Simply Repent

Girl Praying With Hands On Bible

I John 1:9 (NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

During worship on Sunday morning with lifted hands our congregation sang together, “Holy Spirit you are welcome here…” In the midst of mixed melody as voices melded together inviting the Lord to join us, I heard the whisper of the man standing behind me. I promise I was not ease dropping and I definitely was pressing into the Presence of God all around us. Yet, his words caught my attention and immediate my heart was shattered in that moment. He simply said, “Jesus, forgive me of my sins.” It was soft and intimate. Like one might whisper to a loved one in an embrace. The intent of his heart rolling of his lips in the sweetest apology that I know melted God’s Heart. It made me ask myself when was the last time that I came to the Lord and chose simply to repent?

This verse brings back memories of a scripture memorization challenge in high school. More years ago than I care to count, we were given packets of cards to memorize just one verse per week. This would be the card on top. The significance only now sinking in after many decades. Our life in Jesus Christ begins and ends in simple repentance. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. He does it all. Not only does He accept our apology but unlike in the realm of humanity – the Lord chooses to restore our righteousness or right standing on the spot without anything else from us. True repentance opens the door to righteousness. To humble myself before the Lord and to say, I have sinned and I am sorry opens the door to prosperity in the life of a believer. Obedience does not change the heart or mind of God toward us. It is repentance that does that. If I could have done anything to save myself from sin, then salvation may have been something altogether different. But the truth is that apart from Jesus Christ, I am nothing. I have no future. I cannot produce anything good in my life including salvation. It is the single most important step of faith that secures future hope for all mankind.

Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV) Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Pharisee

Romans 3:23-25 (NKJV) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…

We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory. God has justified us freely by His Grace through the redemption offered by Jesus Christ. God accepted His Blood sacrifice as enough to repay every single sin ever committed past, present and future. By way of the Cross, those who humble themselves before the Lord and repent will receive God’s Glory in their life. Note it does not give a list of demands or expectations other than we come with open hearts to receive the Lord. The Pharisee came to the temple to pray. He came to repay an obligation. His routine ritual defined by religion. He prayed loudly so everyone could hear him. He used comparison to prove his ceremonial worthiness. He was prideful. He was arrogant. This man left the temple the same way that he arrived. Full of self. Full of sin.

The Tax Collector

Micah 6:8 (NKJV) He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

James 4:10 (NKJV) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

The tax collector came to the same temple to pray in the exact same condition as the Pharisee. Obedience will never take the place of repentance. It implies that salvation can be earned which is not true. It is offered and received by the humble. Those who are willing to come before the Lord and confess their sins from an honest and forthright heart. The Pharisee compared his life to the other people who came to pray and worship God. Comparison will always keep us from the Cross. My calling is to walk humbly with my God. I cannot do that trying to be like or be better than anyone else. I must keep my eyes on Jesus Christ and keep the way clear. He is close to the brokenhearted. Those who fully expose their heart to the Lord cannot do so without repentance. A relationship defined by love cannot stand to have anything barring access to the other. When we hurt someone we love, we should apologize. To fully restore the relationship there must be some kind of repentance.

What does it mean to repent? The word comes from Latin origin meaning repentir or “to regret” and poenitire to “make sorry”. The Old French definition means to feel such regret for sins as produces an amendment of life. The origin of the words regret and repent are connected. One should produce the other. According to Dictionary.com, repent means to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better. To repent means to ask God’s Forgiveness through Jesus Christ and turn from that thing which brought you there. I cannot live a successful life with God is I am not consciously aware of the sin that separates us and take the time to simply repent. Romans 3:23-25 makes it clear that 1) We have all sinned and need God’s Forgiveness; 2) None of us can afford to repay the debt associated with our sin so we need Jesus; 3) the only way salvation can be received is to accept it and obtain it freely; and 4) There is nothing I can do to repay Jesus for one ounce of His Blood so I must live in humble acquisition of His Grace. This is an act of humility. There is nothing I can do to save myself. My life is no longer my own.

