All posts tagged: repentance

Salvation through Emmanuel

Emmanuel… God with us! I truly don’t think there is a more beautiful name ever given in all of history. It’s not just a name though, it’s a promise to you and me. He is here, we are His bride, and nothing can separate us from that love. We were lost, and now we’re found! But what does that really mean? Romans 3:23 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”  Paul then writes in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because of our sin, we deserve death.  There is nothing we can do to save ourselves.  We can never be good enough or do enough good things.  Jesus is our only means of salvation (John 14:6).  He is the Son of God. He came to earth; lived the perfect life; and died on a cross for our sins.  He rose three days after his death and did it all because of how …

Thanks-giving Begins with Thanks-living

The aroma of golden-brown turkey wafting through the rooms of the house. The shrills of children startling anything still asleep. The caws of the crows piercing the fog that lies like gossamer on the outstretched arms of the trees. The occasional thunder of a gun in a young boy’s hands, fingers crossed, hoping for that first deer. Little girls playing hopscotch on the sidewalk while their brothers are pounding the pavement with basketballs. Football—inside on TV and outside in the yard. And, of course, jolly old Santa Claus—bigger than life—the grand finale of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But what if the stuff of which good Thanksgivings are made are just not there this year? I just received word that a friend of almost 45 years died. Try to imagine what his family’s Thanksgiving will be like. What about you? What about me? If we were to draw pictures of our lives right now, what would we draw? Would you draw a temple—stately, overwhelming, majestic? Or would you be more inclined to draw a picture resembling …

Surrender to a Holy God

Stop and think for a moment: Am I concerned with what God thinks about my moment to moment living? In Israel, back in the day of Hosea, the people were unfaithful: lying, stealing, committing adultery and murder.  The country had turned its back on God. They were unrepentant, crying out to God with their voices, but not with their hearts. When things get difficult for us, we often choose to do what makes us feel good and what is easy, even though it isn’t what God desires.  We never take a breath and ask God, “Would you be pleased with what I am doing right now?”   When we do what makes us feel good, rather than what would be good in the eyes of the Lord, we are selfish and put a barrier between ourselves and Him.  We reject God. We see in the story of Hosea that God is holy and faithful and still loves the people he created even when they reject Him. In every thing that you do, God is there, …

Freedom in Forgiveness

We like dishing out forgiveness about as much as having a root canal… without anesthesia! We can grow comfortable in our disdain for the offender, because we are after all “the offended.”  I find humor and some truth to what William P. Young wrote in his book The Shack: Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat… Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established… Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation… Forgiveness does not excuse anything… You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and …

Seeking Forgiveness

This past Sunday, as we continued our series on forgiveness, Dale dove into the importance of seeking forgiveness from others when we sin against them. As sinful people, we are going to hurt one another.  Yet, even though we know this, it is difficult to swallow our pride, look someone in the eye, and admit we’re wrong.   Proverbs 28:13 says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” (NLT) We are called to confess our sin to God first and then to the appropriate person. (1 John 1:8-9, James 5:16)  But what does God-honoring confession look like? 1) Have the right attitude.  The New Testament of the Bible was originally written in the Greek language and the Greek word for confession, homologeo, means “to say the same thing;” in other words, to see our sin as God sees it.  Don’t make excuses or cast the blame (i.e. I was tired.  I was just reacting to your tone.)  See your actions through the eyes of our perfect Savior. 2) Name it.  Don’t …