REPENT OR PERISH
Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
There is a fallacy amongst “Grace” teachers that love covers a multitude of sins and we don’t have to repent of things any more which is nothing but a lie and a half truth. The word of God tells us we need to repent continually even on a daily basis. Hence Apostle Paul wrote Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Stealing is one of the many sins that people including preachers and politicians do on a daily basis and repentance is required!
Repentance is more than just feeling sorry or contrite for past conduct; or to regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. It is action to correct the wrong or sin with the purpose of not repeating it. It is also followed by restitution such as in the case of the rich thief Zacchaeus whom Jesus befriended:
Luke 19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Yes true salvation consists of repentance and is demonstrated by restitution! Yes your problems are not going to be solved until you are willing to do something passionate about them.
FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE (5) :
‘Many waters cannot quench love.’ Song of Solomon 8:7 NIV
You quickly discover that the greatest threat to marriage is—selfishness! A mother was trying to explain to her little son the benefits of unselfishness. She concluded her talk by saying, ‘We’re in this world to help others.’ After due consideration the boy asked, ‘Well then, what are others here for?’ When two people put their own individual needs and wants first, they’re on a collision course. Let’s look at some examples of selfishness in marriage:
(a) In–laws. It’s a sign of selfishness and immaturity when you constantly harp about what your parents said, and how they did things. It’s unfair to your spouse and it’ll hurt your relationship.
(b) Pornography. The Psalmist wrote, ‘I will not look… at anything that is vile.’ (Psalm 101:3 NIV) Pornography is as addictive as heroin and untold numbers of marriages are shipwrecked by it. Not only does it leave you feeling ashamed, it can devastate your partner’s self–worth.
(c) Disagreements. Don’t be like the woman who told her friend, ‘We’ve been married for twenty years and never quarrelled once. If a difference of opinion arises and I’m right, my husband gives in.’ Her friend asked, ‘And what if he’s right?’ Without hesitating she replied, ‘That has never happened!’
(d) Prayerlessness. Ninety per cent of Christian couples don’t read the Bible and pray together. Do you? If Christ is the most important thing in your lives, He should be the thing you most enjoy sharing. When passion and physical beauty fade, your shared love for Christ will sustain you through the storms of life. So fight for your marriage.
ACCEPT THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS
Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Forgiveness of sins is one of the great themes of the Bible. There is so much that scripture says about it that it would take volumes of books to adequately deal with the subject. It will suffice to say that the blood of Jesus is what provided us with forgiveness of sins. That sacrifice was so great that it outweighed all our sins. It covered all the sins of the world-past, present, and future.
Most Christians have the concept that the sins they committed before they professed faith in Christ are forgiven at salvation, but any sins that are committed after that time are not forgiven until they repent and ask for forgiveness. This is not the case.
All our sins: past, present, and future were forgiven through the one offering of Jesus. If God can’t forgive future sins, then none of us can be saved because Jesus only died once, nearly 2,000 years ago, before we had committed any sins. All our sins have been forgiven.
The forgiveness of our sins is not the ultimate goal of our salvation. It is just a necessary step. The real goal of salvation is relationship with the Father and sin is a barrier to that relationship. So, it had to be dealt with, and it was, through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who stop with the forgiveness of sins and don’t go on into eternal life are missing the heart of salvation. Our sins have been forgiven so that we may enter into intimacy with the Lord.
It is through the riches of God’s grace that we have received forgiveness for our sins. There is nothing we can do to obtain forgiveness except humble ourselves and receive forgiveness as a gift through faith in Christ.
A LOVE EVERLASTING AND UNCONDITIONAL
…I have loved you with an everlasting love… – Jeremiah 31:3
At the best of times, between even the best of people, the love we have for one another is often conditional. We still expect something in return. We expect our love to be reciprocated. But the love that God has for us is not like that at all. His love for us is everlasting and totally unconditional.
“What if I’ve fallen into sin and stayed away from church? Does God still love me then?”
Yes, my friend, God still loves you and if you would open up your heart to His goodness, His goodness will lead you to repentance (Romans 2:4). Even when you have turned your back toward God, His love and light still shine on you. You only have to turn back to Him and receive His love. You will find His grace right there to help you overcome whatever sin you are struggling with.
Beloved, He waits patiently for you to turn back to Him, just like the father in the story of the prodigal son. He is not just a God of second chances, He is a God of many chances. His love for you is unconditional, unshakable and unchanging. He loves you and is for you—then, now and forevermore!
THE TIME HAS ALREADY BEEN SET
My times are in your hands… – Psalm 31:15, NIV
In life, oftentimes we are waiting for something; waiting for a dream to come to pass, waiting to meet the right person, waiting for a problem to turn around. When things aren’t happening as fast as we would like, it’s easy to get frustrated. But you have to realize, the moment you prayed, God established a set time to bring the promise to pass.
God has a set time for your opportunity. There is a set time for that problem to turn around, a set time for your healing, your promotion, your breakthrough. It may be tomorrow, next week or five years from now, but when you understand the time has already been set, it takes all the pressure off. You won’t live worried, wondering when this is ever going to happen. You’ll relax and enjoy your life knowing that the promise has already been scheduled, and your answer is on the way!
Comfort each other and edify one another. —1 Thessalonians 5:11
When 19-year-old Johnny Agar finished the 5k race, he had a lot of people behind him—family members and friends who were celebrating his accomplishment.
Johnny has cerebral palsy, which makes physical activity difficult. But he and his dad, Jeff, have teamed up to compete in many races—Dad pushing and Johnny riding. But one day, Johnny wanted to finish by himself. Halfway through the race, his dad took him out of his cart, helped him to his walker, and assisted Johnny as he completed the race on his own two feet. That led to a major celebration as friends and family cheered his accomplishment. “It made it easier for me to do it with them behind me,” Johnny told a reporter. “The encouragement is what drove me.”
Isn’t that what Christ-followers are meant to do? Hebrews 10:24 reminds us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (NIV). As we model the love of our Savior (John 13:34-35), imagine the difference it could make if we all set out to encourage each other—if we always knew that behind us we had a group of friends cheering us on. If we took the words “comfort each other and edify one another” (1 Thess. 5:11) seriously, the race would be easier for all of us.
Help us, Lord, not to think that we can go through life without others. Cure us of our independent spirit. Use us to bless others and humble us to accept encouragement.
A word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up or going on.
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