Encouragement Note June 2019

BY CHRISTOPHER UNDERWOOD

How many secrets do I have that God does not know? By my last count, there are exactly zero secrets that I have that God does not know. That can be a comfort when my prayers are made and the Holy Spirit helps to intercede for my own thoughts (Romans 8: 26, 27). The comfort is in my own failing there is God using his power to help me and guide me. It makes for a positive future in my life. Continue reading

#christopherunderwood, #omniscience, #repentance

Why should you die? Ezekiel 18.31

“Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel?”

Ezekiel 18.31

Without a change of heart, Israel would die in her sins. The Lord sent his servants the prophets to warn the nation and to plead for repentance. How he loved his people!

God loves the church. The church is his people in the new covenant of Christ. But churches sometimes go astray. Examples can be found in Rev 2-3. Jesus pleads for repentance because he loves.

#votd #Ezekiel #repentance

They refuse to change: Psalm 55.19

“God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago, will hear and humiliate them. (Selah) They refuse to change, and do not fear God.”

Psalm 55.19

David felt despair because of enemy attacks. He did not give up because of God’s certain judgment. Refusal to change and fear God is a sure path to destruction.

Repentance is necessary for salvation, Lk 24.47. One must make the decision to change and then make the change. God’s people are repentant ones and confident of his judgment against those who refuse to change.

#votd #Psalms #repentance

Restore you to the privilege of serving: Jeremiah 15.19

“Because of this, the Lord said,
‘You must repent of such words and thoughts!
If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me.
If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless,
I will again allow you to be my spokesman.
They must become as you have been.
You must not become like them.'”

Jeremiah 15.19

God speaks to the prophet who recoils from suffering, v. 18. Now Jeremiah must decide if he will return to useful service or not. He must not be like the people, but serve as an example of what they should do.

Saints must be ready to suffer for serving God. They must not become like those to whom they proclaim the gospel. They must preach repentance. At times, they must repent themselves.

#votd #Jeremiah #repentance

Limits of counseling, need for repentance

This quote, by one Derek Price, whom I know nothing about, is right on:

I have spent countless hours counseling Christians with problems, and have come to the conclusion that there are limits to what can be accomplished by counseling. I would say at least fifty percent of most Christians’ problems are due to the fact that they have not repented. I suggest that if you are struggling with problems in your Christian experience, ask yourself if you have truly repented. Turn totally from everything displeasing to God and yield yourself to Him in unconditional surrender.

Of course, “fifty percent” is an attempt at quantification that most of us do. No harm there. The estimate might even be low, which means in many if not most cases, people need prophetic words urging them to repentance, rather than soothing assurances to accept self or situation or offering other options to consider.

The will of God is complete. All Scripture encompasses the whole of human experience. How many problems would be solved, and pain and suffering avoided, if people but knew and obeyed the Word of God!

#repentance #counseling #Bible #quotes

How to change your bad habits

Here are five books suggested by one writer on how to change bad habits. Christians can probably learn a bit from these. The authors probably don’t understand how God works, but they do have a notion about how the mind functions.

“And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit” 2 Cor 3.18.

God provides us motivation, power, and support to practice the good works of Christ.

And there is the truth of repentance, which is the decision to, and movement toward, change, to stop practicing sin and live in holiness.

Christians have the best chance for change. We glory in Christ Jesus, who makes us children of God and sends his Spirit to transform us.

#habits #transformation #change #repentance

Do I not prefer this? Ezekiel 18.23

“Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the Sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?”

Ezekiel 18.23

The God of the Old Testament was just as good and gracious as the God of the New. They are the one and same God, contrary to the opinion of many. He is also as holy and fearful as he ever was.

What are some other wrong views of God? Why do people create such ideas about God?

#God #repentance #VOTD

Hide your face: Psalm 51.9

“Hide your face from my sins! Wipe away all my guilt!”

Psalm 51.9

King David repented of his sin. That repentance — and not sinlessness — earned him the title of being a man after God’s own heart. Sin against God can only be forgiven by God. Confession lays one’s sins before the Lord in hope of forgiveness.

