Friday, June 7 (night) - Day 7 of The Great Experiment, June 1-10, 2019
Hi, I'm Chuck Hetzler once again with Christian Union Day and Night and Pastor of Bethesda Grace Church in New York City. Hey, today I want to talk about repentance, and what is repentance? It's one of the R's of our five R's of the Great Experiment and so it's probably something you've been thinking about each day. Repentance is something that is not just an initial, momentary thing. It's an ongoing change of life. Now, there are different aspects to repentance. One aspect of repentance, the very first aspect of it, is that it involves an initial confession of something that I'm doing that is sinful and against the will of God. But there's more. In fact, the bulk of what repentance is comes after the initial confession and actually proves that the initial confession was truly a part of repentance. What do I mean? Let's look a little closer at Luke chapter 3, verse 8.
This is John The Baptist, the forerunner who prepared the way for the Lord, and in some ways that's what we're doing as a part of the Great Experiment, is preparing the way for the Lord for those around us. For our cities, for our nation. Verse 8 of Luke 3 says, "Bear fruits in keeping with repentance." Now, this is what repentance really is. The bulk of it, at least, is, "Do our lives follow the initial confession of our sin?" When we recognize, Lord, I have been living in this way that is against your will and I am so sorry. Do we prove that repentance by continuing to not partake in that behavior, but to live a completely different way? That's where repentance is made real.
That's where repentance is proved to be what we actually said it was to begin with. And so for us, as we're thinking every day and asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts, and saying, "Show me what wicked ways are in me. Show me where I have been out of step with your plans, Lord." That we would pray, and as we pray about repentance, that we would pray not only just "forgive me, Lord, and help me to change," but we would say, like an alcoholic who recognizes they don't want to live in this state anymore, that "I will never touch a drink of alcohol again." That "Lord, I will never, I will never behave like that again. I will never take part in that activity again."
Now obviously we as Christians can't live a perfect life. Repentance doesn't mean a perfect life, but it does mean a change of direction in our lives. And, you know, the Proverbs remind us and comfort us that the righteous man falls down seven times, but he gets back up. So yes, we'll need to repent over and over about things. We'll need to confess that sin and we'll need to start on a new path. And that's okay, and the Lord knows that. But it's important that we don't trick ourselves to think that repentance is merely the act of confession. Repentance is really bearing fruit, seeing a change of life and the effects that come from that, that are in accordance with the initial confession of our sin that we made to the Lord.
So may God help us to live and to walk in repentance. Not only these ten days, but in the days to come. And the Lord loves repentance and He draws near to the contrite and broken in heart. And so the Lord will strengthen us and help us even more as we commit our ways to Him. God bless you. Thanks so much for taking part in the Great Experiment.
Here is this evening's guide for the “Five Rs” of The Great Experiment, June 1-10, 2019.
1. Read and Pray
Ephesians 6:16-18 – In all circumstances take up ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20 for more context.
This evening's Prayer Points
- Ask God to clothe you with His armor.
- Pray the same for each person in the Great Experiment and for the whole Body of Christ in general.
What sins do I need to repent of today? What hindrances to my devotion to Christ can I remove today?
3. Respond to the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, what is the one thing you most want me to do today? (Write it down, and do it today).
4. Represent Christ.
How will I bear witness to Christ today? With whom shall I share the Gospel today?
5. Raise Your Faith.
Be bold and courageous in living out your faith (Joshua 1:8,9). Choose from one of the following options for a “Joshua Faith Challenge”:
- Host an all-night prayer meeting. Set a date during June 1-10 and invite friends to come and pray with you for revival in America.
- Every day, pray for ten friends and family members to come to faith in Christ and look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- Share an evangelistic post on social media every day from June 1-10.
- Anything else the Lord burdens you to take on that will require courageous faith.