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How can a person be put aright with God?. How can a sinner be made righteous? Only through Christ can we find harmony with God and be made holy. But how are we to come to Christ?
To Repent means to be sorry for sin and to turn away from it. We will not give up sin unless we see how sinful it is.
There will be no real change in our lives until we stop loving sin and decide to turn from it.
The bible does not teach that the sinner must repent before he can accept Christ's invitation. “Come to me , all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28
When I read about repentance I need to really seek the Lord. I feel the only way to come to true bible repentance is with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Here is a example of what true repentance is not.
Judas Iscariot sold his Lord to those who planned to kill Him. Then he cried out. ”I have sinned by betraying an innocent man to death. " Matt 27:4
This confession was forced from his guilty heart by a terrible fear of punishment. He was afraid that he might have to suffer for what he had done,
But he felt no deep, heart -breaking sorrow for selling out the perfect Son of God.
When we truly want to repent of our sin, a real victory in the Lord's leading will follow. Its not about the sin, its about the sinner.
We need to truly seek our Lord Jesus, and draw close to him with every thought. He wants us to follow Him, but also wants us to have a loving relationship with Him. This is done as we seek to lay our sinful way at His feet.
My prayer is has we draw closer to our Lord's coming that we see our need for a savior.
" We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.”
We can’t depend on our feelings. Our feelings have shown us they cannot be trusted. We can depend on God and His promises. Our self-reliance fails us. Pride keeps us from humbly asking God to remove our shortcomings. Asking is not enough, we must believe that God is willing to help us. We can come to God just as we are confessing our sins and repenting. In his loving mercy, He changes our lives. The Holy Spirit enables us to recognize sin for what it is. When we see sin for what it is we are sorry and feel guilty. As God works our heart, we are changed and begin to hate sin. Our new heart, given as a free gift, causes us to believe God's promises. So we confess our sins and choose to serve God. Thank God, we can receive his blessing right now! We don't need to clean ourselves up first. God's promises are for each of us. We are to believe, come to Him, confess our sins and repent. There is no reason to be afraid or unbelieving. The Father hates the sin, but loves the sinner.
This was difficult for me. Be ready and willing to allow God to remove my character defects. I did know God and had not developed a relationship with Him.
What it boiled down to was a trust issue. God wants to heal us. He wants to remove our sinful behavior. He invites us to come to Him. I wanted to be in control of my own life. Do what I wanted to. To give control of my life over to God was to admit that I couldn't run my own life. I hadn't had much luck with running my own life. The results were clear enough to everyone who knew me and had to become clear to me. As I reflected on the choices I had made I could see I was going downhill fast. I ask God to make me willing to be willing to give my life over to Him. God has our best in mind. He actually has a plan for our lives. Our choice is whether we keep control and continue going our way or to allow Him to work out His plan for our lives. God wishes us no ill will. He desires us to live harmoniously with Him so we can finally have peace in our lives. The choice is ours.
God does not force us to do anything. He desires us to freely come to Him of our free will. God doesn't want this to be painful. It may be painful because we see and admit the wrongs we have committed. The Holy Spirit guides us to recognize our sin for what it is. We have to admit it is our problem (addiction) and feel sorry for the pain we have caused God or someone else. When we take ownership of our sin and stop blaming someone else, God will forgive our trespasses. True confession names the sin: addiction, resentment, or character flaw. Sometimes it is helpful to have an experienced Holy Spirit- filled person to help us with our journey. We must be careful who we ask to walk with us. One of the byproducts of sin is that when we commit the sin the first time it is easier to do again. We have lost our innocence and it does not look as wrong as it did before. Brokenhearted people are humbled and desire forgiveness. This leads us to see that God does really accept us and loves us. God will forgive us when we admit our sin and repent of it.
