As we are getting ready to start our Easter sermons series here at LifePoint BKK, and I have been reading in Mark, and we are smack dab in the middle of the Lent season, I thought I should write about repentance.
But first, I mentioned Lent, so let’s talk about that for a minute. If your like me, you thought, “I’ve heard that word before, but I don’t really know what it means.” I have never really observed Lent because I didn’t really know what it meant. Lent is returning to God, repenting of our sins and remembering that Christ died for us, so that we will not ever be separated from God again!
And no, I didn’t give up sweets for Lent! Honestly, I didn’t give up anything! But in all reality, I gave up everything! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
I have been following along with the ladies at She Reads Truth, and they began a Lent series. At first, I thought, “I won’t participate in that one.” because, again, I didn’t really know what it was about, but I am so glad I did! If you haven’t done one of their studies, I would highly recommend it, ladies!
As I began to research what Lent was, I realize it is not exactly a holiday that is celebrated in the Bible, which probably explains why I wasn’t so sure of what it was. Nonetheless, I pressed on with the She Reads Truth study. I learned that even though Lent is not a celebrated holiday in the Bible, it is still a good time to refocus my attention on the cross in preparation for the upcoming Easter holiday. Not that we should even use a holiday as an excuse to refocus our attention on the cross!
Anyway, most of their study has been focused on Lamentations. Fun, huh? How did She Reads Truth even market this? Join us for a study on Expressing Grief! No, not at all! We lament, or express our grief, because we know we are not worthy of Jesus dying on the cross for us! The cross is our intervention for sin, so we must be sorrowful of our sin and repent of it!
In Mark 1, it talks about John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus. He goes ahead of Jesus and tells people they must repent of their sins and turn away from them, then turn to God for the forgiveness of their sins! If we repent of our sin, we regret that we have committed the sin and we change our choices and actions, so we try to no longer commit these sins! We no longer live in a way that causes us to make this sin, we think differently, we pray because we are remorseful and we say we will no longer sin this way again!
Sounds good, right! But we all know this is not as easy as it sounds. So now what?
Let’s look at Joel 2:12-13. It says, “‘Yet even now,’ declares The Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to The Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”
Oh my heart sings to hear this verse! God says return to me with all your heart! The cross is the path to return to Jesus! Our actions do not give us the right to return. Only the cross can! Thinking that my actions will cause God to love me is just my pride seeping out.
So let’s join together and give up everything about ourselves, and run to God to fill us up because He is so gracious to have sent Jesus to die for us to forgive us of our sins.
Here are some things you might need to give up:
Would you be willing to give up yourself enough to only post about God on your social media networks, instead of yourself?
What are you willing to give up to return back to God?