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

The person who covers his sins will not prosper. There is a subtle truth in this statement that pride and self-preservation would like for us to overlook. The enemy will continually offer substitutions for true repentance and water down grace if possible by offering excuses for our indiscretions. The worst one of all is comparison. The truth is my first sin was the only sin needed to condemn my life to certain death. It required every single ounce of Jesus’ blood in repayment. God did that for me. Jesus died for me. There are many empty altars in the House of God with rooms full of Pharisees trying to pretend that sin is not their problem any longer. The few who do choose to live at the foot of the Cross are afraid of judgement by the religious order of the day and quietly whisper to God from their seats. I wonder what would happen if we all chose to simply repent before the Lord as the tax collector did that day. To say to the Lord, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NKJV)  if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

Could it be that the church is going about this revival thing all wrong? What if the Lord is listening and waiting for a people to humble themselves, pray and seek His Face willing to turn from their sin and simply repent. The Word of God says that He will hear from heaven, forgive us and heal our land. We must humble our heart before the Lord at every opportunity. True love is defined by forgiveness. Constant grace for each other as offered by the Lord to us. We must learn to live in love with Jesus. We do this by living a truly repentant life that is not afraid to humble our life at the foot of the Cross. To kneel at the local altar in our churches. To say, “I am a sinner who needs God’s Grace.” The confession of an obedient servant touched my heart yesterday. His apology was soft, honest and sincere. His words laced with love, awe and admiration. They broke my heart for my Savior all over again and within a few short minutes, I was doing the same. It was freeing. I felt a peace flood over me. Worries and cares melted off of me. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Our willingness to expose all of our life including our shortcomings and sin to the life-giving and life-changing Power of the Living God will never take anything from us we do not want or force anything upon us. It will break every chain holding back God’s Blessing and Prosperity in our life. It is my earnest and heartfelt intent to start each day from this place. To simply repent and walk humbly with my God.

Psalm 26:4 (NKJV) Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.

Psalm 51:9-12 (NKJV) Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

 

Advertisements

Monday

Monday

Psalm 100 (NLT) Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

How does come so quickly? Five days seem to drag by yet two pass in a flash of light. The weekend is over and Monday is here. Ugh! Rocking in the chair on the front porch, I really needed to take a broom to the pollen and spider webs. Instead, I just rocked watching my husband plant the lovely hydrangeas that were my gift for Mother’s Day. As he worked, I thanked him for my coveted plants. He had been asking for weeks what I wanted, and finally I decided I wanted them. Are you sure? Yes, I am absolutely positive. As I sat there in the afternoon breeze, I knew that I had made the right choice. Their position in the bed was perfect. Morning sun and then partial shade. The soil remained moist which is their favorite. They would grow and fill the area just outside the dining room windows. I wondered what color the flowers might be. Hydrangeas don’t all bloom the same color but it is not because of the variety but rather the pH level of the soil. I wanted to just sit there in that chair and watch the flowers grow. But I knew in my heart all good things must come to an end because tomorrow would be Monday.

Sundays are my favorite days when we worship the Lord together. Fellowshipping with other believers. Finding new seeds of Truth to plant in our hearts growing into purpose as God designed. It goes by so fast and quickly I am thrust back into the rat race of this world. Work has been a challenge lately. Just the thought of the week ahead makes me want to avoid it at all costs. It also seems as though the last several weeks, the enemy has paid particularly close attention to my every move. As if in a game of Mario Kart, I am just tooling along in my little race car while all the other opponents throw everything but the kitchen sink in my way. To spin me out. Make me crash. Give up my joy. Relinquish my peace. I want to win the race that I am in. I want to claim the prize that Christ Jesus has called me to. So this morning, as usual, He meets me with mercy and provides more grace with a word for my life that will changes things – if I allow it in my heart and to rise up out of my mouth.

Shout with joy. Worship the Lord…with gladness. Come before Him…singing. Acknowledge that He is Almighty God. Creator of all things – caretaker of the same. Take full advantage of the access I have into His Presence – go to Him rather than waiting on Him to come to me. Give thanks. Praise Him. For the Lord is good…He is always good. His Unfailing Love and Grace never, ever run out so His Goodness is always available to me. Right here. Right now. It comes as peace and inexpressible joy to those who seek Him. In Christ alone I find that all the impending problems are disguised lies for God is with me and I will not fail.