Through Christ, what are the two processes to find forgiveness for the one outside of Christ and the disciple who follows the Lord?

#forgiveness #repentance #confession #VOTD

Do what is right: Isaiah 1.17 VOTD

“Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!”

Isaiah 1.17

God appealed to Israel for her repentance, which means correcting what is wrong in one’s life and learning to do right. Through the prophet’s warning, he sought opportunity for forgiveness, v. 18.

Is anything lacking in your profession of faith? If so, what? What is there that we need still to learn about doing right?

#repentance #Isaiah #justice #VOTD

When one comes back to the truth, this happens …

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him backlet him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 NKJV)

What results from one returning to the truth out of error? No less than four things (according to the above verses); plus one I can’t keep from including:

  • a personal blessing
  • a reversal (a personal and honest acknowledgement) that leads to freedom from the trap of the particular error
  • salvation (deliverance) from the cost of the error (spiritual death)
  • the hiding (a veiling, or doing away with the knowledge) of a multitude of sins
  • a reason for the angels of Heaven to rejoice!

Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”” (Luke 15:10 NKJV)

#conversion, #james, #repentance

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6-20-2017 Insane Opposition

Christians must try to teach Bible truth and correct “those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV). Those who contradict Bible place themselves in opposition, and need to “know the truth,” because some are not “straightforward about the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14 NKJV). They are ensnared of the Devil and need to “come to their senses,” or be sane, again! The Devil’s doctrine “captivates,” but knowledge of God’s truth, frees a person to do God’s will.” Repentance is that change of heart that will make the difference. God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#gospel, #opposition, #repentance

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6-14-2017 When Bad Happens

When bad things happen, the Devil has influenced many people to ask: “Why did God do this, or let this happen?” The Devil, not God, does evil things. “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You” (Psalm 5:4 NKJV), “there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:15 NKJV). Instead, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV). “‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live’” (Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV). The King of Nineveh understood that God wanted their repentance, for he asked: “Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?” (Jonah 3:9 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#bad-things, #repentance

What’s Needed

The world is full of long complaints—
Disciples, too, make loud lament
Against half-hearted, lukewarm saints—
What’s needed is that I repent.

#poetry #quatrain #repentance

Staying on the right path

There was a man who bought himself a new hunting dog. Eager to see how the dog would perform, the hunter took him out one day, hoping to track some big game. Sure enough, the dog picked up the trail of a bear! The hunter was excited, and thought, “I really have a hunting dog now!”

However, the dog suddenly stopped, sniffed a while, and then turned and headed in another direction. The hunter soon realized a deer had crossed the path of the bear, and the dog was now trailing the deer. While on the deer’s trail, the dog caught the scent of a rabbit, that, somewhere along the line, had crossed the path of the deer. Now the dog was trailing the rabbit.

On and on the dog went, and finally, the tired, breathless hunter caught up with his “prize” dog, only to find it triumphantly barking down a small hole. Investigation revealed the hole was the home of a mouse.

Sometimes we are like that hunting dog. We’re often distracted by things which cross the path we’re traveling in life. We find ourselves pulled in this or that direction, not remaining on the right path. We start out right, but end up off-course.

Christians are sometimes pulled off the right path by the cares, riches and pleasures of life (Luke 8:14; 1 Timothy 6:9, 10; Hebrews 10:24-25). Some let various experiences pull them away—sickness, financial loss, death, or being mistreated by another.

If you have been pulled away from the right path, ponder the path of your feet (Proverbs 4:26), and arise, and come back today (Luke 15:18).

Charles Pugh III, Voice of Truth International, Vol. 7, published in “The Sower,” 2017-05-14.

#focus #repentance #distractions

‘While you can’ Isaiah 55.6 VOTD

“Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.”

Isaiah 55.6 NLT

The prophet called Israel to repentance while there was still time.

How does that prophetic call apply today?

#VOTD #repentance #seekGod