The need for repentance occurs following an awakening in our conscience. This awakening is caused by the Holy Spirit touching our hearts helping us to recognize our problem. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t understand repentance. They mistakenly believe that repentance opens up the way to forgiveness. We need to come to Christ with our heavily laden hearts. That is where repentance begins. The Bible teaches that the Spirit of Christ leads us to repent and receive a pardon from God. Our minds (and hearts!) are touched and we see sin for what it really is. This affects conscience and opens up the door to true repentance. It is our choice to receive this gift but we can reject the idea if we so chose. If you desire change, you need only ask. Christ died to take away our sins and change our lives to be more like Him. We need to sense our need of a Savior to come to Him. The opening of our eyes to the fact that sin has caused our shame and our desire to mask the pain. The next step is to talk to God about it and ask for His mercy. A lot of the time we want to blame others for the condition we are in. Delaying our decision to come to Him only leads to more of the old life. Every time we delay is an opportunity to have our hearts hardened. This leads us to make poor choices. Delaying keeps us from receiving the love of God. Sin makes us less willing to receive the Holy Spirit. Sin changes our habits and hearts to desire the lifestyle we need so desperately to leave. Many have chosen to accept Christ's sacrifice on our behalf . We tend to want to stop there. We want Him as our Savior but not as Lord of our lives. We clearly see how awful sin (our addiction) is when we are drawn to God. We also clearly see God’s love for us when we repent and ask His forgiveness.
We recognize our complete lack of power to change our compulsive behavior. This is may be an eye opener for the one suffering. Folks around them already know that they are out of control. Usually an event triggers the decision to change our lives. Whatever the event, it is painful enough to cause us to seek help. We cannot escape the power of sin on our own. The good news is this pain opens the door for us to look for help beyond the realm of human power. We cannot change our desires because we have to have a change of heart. The Power that can change us is Jesus. When we accept the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins we can be reconciled to God. If we choose not to accept this gift then we feel guilty and want to hide from God. We do this by continuing our cycle of addiction. Christ desires to save all those who come to Him with a repentant heart. That is God’s will for our lives. He wants His family reunited.
As I read this step one Sinners Need of Christ, it’s the key to recovery of anything. It is not possible for us , of ourselves, to escape from the power of sin. Our hearts are sinful, and we cannot change them. “Nothing clean can ever come form anything as unclean as human beings. Job 14:4
Our need for Christ is huge!! As I listen to the humming birds outside, I am reminded of the care God takes for
all His creation. Our ONLY safety is reading God's Holy Word. Education, good manners, and willpower all have their place in helping us to do the right things. But they cannot change our hearts and make our lives pure. Only a new life from above, a power working inside us, can change us from being sinful to being holy.
This first step is essential to moving forward. It is written of Christ, “The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. John 1:14
We need to let go and let God to move forward on the journey of recovery. Next repentance...
Chapter 1 God’s Love for Man declares Nature and the Bible both tell us of God’s love. We see that God allows troubles to happen because through the consequences of our choices men and women can recognize their need of Someone more powerful than them.. The Bible shows us the character of God. A character of everlasting love and pity. God has showed us His love by different ways. Nature and our hearts are ways God has chosen to share His love for us. Jesus came to save the lost race. Jesus had been One with God but through the cross He was separated form God the Father experiencing the separation sin had caused between God and mankind. The more I recognized the love God had for me and not just me but you also. I became humble. Who am I that God would even take notice of me? I realized how helpless I truly was. Through looking at the cross, I saw God’s character of love in it’s fullest. Chapter 2 explains our need and covers the 1st step of the 12 step Program. This program works for recovery from addictions and lifestyle issues. Join me next time as we talk about the Sinner’s need for Christ.
As this chapter brought to my mind, of God’s great love for Man:
The true meaning of how much Jesus gave for us is almost hard to fathom.
The thought and mediation that struck me was service. (will loving service help to deliver people from there addictions? YES
The founders of AA found their freedom through service to others with addictions, and working the 12 steps.
Christ's ministry was a ministry of service to others. When we step outside of ourselves and see with the eyes of Jesus, we see his unconditional love for man. We make a choice to not focus on the defect of addiction, but rather on the saving grace and power of Christ.
Satan would have us confused on this matter. He wants us to see God as a harsh judge.
We will read that Jesus, as the Son of God, came to reveal the Father’s Character of love.
I am excited to see how Gods love creates in my heart to focus on Him on my self.
Steps to Christ Recovery Edition Blog