Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Changing minds or changing what a person thinks or believes is very common. Often the change occurs because one is following the trends of the times. Other times the change occurs due to who a person is around.
When a person is constantly changing his way of thinking or acting, he is unreliable and untrustworthy. One day he says something a certain way, the next day he says the complete opposite.
As James talks about submitting to God, he also tells people to get closer to God. They are to repent and stop being double-minded.
Throughout the church there are many people who claim to believe in and follow Jesus, yet, remain friends with the world. The moment they walk out of the church doors, they change their actions, words and thoughts to the things of the world.
Language and actions are so much like the world, that those in the world do not realize that they claim to believe in Jesus. Then on Sunday, they can quote scripture and worship just like everyone else in the service. They are being double-minded.
God is unable to be around sin, so the only way to get closer to Him is to repent and change your ways. He has given the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen a believer to resist temptation to sin and to walk a holy life in Christ Jesus.
All sin has been removed by the blood of Jesus, but the believer must not go back and pick up the sin again. Getting that sin again is being double-minded, saying one wants to follow Jesus, but also wants to follow the world. It is one or the other, but not both.
Looking at your own life what type of life are you living?
Draw near to God and get away from the world and its sinful ways of living. He is waiting for you. Repent of sinful ways and allow God to change your heart and mind.
Listen to the Holy Spirit to guide you in how to really live your life for God. Do not listen to the world, it will only lead you to death, despite its promise of life.
God will give you all you need to live a holy life for Him, if you go to Him and stop being double-minded.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will draw closer to God; that you will change your way of living as the world to living for God; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will find life in Christ Jesus.
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
In the fast paced busyness of society in today’s times, many people are desiring to be refreshed. They want to be able to relax and have a good time and enjoy life.
The world often looks to drugs, things or doing something to give them the refreshing they desire. All of these things are temporary and will often fail in providing what is desired. People end up more tired afterwards, than before.
After a man was healed, Peter tells the people to repent and turn to God. This is so that they may have times of refreshing from God.
Once a person is done working a long, hard day, he will often take a shower, put on clean clothes and some deodorant to freshen up. He wants himself to be made presentable to others again.
While this works great on getting the outside freshened up a bit, it does not always freshen up the inside spirit of the person. Inside the heart and mind, a person is often under much turmoil and stress. It can still feel dirty.
The first step to feeling refreshed on the inside is to repent of any sins. This is to be truly sorry for what was done wrong against God or any person. It is to turn away from doing any sin at all.
Then a person must turn to God for the inner cleansing of the heart and mind. Only Jesus can cleanse a person from sin, since He paid the price for sin–death.
Once these two steps are done, God can come into a person and bring a spiritual refreshing to the mind and soul, despite the difficulties and troubles of life.
You may be tired and worn out from your day-to-day challenges of life and work. You want to be refreshed, but are not sure how to get it. Nothing that you try hits it correctly.
Start with repentance of sins and turning to God. Allow God to give you the life that you need to be refreshed and strengthened from day to day.
Sin will weigh you down and destroy you. Repentance allows God to remove the sin and build you up with a refreshing, abundant eternal life.
Are you willing to give Him a chance?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent of any sins you have done against God; that you will allow Jesus to cleanse you of all sins; and that you will allow God to refresh your mind and soul.
So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. Luke 17:3-4
Many people in the world look for ways to get revenge against someone who did them wrong. They do not seek reasons to forgive, but to punish.
People feel as if they have the right to get vengeance for things done wrong. The more the punishment, the more pleased they are.
Jesus tells the people to be willing to forgive someone. If a person sins, he is to be rebuked, then if he repents, he is to be forgiven, regardless of how many times he sins in a day.
Forgiving someone is something many people in the church struggle with doing. They will act as the world does in wanting a person punished rather than forgiven.
It begins when a person sins or hurts one and that person does not reach out to point out what occurred. The one who did wrong is not given a chance to repent, and then when he does repent, he is often not forgiven. Just like the world, many seek vengeance rather than forgiveness.
Every believer must remember how many times Jesus has already forgiven them for all their sins against Him. God never turns away or rebukes someone who has repented, He forgives immediately.
If Jesus is willing to forgive, every believer must be willing to forgive those who repent of doing something wrong. Only if a person does not repent, does a believer not have to forgive.
Forgiving someone shows God’s love to that person and to others watching. It is revealing who God and what He is like.
Just like Jesus was sinned against, there have been people who have sinned against you. Be willing to go to that person and point out what was done wrong. Give the person a chance to repent, just as God gives you opportunities to repent.
If the person repents, then be willing to forgive them, just as Jesus has forgiven you. Do not hold on to bitterness, anger and vengeance against someone, but release it to God.
Remember how many times God has already forgiven you and will continue to forgive you when you repent. Do the same to others.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength to confront those who have harmed you; that you will have God’s love to forgive those who repent; and that you will be a testimony of God’s love and forgiveness to others.