Friday, 14 August 2015
In the book of Mark, the first words (printed in red in my Bible) spoken by Jesus were,
Excerpt from ‘Beginning in Christ together’
The Greek word (repent) here (Mark 1:15) means to change your mind - to think about things in a radically different way. A related Hebrew word means to change course, to look for what you need in a completely different direction. Feeling bad about your behavior or yourself is called “remorse” and is useful only when it leads to a change in behavior. We can’t always decide to change our thinking – we don’t know what we don’t know, so God often has to take the initiative. Our job is humility: the willingness for God to change our minds, the willingness to say, “I’m wrong. I’ll change course. I’ll do it your way.”
John Piper in his teaching on hope, holiness and the fear of the LORD drew my attention to something that I had not examined. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told 5 out of 7 churches to REPENT. I wrote the following verses down (emphasis mine):
Jesus did not mince His words. They were specific and clear. What is our response when we read (or hear) His words?
Dear Father God,
What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of LIFE set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 7:24-8:2)
Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to LIFE – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:34) It is God who justifies. (Romans 8:33)
Your Word is specific and clear. Help us change our heart, change our mind, and change our course. We come humbly before You, pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways. O Father God, hear our prayer, forgive our sin, heal our land. Amen.
Let us not resist or reject Your call to repentance. O Holy Spirit, come and help us to change the way we think, repent and return to God.
In Jesus' name I pray.
Lam Yee Ling