Repentance- #LentExp2017

Repentance is one of God’s good gifts to us!

The #LentExp2016 Challenge this week is to set aside 30 minutes to engage in the discipline of repentance.  For some reason the word “repent” carries some negative baggage with it.  I’ve got a few hunches as to why, but to keep this blog short I’ll keep my opinions to myself.  What I’m hoping for this week is that we all gain a new appreciation for what a gift from God and opportunity repentance really is!

CONFESSION = ACKNOWLEDGEMENT / AGREEMENT

REPENTANCE  = TO THINK DIFFERENTLY

There’s a slight difference between confession and repentance.  However, the two work really well together.  We read about confession in 1 John together in this week’s video.  Confession is about acknowledgment and agreement.  How great is God?!  He says if we’ll just acknowledge our sin and agree with Him about it that He’ll forgive us and cleanse us from it!  How good is that?!

Repentance goes a little further.  We find repentance talked about a lot in the Gospels and Acts.  Repentance is to think differently about something.  A change in how we think about something then causes us to act differently.  In the Gospels and Acts, we are invited to think differently about how we are living our lives.

A GUIDE FOR YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK.  THIS SHOULD TAKE ABOUT 30 MINUTES.

Set aside a 30 minute block of time.  Pick your day, time, and location.  Then…

Step 1:  Ask God, in your own words, to shine His light into your life and help you to see things for what they really are.

Step 2:  Use the following Scriptures to take inventory about the sin in your life.  Read slowly, think, and trust that God is answering the prayer you just prayed in Step 1.  Jot down thoughts as you go.  These lists aren’t every possible sin, but they will prompt you to think well about your life.

The Ten Commandments- Exodus 20:1-17

Holy Spirit vs Sinful Nature-  Galatians 5:16-26

Am I A Loving Person? – 1 Corinthians 13

Step 3:  Confess.  You’ve got all kinds of thoughts right now after praying and reading these Scriptures.  Are you willing to be honest with God?  Will you acknowledge and agree with God?  Talk to Him about that.

Step 4:  Repent.  Are you willing to make the choice to think and act differently?  Think about that and talk to Him about it.

That’s all.  It’s that simple!   Repentance is a great gift!  God loves you.  If you feel at all beat up after this exercise, that’s the enemy.  Satan is a liar.  He condemns us and tells us lies like we are unlovable, or unforgivable, or hopeless.  God loves you.  Forgives you.  Cleanses you.  Accepts you.  Receive that today!

Eric Ferris is the Executive Teaching Pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eric grew up Roman Catholic, attended a Pentecostal bible college, and has been on staff at churches with both charismatic and reformed theological leanings (and probably likes you more if you have no idea what that means). Eric created the Lent Experience to "help those of us who grew up observing Lent ritualistically to discover the meaning and heart behind Lent and for those who grew up in evangelical churches or no church at all to discover how valuable it is to get in touch with some of these practices that Christians have observed for hundreds of years."

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