Luke 13:3 Repent Or Perish

Ruined Tower.jpg

I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3

Some people had come to Jesus and told them how some Galileans were killed by Pilate. Jesus asked them if they thought that the Galileans were worse sinners than they were because they had suffered. He then warned the people that if they do not repent, they would also perish.

People inside the church will often look at people outside the church as worse people. This often occurs when the person outside of the church suffers in a bad way. Believers will very quickly condemn the person for his actions and say he is a worse sinner than they are.

Someone who has committed several murders is considered a worse person than the person who has just told a few lies. The condemnation runs high.

This will even occur with inside the church. One believer will condemn another believer as being a worse sinner. Often certain types of people are looked down upon as worse sinners, adulterers, drug addicts, alcoholics, divorced, alternate sexual preferences, and more. The are considered worse sinners.

In God’s eyes, sin is sin. It does not matter if it is a ‘big’ sin, such as murder, rape, or some other ‘great’ sin. Or if it is just a ‘small’ sin, such as telling a lie or gossip. Every sin, regardless of its “size” is sin and separates a person from God. All Adam and Eve did was eat some fruit that was forbidden to be touched, and they were separated from God.

Was that a ‘big’ or ‘small’ sin? In the eyes of the world it was a very small thing to do with a very large consequence. In God’ eyes it was a very large problem.

Regardless of what ‘size’ the sin is, a person needs to repent of it. As a believer, you must also repent of, turn away from, all sin. Do not allow any sin in your life.

Treat every sin as though it is the worst thing that could ever possibly be done. God hates all sin and that is why He sent Jesus to die on the cross for you. He wanted to remove all of that sin. Only Jesus can remove sin.

Take time today to repent of any sin in your life. Be careful not to judge someone else as being more of a sinner than you.

I pray today that you will repent of all sin; that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will not judge others as worse than you; and that you will live your life in obedience to God.

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Luke 3:8 The Important Part Of Repentance

Fruit trees

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8

John the Baptist had started his ministry and was baptizing people with water. As he was doing this, many people came to see him. Many were thinking that they were Abraham’s children and did not need to change anything. He told them to start producing fruit with the repentance that they were doing.

Fruit trees that do not produce fruit are worthless. They become just another tree that takes up space and maybe offers a little shade, but they are not doing what they are meant to do.

People are to be just like the fruit tree. They are to do something of value. Repenting of sin is something that is easy to do, because it is just saying some words. It is admitting one is wrong and saying he is sorry for it.

However, repentance is much more than just being sorry for a sin, it is a turning away and producing new fruit.

In the Bible the people talked about being the children of Abraham. Today people talk about their parents being a believer, or a pastor of a church. Or some will say that they are a member of some church. These things do not make a person a believer and does not show any fruit in one’s own life.

The fruit that needs to show up is the fruit of the Spirit. There is to be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and more. There needs to be a greater hunger for God’s word. There needs to be a desire to tell others about Jesus. There needs to be a change of character.

If you have repented and chosen to follow Jesus, you must take a look at your life. Are you showing a change in your life, by becoming more like Jesus everyday?

Are you producing fruit in your life?

If you are not producing fruit, God will be upset with you. You have become just a dead tree in His garden. In the end, God will have to cut you down if you do not produce any fruit.

Seek God and His ways to produce fruit. Be willing to be changed by God and made useful today.

I pray today that you will allow God to produce fruit in your life; that you will be used by God to make more disciples; and that people will see Jesus in and through you.

Mark 6:12 The Important Message

Priority

They went out and preached that people should repent. Mark 6:12

Jesus started to have His ministry expand through the disciples. He sent them out in groups of two to the different villages to preach the gospel message, while He continued teaching in each village. Their focus was to preach that people should repent of their sins.

The whole focus of Jesus’ ministry was to reach and save the lost. He came to save every person on this earth from their sins. The only way a person could be saved from his sins is by his repenting of those sins and accepting the forgiveness that Jesus offered. Believing in Jesus with repentance of sins allows a person to be saved.

People need to hear this saving message. However, many churches do not talk about it, but maybe once a year. Christian speakers rarely talk about being saved. They talk about how to live for God, how to be a good Christian, and the blessings of being a Christian, but rarely give people a chance to become saved.

