is it possible that millions have never heard His Name? Yet it is true!

Jesus the Light of the world!

God has lifted the lid of our confinement! “Let your light shine,” He urges.

He has filled us with His Spirit and set us loose. As people clearly see Christ in us, God will get the glory, the Kingdom of God will expand its reach, and Light will invade darkness.

Lightning bugs are tiny, yet there light shines incredibly far. Take wing fellow fireflies and let Christ be seen in you. “Let your light shine!”

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Read More?

My Call to Action – Living and Communing Authentic Relationships

 

 

Inheritance and Promise – Our Heritage in Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55 - Inheritance

The inheritance and promise within Isaiah 55 is for every follower of Christ. Even though I have studied this passage repeatedly, I continue to glean new and fresh insights from this little portion. Isaiah 55 is like seed producing continuing harvest in my life.

There is an old Arab proverb that says,

“Man can count seeds in grape!
Only God can count grapes in seed!”

God uses the seeds of His written word, the bible, to speak directly to us regarding our identity and purpose. These seeds become our personal inheritance to absorb in faith.

Isaiah 55 invites us to come, listen, see, seek and go.

Come

Invitations welcome us to one-on-one fellowship, business meetings, weddings, home groups, family reunions or larger gatherings; relationships are important. God designed us for relationship with Him and with others. Even introverts, like me, must resist the urge of solitude and embrace community.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
Isaiah 55:1

Our Inheritance to Come

The only requirement is thirst! That is a good thing! We don’t need money; the expenses around this invitation have been paid in full.

As a young girl, I would stand on the ridge of a coulee along the Qu’Appelle Valley and call, funneling the sound of my voice with small cupped hands around my mouth. The echo would resound again and again and again off the valley walls.

I hear God’s echo through the generations, “Come…come…come…come…” My little echo diminished with each repetition, His never does. God calls,

“Come as you are!
The door is open!
Everything is ready just for you!
I’m waiting!
Come quickly and linger long!
Come!”

The ability to come into God’s presence is part of the wonderful inheritance we have through Christ. We are welcome here with Him, our friends are welcome, so is our family, and wonder-upon-wonders, I am too!

Listen

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.”
Isaiah 55:2-3

Listen

God is much more anxious for us to come and listen than we are to respond. Our hesitancy proves our doubt in His good character, His loving nature, and His desire to bless us.

When you stop and think about it, this is an astounding verse. God is giving us the same promises He gave to David. (II Samuel 7, I Chronicles 17, and Psalms 89) That is a lot of inheritance!

Nonetheless, it is part and parcel of the covenant relationship we have with the God of heaven and earth, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

See

“…Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”
Isaiah 55:4-5

God wants us not just to hear, but to grab hold of, this vision He has for us.

 

See

 

God's faithful love is revealed through His promises, provision and purposes for our lives. Click To Tweet

God’s faithful love is revealed through His promises, provision, and purposes for our lives. These Davidic promises include:

freedom from enemies and oppression,
generational blessings,
unending love,
bringing blessing to the nations,
authority and power….

We dishonour God by thinking small! His promise to us is international in scope! We each have a part to play in bringing the Good News to all nations.

Because His splendor is within us, it also radiates from us. Endowed “with splendor” may mean promotion and honour. Receive them humbly and graciously.

It is important to recognize every advancement is God’s inheritance for us. Let’s be sure to thank Him when our sphere of influence grows. These opportunities are less a reflection of us than of God’s goodness.

Seek

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.”
Isaiah 55:6

Today is a good time to respond to God’s invitation to draw near to Him. It is arrogant to think we will always have this opportunity.

A friend of mine has recently accepted God’s, “Come!”

She is perplexed as to why she hesitated so long. What held her back? Ashamed  by the weight of personal sin and afraid of being transparent, she had refused His invitation time and time again. Only in desperation and loss of all hope was she willing to say, “Yes!”

Her life has been a progressive journey of freedom ever since, full of excitement, new friendships, and a sense of belonging and value.

She is thankful!

Go

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Isaiah 55:12

Go

It is easier to go when we know we are being led!

Our lives are not aimless; God is faithfully leading and sending. Even when we are uncertain of our direction, we need not fear. He continues to guide.

