Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Repentant Heart

Chuckle: "I miss being the age I was when I thought I would have my life together by the time I was the age I am now!"
Good Quote: “To do so no more is the truest repentance.” --Martin Luther

"The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:17 NLT).
Here the psalmist makes a contrast between giving sacrificial offerings and the condition of the giver's heart. In the previous verse, he says, "You would not be pleased with sacrifices, or I would bring them. If I brought you a burnt offering, you would not accept it." In the Old Testament, giving a burnt offering as a sacrifice to God was seen as a good and righteous thing. But, from God's perspective, the condition of the heart was much more important than any offering one could make. What was being done was useless unless it was from a broken and repentant heart.
In our human way of thinking, it makes perfect sense that God would be most impressed and pleased by our good deeds -- by our monetary offerings and helping others in a kind and compassionate ways. Many think the way to please God, and garner His favor, is by being a good person and doing good things. We can impress those around us, but God is not impressed unless we first sacrifice ourselves to Him with a broken and repentant heart, show genuine sorrow for our sinful condition, and give Him complete control of our lives. In other words, our hearts must be right before our actions mean anything to God.
The apostle Paul expresses this truth this way: "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?" (Romans 12:1 NLT). Even in the Old Testament, where the sacrifice of animals was commonplace, God makes it clear that the condition of the heart was much more important. Remember, people look at outward appearances, but God looks at the heart. God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
In closing, a brief word about repentance. Isn't it difficult to admit you are wrong and to say "I'm sorry" either to another person or to God? Being genuinely sorry for our sins is only the beginning of brokenness and repentance. As God's Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we must come to the point that we're willing to do something about it. Genuine repentance includes: (1) being sorry for our sins, (2) confessing our sins to God, (3) asking God to forgive and cleanse us, (4) making a commitment to change the way we live, and (5) asking God to use us for His glory. When we get to the point that everything we do is for God's glory, what we do will be seen as acts of worship and will be acceptable to God.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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