Many believers may go out into the workplace or community and talk about the blessings of God or the talk against various specific sins. The challenge is that often there is no message of repentance of those sins and turning to Jesus.

Some will say that they are not preachers and leave that to the preacher only. The disciples were not certified preachers, they only spoke of what they knew. Every believer can preach the gospel message. All one has to do is tell what he knows and why and how he became saved. The world needs to hear that.

When the gospel message is first preached, then salvation will occur and God can do many miracles. The miracles are signs of what God is doing inside. Salvation cannot be seen, but the miracles can. Then lives will be changed and God’s kingdom will grow larger.

As you go out today seek opportunities to share the gospel message of salvation with those you meet. Show the need to repent of sins and turn to Jesus.

Do not just speak against the sins, but also show God’s great love and plan for them. God does not want anyone to die in their sins. He wants everyone to be saved. Are you taking that gospel message to everyone you know?

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will share you testimony of God’s work in your life with others; that you will not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus; and that you will preach salvation to all you meet.

Jonah 4:11 Are You Really Concerned?

“And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left–and also many animals?” Jonah 4:11

Jonah had finally decided to go to Nineveh and tell the people about God and warn them of the coming destruction. The people chose to repent and obey God. God also relented and chose not to destroy them. Jonah was very upset that God did not destroy the city. God asks him if He should not be concerned about all the people who were uneducated and needed His help.

People love to judge other people, but do not want to be judged. They are always willing to look at how terrible another person is, yet refuse to see major faults in their own lives. They are only concerned about their own welfare and life. They will spend time in church, but not go to the people who need Jesus. Many believers in churches are very quick to pass judgment upon the lost. They do not feel that some people deserve to be saved.

In the process of feeling this way, many will not bring the gospel message to certain people. In reality they do not have the love and compassion for people that Jesus showed when He walked upon the earth. Jesus walked around healing and giving the good news. Jesus had come to save everyone who is willing to believe. Every person on this earth needs a chance to make the choice of whether to believe in Jesus or not.

When you take time to share the gospel message with someone, you are taking time to show God’s love and compassion for them. You are being concerned about the people. The most important thing to be concerned about is the welfare of their spirit. If they do not have Jesus, they will have death in the end.

Although it is important to keep your own life focused on God, you must also be concerned about the lives of others. Have you given them a chance to know Jesus? Or have you lived your life so concerned about yourself that you do not tell them about Jesus?

And when someone changes their heart and follows Jesus, are you excited or do you ask why they were not judged?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for all people; that you will have God’s concern for the souls of all people; that you will strive to tell everyone you can about Jesus; and that God will draw many to Him through you. 

Daniel 9:8 Admitting Sin

We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered in shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8

Daniel had just received a very clear vision of how long Israel would be destroyed and under captivity of another nation. He then started reading some of the words of Jeremiah and seeing what God had told him. Once he read those words, he started to pray to God a prayer of repentance for the nation of Israel. Daniel started admitting to breaking God’s commands and sinning against Him.

Daniel did not point fingers at other people and just say that they were the ones to sin. He included himself in the sins against God.

It is very easy, and very common, for people in the church to point fingers at the sins of others. Christians blame those in the world for the corruption and sin that is so rampant in their nation. Blaming politicians and leaders for the sin comes easily for many people. People will say if “they” did not allow something, that sin would not be there or the corruption would not have happened, always talking about someone else and not themselves.

When actions like this are done, one is not showing the love and mercy of God towards others. Nor is the person taking his responsibility in what is being done wrong.

Some may say, “I have never killed anyone (or some other sin), so why am I to repent.” It is true that you may not have done a particular sin, but there is another one that you have done. Regardless of what sin you have committed, you have sinned against God and helped lead your country to where it is today.

Along with that, every believer is supposed to be His loving witness to this world. As you go through your days ask yourself if you are doing everything that you can to be His witness. Ask yourself if you are showing His love and mercy to this dying world in the best way possible and as much as possible.

Since many believers cannot say that they are doing these things to the level God wants them to do, they are helping others continue in sin.

Seek God and ask Him to show you how you can reach the world for Him.

Repent of all sins, both the corporate and the personal. Allow God to change lives.

I pray today that you will seek to be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet; that you will do your best to bring all to God; that you will show His great love and mercy to this world; and that you will repent of all sin. 

Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.