Our lives are not aimless; God is faithfully leading! Click To Tweet

In Christ, we not only go, we go in joy!

Good Inheritance

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s thoughts and ways are absolutely brilliant; we have no capacity to comprehend them.  One thing is certain; God is good! In responding to His invitation to participate in our inheritance, we come, listen, see, seek and go, trusting in His excellent design.

Life in Christ is a process of discovering His higher and better purpose. Today as we consider this one little portion of scripture, may we with new awareness go in all He has promised.

In coming to Him, we go with joy!

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Another good read!

Moving and Change – Welcome or to be Avoided?

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Christmas – The Reason Jesus Came to Earth!

The Reason Jesus Came

The festivities of Christmas have begun: family and social gatherings, decorations, baking, gifts, anticipation and excitement. But why was Jesus born? Why did He come to earth?

Hallmark sells about 93 million cards for Father’s day and another 141 million for Mother’s day. Valentine’s Day tops that at around 151 million. Does anyone want to guess what the number of Christmas cards might be? Those figures come in at 1.6 billion!

In spite of any push away from recognizing Christmas, these numbers speak for themselves. Christians and non-Christians alike place tremendous value in celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Christmas

Many of us follow traditions of previous generations, or have created our own traditions of how we celebrate Christmas. However, the significance of Christmas reaches far beyond traditions.

Why was Jesus born?

Angels Announcement

The birth of a baby is an anticipated event in any family. New parents approach the day with excitement and concern while extended family wait to see, touch and smell the new addition.

So it was for Mary & Joseph!

When a mother was ready to deliver her baby, midwives would be called. Family and friends would congregate on the roof awaiting the announcement from a close but guarded distance. Following the birth, the midwives would take a broom and knock on the ceiling. Then they would break into jubilant song; their familiar chant announcing the details!

“I bring you good news,
today in the town of __________
born to (names of father and mother)
this day a (son or daughter)
He/she will be (occupation, destiny or purpose)”

Their predictable chorus would set the roof top guests into clamorous celebration!

For Joseph and Mary, however, there were no midwives. Neither family nor friends attending the birth of this “unplanned” child. Alone, the Baby came! Only the sounds of chewing of cuds or gentle cooing from the rafters filled the night air.

Angel

God could not and would not allow this birth to go unannounced! Angels were released to declare the song of the midwives!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

This Child, Jesus Christ, was not for limited purpose or design! This Child was “for all the people…Saviour!” The Messiah had come!

Son of God and Son of Man, born to die, to take away the sins of the world.  The journey to Calvary began in Bethlehem – for all!

Calvary

The journey to Calvary began in Bethlehem! Click To Tweet

His Purpose

People continually misunderstood Him. Even for those who believed in Him, their hope of rescue clouded their vision. They wanted a king to set them free! Now!

Just before His crucifixion Jesus responded to Pilate’s questioning,

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.
For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—
to bear witness to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
John 18:37

The One who always was came! The One without beginning or end “was born“! A king? Yes, but so much more!

The One who always was came! The One without beginning or end was born! Click To Tweet

Every aspect of His birth was swaddled in the supernatural with angelic visitation and divine encounter. Yet, Jesus lived fully Man. At the same time, He was a fully natural demonstration of the fullness of the Father, the fulfillment of the law, revelation of love, and peace in a tormented world.

Jesus came “to bear witness … to testify to the truth!”

 “The true light that gives light to everyone
was coming into the world.
 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God—”
John 1:9 &11

Christmas

Christmas! The Truth shining in all His brilliance came to a world unprepared – unwaiting!

Are you ready? Am I?

It is  challenging to intentionally celebrate a Christ-centered Christmas. With Holy Spirit help, we can add a little more Christ to this Christmas.

Love

Several years ago we had a few guests staying with us over Christmas. We decided to share something we were each thankful for. As it turned out everyone around the circle talked about how significant their relationship with God and with family was to them. These moments had a powerful impact on a young visitor. He neither had a living relationship with Jesus or strong family connections. This simple time was transitional in his life.

Small things can made a big difference! For this young man, Christmas became an encounter with the Saviour!

Christmas is a reminder that real love is shown through sacrifice. For this Jesus was born, testifying with His life and death the truth in every respect. The Truth wrapped in swaddling clothes is love.

