Repentance has got a bad rap over the years…(2000 or so) as a most solemn and sober occasion, devoid of great joy…this is not so…
Repentance simply means turning from our way of doing things and turning to God..acknowledging that He is!
The preaching of the Word of God is that which brings man to repentance. The Word of God and the Presence of God is inseparable…in that, the Spirit of God brings conviction of our very need for a Saviour and that repentance is required for entry into new birth, entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. This is indeed the Truth…further to this…however..some have put repentance at the top of the “list” before the very Presence, Power and Peace of God?
Does repentance come first or revelation of God Himself – His Presence – into a person’s life?
What I am getting at is, perhaps we have been so focussed on the act of repentance, the saying of “the prayer” and not on the Presence of God to do the complete work of Christ.
There is GREAT joy in heaven, that even one person comes into the Kingdom..therefore even the decision to follow Christ, the very act/ action of repentance is a time for rejoicing….a point in one’s life that ALL heaven also rejoices with that one that was lost and now found. The life a sinner has lived prior to this decision, has without a doubt, never seen or experienced such a joy that is offered at this very moment – and in fact, this isthe moment…
The moment of deliverance from a life devoid of extreme, extravagant,without limit, Divine love and joy.
Further, it is wonderful that we give an invitation for those not yet in the family of God, to come and accept Him, while every eye is closed…that a hand may be raised in acknowledgement that they have a need of God… the thing is, how much do WE, the church, show that there is actually a gap between the “have’s” and the “have-not’s”…so to speak.
What I mean is, do our lives demonstrate and exemplify the joy of the Lord, that we enjoy and pleasure in His presence, are there manifestations of His presence in our midst – for those that believe and those that do not as yet….as a foretaste, as a teaser even…so that others may think, say and desire God: “I want what they have..they appear to be having such a wonderful time…who is this God in their midst…I must know Him…”
How are we being the Presence of God, to those around us…including those in the house of God and those outside?
Do we have a testimony of God’s goodness and presence – His action in our lives?
Are we ready at any time to give an account of the faith we have in Him?
Is this account relevant/ current Good News for today?
Or is our story of how God showed up, some time ago…in the past somewhere…
All testimony of Jesus is good…of His great comfort in times of trouble..yet I ask, is His Presence in us today? YES!
Our God is ever-present, always involved, forever intimately concerned and never leaves us!
I once was lost and now am found! Is the most brilliant discovery…and thereafter, also, in our journey with God, further repentance may be needed, as God’s presence continues to reveal His Holiness to us, His deep and fervent Love towards us and our further need for Him in our lives, to purify us, to make us whole and more able to receive His Love in greater measure. This is a time for great rejoicing…for entering in with thanksgiving, staying in, soaking in the very Presence and Love God has for us….and He leads us in triumphant procession in Christ Jesus.
I think on this, as I write – as Christ set his face to the cross…and then later rose from the dead….as He entered into the very purpose and plan God had for Him.
He went to the cross: for the joy set before Him! Hebrew 12:2
There is unspeakable joy set before us and those that are being saved, because our God is here…Present with us!
Our great and awesome God is here today…His Loving Presence never leaves us nor forsakes us…and as we seek His face and presence, we have a testimony that contains His very Presence, because we have been with Him…and even now abide in Him.
May we enter His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts, enter His courts with praise and lead many others in this triumphant procession…knowing that His very Presence is the only ingredient, the miracle – for transforming lives, ours more so and those all around us also!
Repentance equals great joy – it means freedom and joy in the Kingdom!
URLOVD with a transforming and joyous Love!