So lately I have been given some revelations that have been revealed through my children. I really thank God for those babies! I think God had to known that I would not learn some of the most valuable lessons if it were not for them. Anyway, today I would like to share with you what I have learned recently.
I was listening to one sermon recently where the pastor said something that I knew but I didn’t know, I mean I did not completely grasp the concept. The pastor was talking about repentance. What does repentance mean to you? No cheating think about it for a moment …and then continue reading.
My initial answer was, “Duh, everybody knows this. Repentance is where you confess your sins and ask God to forgive them for you.” But friends forgiveness is not repentance. Yes, forgiveness is not repentance. At least the repentance I am talking about there are two definitions of repentance. One from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
I am talking about the Greek words from the New Testament, METANOIC, METANOEIN, METANOHCON, and METANOHCHC which means to: to think differently .
These words are found in the following verses:
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19 ESV
but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. Acts 26:20 ESV
Most people associate repentance with turning around (ya know a complete 180) but that is not the definition. I think that they associate that because it is found with in the verse like in Acts 26:20 where it say to “turn back”. But to repent means to change (to think differently ).
Now I knew that but I didn’t really see it till I realized that repentance is not forgiveness and seen it though my child’s example…
You see my oldest is ten years old and is stubborn at times.( I would like to say that she gets that from her father but that would be a lie.) She will do something she knows is wrong and then when she gets in trouble she will apologize.
Good right? Except that so many minutes later she does the same thing and then apologizes again. My husband and I are trying to teach her that it is more than just saying sorry. A common line in our house is.. “Sorry doesn’t mean much unless you stop doing it” or something like that.
So when I was digging into repentance I realized… That is what I do! I mess up and confess it to God even though he already knows but then I do it again! Repentance needs change (to think differently )!
My friends I don’t know about you but that speaks volumes to me. It puts things into perspective. I know that I am never going to be perfect. I will fail and it is only through the blood of Jesus that I will be able to enter heaven. There needs to be CHANGE (to think differently ).
Also as I was searching repentance I had come across the scripture from Revelation 2. Now before you read I would like to call out something. From my experience, people usually skip over Revelation because of the wording with pictures that don’t always make sense to us or because the harsh judgement that it talks about in the future. Furthermore, I have seen other Christians call people religious nuts who refer to scripture that speaks of Gods wrath instead of pointing out his love.
I think that there is a place and time for both God’s love and God’s wrath, maybe both at the same. I don’t think it would be in the Bible if each was not meant to be understood. That being said, I have included the whole chapter for the context and will continue below refocusing back on repentance.
English Standard Version (ESV)
To the Church in Ephesus
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; REPENT, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’.
To the Church in Smyrna
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last,who died and came to life..
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
To the Church in Pergamum
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore REPENT. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
To the Church in Thyatira
“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servantsto practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they REPENT of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
To change (to think differently ).
To me one verse that I just cannot let go that stirs something deep in my soul is …
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; REPENT, and do the works you did at first Revelation 2:4-5 ESV
Now friends this is just my interpretation but I think the first love is the fire we had for God when we were first saved. Just like the when we were once children and grew up we lost an innocence that everything is good.
As Christians we tend to take things into our own hands instead of giving them to God. We tend to keep more of the responsibility in stead of giving it to God. We become impatient with God’s timing and turn to our own.
Now I may just be speaking about myself but take a few moments out to honestly review when you first asked Jesus to be your Savior and continue till now. Has anything changed?
One example that comes to mind is best seen though my children. When traveling to a destination that they may or may not know, there tends to be two common phrases, “Are we there yet?” and “When are we going to get there,? I’m tired of riding in the car!”
Have you been asking God…. Are we there yet?…. When are we going to get there? I’m tired of this journey… to something in your life?
Change (think differently) .
Friends go back to your first love!
And as Always