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Another read: Meeting God in the Ordinary – From Common to Holy

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Worth, Benefit, Profit, or Value? Is It Worth it? Jesus is Worth It!

Missions

Is it worth it? This is a question we commonly ask when weighing the cost of a particular decision.  The “it” we are referring to when we pose this question can refer to a number of different things, such as our time, our money, our strength, our safety or our comfort.  We weigh the potential gain against the necessary risk to determine if we deem something to be “worth it”, and decide accordingly.

Is it Worth it?

I remember telling a family member about our plans to do YWAM in 2012.  Their response sort of shocked me.  After sharing with them all the details of what we’d be doing, they matter of factly said “well that’s a waste”.

It was during our time with YWAM that I first heard of missionaries who were serving in in the Middle East, and initially, I too was disinterested, and my heart was unmoved.  I thought “who would want to go there?

Lamp

Often when we first tell people about our plans to move to the Middle East, they have a similar reaction; an unmoved heart that questions whether what we’re doing is really worth it.

“Foolishness!”

“You’re going to waste your life in a country where many people will reject you and the message you are there to share?”

“That’s foolish!”

“A waste!”

Middle East

 

A Beautiful Thing

The disciples had the same reaction to a young woman when she poured her alabaster jar of costly perfume on to Jesus the week before he would be crucified.

Indignant, they said, “Why such waste? This perfume could have been sold and given to the poor!

When a room full of disciples, the very men who would establish the early church, looked down upon a young woman for what they saw as foolish devotion, Jesus does not stay silent.

He says “what she has done is a beautiful thing to Me”. 

And then the Son of God goes on to commemorate her act of extravagant devotion in saying that wherever the gospel is preached, so should the story of what Mary has done be told.

So then, is it worth it for us to move to there?  Is it worth it to leave the relative safety and comfort of Canada for the Middle East? What about spending years learning a new language and adapting to a foreign culture? Is it worth it?  Is it worth it to be thousands of miles apart from loved ones?

Middle East

No, it isn’t.  “It” is not worth it.

Then what motivates us to go?

It isn’t the need for workers, it’s not rules or commands, not our own compassion, nor is it statistics, or even a miraculous call.  All of these reasons have validity and play a part in why we are going, but none of the reasons above will be able to sustain or fulfill us.

Jesus is Worth It

We are going because our hearts are gripped by the realization that Jesus is worth it. 

He is worth it.  

We all have a choice to make when it comes to following Jesus.  Like the rich young ruler in the book of Matthew, we can choose to hold on to our treasure or follow Jesus.  That treasure will vary for each of us, but one thing is certain – if it is anything other than Jesus, we must lay it down to follow Him, for “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).

Is it Worth It? Middle East

Give it Away

We can choose to hold on to something inferior to Christ and walk away sad and dejected, or we can believe that He is worth more than anything we could gain in life, and more precious and valuable than anything we could lose in death.

I want to be like the man who found a treasure in a field, then joyfully went and sold all that he had to buy the field.  I want to be like Mary, who upon realizing the worth of Jesus liquidated her inheritance as she poured expensive perfume over his head.

What has Jesus been calling you to give?

Go ahead, give it away.  You’ll find out that He truly is worthy of it all.

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(Posted with adaptations from A & A who are leaving for the Middle East within the next few months. If you would like to support them prayerfully or financially contact them @ ourambition@outlook.com )

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Here is another great blog!

The Ends of the Earth! No Small Task – Salvation to all Nations

The Ends of the Earth! No Small Task – Salvation to all Nations

Evangelism

The reach of the gospel of Jesus Christ is too small! Our prayers for the nations are too small! The Lord is worthy of the worship of every nation, tribe and tongue.

“it is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob

and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, 
that my salvation may reach to the 
ends of the earth.”
Isaiah 49:6

“It is too small a thing” for only God’s chosen people to obey and worship the Lord. He is too big, too awesome, too amazing for that! When we grasp how worthy our Saviour Jesus Christ is, we also begin to recognize how worthy He is of ALL worship and adoration.

The Need

We need a Saviour because of the sin nature that is within us all. God has set a plumb line of holiness; it is a standard unreachable by humanity.

