Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rejoicing over Repentance

Now, this is not a new concept for sure, however it hit me this morning more than ever. Today's scripture reading came from Luke 15.

In pride I have had tendencies upon reading/hearing certain passages of scripture thinking they didn't apply to me.
For example the prodigal son found in Luke 15... I still remember watching the Donut Man as a youngster and seeing their rendition of this story and thinking... "That isn't fair!" Relating to the older son much more than having compassion on the younger brother that spent money on relations with women. I honestly never understood the implications here until I was in college and I heard Jason in IVCF speak about the son and God's love. I really suggest reading it, possibly again... is your friend!=)
I did not recognize the sin that was in my heart: judgmental-ism, pride, control, manipulation, fear of man, to name a few. Because I never drank or smoke, etc... I thought I was the righteous one. But this is very wrong and dangerous thinking my friends. I can fully tell you that "Pride comes before the fall". It is by God's grace over my life that I haven't ever been drunk with wine, and I pray by God's grace I never will. I think one of the most freeing sermons I ever heard was Rick Joyner stating that by God's grace he has never cheated on his wife, and by God' s grace he prayed he never would! Praise God for this man! We have the capability inside each of us for EVERY sin! If we have not done a particular sin,  God's grace is in us helping us make good decisions. We partner with God in doing good. You can be the most powerful team on Earth, if Jesus is who you stand with.
Jesus was branded for our transgressions - the outward, manifested sin
and bruised for our iniquities... the inward heart bent toward sin
Ana Mendez says iniquity is part of our spiritual DNA, and I think she is right. If there are things I have not repented for, the heart bent towards those sins will be passed on to my children for them to deal with. There are consequences for our sin. And Jesus became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ! So God's grace is with everyone in differing degrees. God gives us free-will to choose the right thing or not, and there are consequences. Once we repent and uproot the iniquity in our hearts His grace and joy can fill those spots! Hurray!

So anyways, back to Luke 15, he he, there are the 3 parables Jesus gives after the religious leaders grumble because Jesus is chilling with sinners.
  • First is the sheep, leaving 99 sheep to retrieve the lost one. 
At the end Jesus says, "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
  • Second is the Lost Silver Coin.
At the end Jesus says, "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
  • Third is the Prodigal Son.
At the end Jesus says, "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'" 

Every time I repent, turning my heart towards God and away from my bad attitudes, pride, selfishness... there is rejoicing in heaven. The angels are moved to joy. The reality is every time we turn away from God we become like the lost sheep, lost coin, the lost son. Every time I feel the selfishness to drink all the chocolate milk and not save any for my darling husband, I am turning away from the Lord! But if I take this moment and repent for selfishness, there is rejoicing! Rejoicing, and joy joy joy!!!!
Submit to God, resist the devil - and he will flee from you.
Thank You Abba for Your kindness that leads us to repentance, and for showing us this piece of what heaven is like.

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