Thursday, March 24, 2011

Repentance is All About the Heart (James 4:6-10)

The Scriptures speak of repentance in terms of being a gift granted from God.  Yet the word repentance often stirs up feelings and reactions that are negative—even ugly.  The truth is that repentance is a beautiful gift of God’s grace to us. 

Repentance is the door we walk through 
to power and joy for a transformed life.

“God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” 
Acts 5:29-31

“God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” 
Acts 11:18

“Those who oppose Him He must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant  them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” 
2 Timothy 2:25

“Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” 
Romans 2:4

Repentance is the key to a fulfilled life with Christ!  

Because of God’s loving kindness and patience towards us He reveals to us our sin and the way out of its bondage.  Repentance is the path to restoration, salvation, life and freedom!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” 
Isaiah 30:15

Repentance is all about the heart . . . *

1. A heart of humility
Humble yourself:
“He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires.  As the Scriptures say, ‘God sets Himself against the proud, but He shows favor to the humble.’”  James 4:6

“When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on Him, He will lift you up and give you honor.”  James 4:10 

2.  A heart of submission
Submit to God:

Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil . . .  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail . . .”  James 4:7-9 

3.  A heart of confession and repentance
Confess sin:

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail . . .”  James 4:8b-9 

4.  A heart of aggressive resistance
Resist the devil:

Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil . . .”  James 4:7 

5.  The promise: he will flee

“. . . Resist the devil, and he WILL flee from you . . .”  James 4:7 

When we speak and declare truth in the authority of Jesus Christ, action takes place in the spiritual realmAs we pursue freedom, we take back any ground the enemy has taken in our lives.  By taking our thoughts captive, we resist the enemy who works through our own thoughts, his twists of the truth and the lies this world feeds us.

We MUST rebuke Satan; exercise our authority over him—and God’s word promises that he will leave us.  He must!  Jesus rebuked Satan when fasting in the wilderness 40 days and Satan left Him (Luke 10:17, 19)When we rebuke his demons in the name and blood of Jesus they will flee from us too!

We do not have to walk defeated—
we just do because we do not walk in the power 
and truth God has granted us in Christ Jesus!

After the Holy Spirit has revealed to you your sin . . . 
recognize it—
own it—
confess it as your sin.

1.  Repent:  and receive the Lord’s forgiveness—agreeing to go in the opposite direction of that sin.
2.  Rebuke:  demonic influence, and renounce the lies that contradict God’s truth.
3.  Replace:  the lie or sinful behavior with what is true and right by renewing your mind in God’s truth.  A change of mind=a change of behavior!
4.  Receive:  a fresh infilling work of the Holy Spirit
 . . . and rejoice!

*”Repentance is all about the heart” and praying the 4 R’s adapted from the workbook, Living Free, by Mike Riches; copyright 2007; pages 19, 20

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I am joining The Good Morning Girls as we study James together.