  • Man has sinned and under the penalty of death (Rom. 3:23;  6:23).
  • Man’s sin exposed him to divine punishment (Rom. 1:18Isa. 53:6Jer. 17:9Psa. 14:3Rom. 1:18-325:108:7Col. 1:21).

Crucifixion

The Solution

God has a solution for our problem.  Although, we all stand guilty before a holy God, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for both our sins and our sin nature (Rom. 5:68). Jesus took the punishment for our sins upon Himself on the cross.  (Gal. 3:13Rom. 3:25-265:8).

Christ, who was sinless, suffered and died for sinful men (2 Cor. 5:21). The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that God accepted this payment on our behalf.  (Rom. 1:4)

Resurrection

The Hope

My hope is not because I am not a sinner,
but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died.
My trust is not that I am holy,
but that, being unholy, Christ died for me.
My rest is, here, not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know,
but in what Christ is and must be,
–in what Christ did, and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.”
C. H. Spurgeon

I am impressed again by the reality that these truths. The fullness of the salvation that I know, though personal, is too wonderful to be kept to myself.

God longs for “...everyone to be saved and to understand the truth”. His goal is for salvation to reach to the ends of the earth.

One Worthy

Unless we believe for all people on earth to know this truth, we are thinking, praying, and believing too small.

“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count,
from every nation and tribe and people and language,
standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.
They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.
And they were shouting with a great roar,
Salvation comes from our God
who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
Revelation 7: 9-10

The greatness of God commands worship beyond our comprehension.

Heaven and Earth

“And all the angels were standing around the throne and
around the elders and the four living creatures;
and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying,
“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and
thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
be to our God forever and ever Amen.”
Revelation 7:11-12

Not Small!

May we pray big until all come into relationship with Jesus Christ. For me at least, I don’t think big enough! I’m not praying big enough!

Only when all the nations of the world resound together is glorious praise will worship and adoration be worthy of our God.

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Further Reading:

Are We Willing To Put Everything On The Line? What Would it Look Like if We Did?

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Isaiah 45 – “Turn to Me” Today is the Day of Salvation

I have read the bible many times; each time revealing how far my life is from its teachings. However, this one thing I know, God relentlessly pursues and captivates me, drawing me inexplicably to call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 

A thousand voices resound just as many variations of this theme, “Call on the Lord and be saved.” Countless people continue at risk reputation, security and even their lives to declare this truth.

“There is salvation in no one else!
God has given no other name under heaven
by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

The simplicity is profound

Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”
Isaiah 45:22

“Look to Me”

I remember the  farming days, before GPS, wanting to drive a straight line through a vast field. Fixing my gaze on a point at the far end of the field, I would direct the farm equipment for it. However, every time I turned and looked in another direction I would be to taken slightly off course. Refocus! Reset my track!

Straight

There are many places one can look to attempt to satisfy the deepest longings and cravings of the human heart. I have tried more than my share of alternatives!

Truly, there is only One direction to find salvation. The thought of this singular path is upsetting to many, but reality none the less.

God’s invitation still stands, “Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.” NLT

Trusting

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Psalm 20:7

Where is your point of trust? For many it is in position, power or wealth. All give a false sense of security. All are temporary at best.

A missions trip to Cambodia challenged my thinking.  Decades ago Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge thrust this beautiful nation into destruction! In a matter of days, the “Pearl of the East” lay in ruins: credentials and degrees meant nothing, thriving businesses nullified, family structure decimated, religious freedom denied, as money blew in drifts down empty streets. The world stood at a distance in disbelief.

Cambodia

Where then does one put their trust?

The Invitation

Turn to me.”

These words continue

to invite and welcome
like a winding path through unknown territory
to wonder
at what beauty and rest ahead.

God’s path is neither winding nor uncertain! His path is straight, narrow and sure!

Straight Path

Today is a perfect day to turn and trust in no other than Christ Jesus.

“For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you,
now is the time of God’s favor,
now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2

Salvation

For many the stumbling block is responding to the pure simplicity of the invitation. A heartfelt prayer is the springboard of this incredible journey.

I borrow the words from a children’s book, “Olivia & Me” to help you get started:

“I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
Please forgive me.
Come into my life and give me your life.
I want to do my best to live for you,
in Jesus’ Name,
Amen.”

 

The Journey Begins