Psalm 19:14 (NLT) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

We must learn to make our mouth and heart agree. There are many times, our head says one thing while our heart strives to believe another. Such disagreement will never provide the peace everyone longs for. To be of one mind and one spirit. Isn’t that what our purpose is in life? To be one with Christ – to live and move in Him. To count everything else as “garbage” compared to just knowing Jesus. Yet, we allow stinking thinking to sometimes muck up our conversation and words of doubt and discontentment begin to form and fall out of our mouth. I was made to praise the Lord. My mouth was created for worship. It is to declare God’s Glory in good times and even on bad days. My confession should reflect a heart in covenant with Jesus Christ. As Ruth to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go.” Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you.

Psalm 27:4-5 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

The Presence of God is an absolute necessity in our life each day. When Jesus died on the Cross and released His Spirit, the very first thing that He did was rip the veil or curtain that separated mankind from the Living God from top to bottom. This was no small set of draperies. The Lord made it clear that His Intention was not to be a God who is far away or distant. He wants us to come to Him. Romans 12:1-2 talks about being a living sacrifice. To give up our bodies or natural life including desires and inclinations to be one with the Lord. Why? Because of all that He has done for you and me. The kind that He finds acceptable. Hmm… I have heard this verse explained many times in many different ways according to the doctrine of the preacher or teacher. But you know what I think this means…God loves us. He doesn’t need us. He desires us. There is nothing God requires me to do other than just repent or turnaround and find Him. My sin is under the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have full access to His Presence. It doesn’t mean I won’t sin and make bad choices. The worst thing I could ever do is claim or even try to convince others of my perfection.

The absence of honesty is insanity. It is very easy to assume the customs and behaviors of the world because of overall acceptance. It is easy to assume the identity of the church culture that one participates in but in the Presence of God there is clarity. He defines our life and how we live it if we enter His Presence. Not occasionally or when things get a little rough or even completely overwhelming, no when I make it the ONE THING that I seek the MOST is when I finally begin to see this life I live agree – body, mind and spirit. Such agreement with the Lord gives me the confident hope that produces heavenly communication. I can praise Him when things are good just like when everything falls apart. Worship is my life not a few songs laced with tears. He will clear the way of all obstacles when I stop holding on to them. I can enter His Presence no matter where I am or who I am with. Jesus gives us that kind of access. The kind of unlimited access that comes without penalty just purpose.

Psalm 50:15-16 (NLT) Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18) Thankfulness is the most fruitful part of communication. It is the remedy for discontentment that leads to doubt and discouragement. It turns our situation from hopeless to hope full. Gratitude will change our attitude. Rather than concentrating on what I am waiting for, if I can just begin to praise Him for all He has done. I will admit in a world driven by supply and demand with greedy temptation vying for our attention – it is hard to remain thankful. God’s Will for my life is found in thankfulness. Thanksgiving produces a change in my heart so significant that the Word of God says, He “will give me” His Glory. When I enter the Presence of God, my words are equally important as those cast around carelessly each day. Every word I speak bears fruit in my life good or bad. I must tend the gateway of my mouth and tame my rebellious tongue. My heart desires the Lord. My head knows His Way is best. I must make a careful and considerate commitment to continually monitor my conversation. Are my words filled with praise? Do they worship the Lord? Am I thankful? No more grumbling or complaining about God’s Care for me. That’s what we are saying by doing so that the God of all Creation is not a good caregiver but a careless Father. Which is simply not true!

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT) Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The God of Sunday is still God on Monday. The Presence of God that gave you goosebumps in church is the same Holy Spirit that is in you right now. You are a Child of God. He is a good father. Have you forgotten some of the good things that He has done? Or maybe you just haven’t taken full advantage of them yet? Praise Him today. Worship Him. Love on Him. Enter His Presence. Thank the Lord for all the good things that He has done and promised to do for you and in you. This is the best way to start the week. It will end your Monday blues and fill your life with His Presence including His Love, Joy and Peace that is hidden there for you. He fills our life with good things. Always. Every day. More than we can even think or imagine. I must only make myself available – letting go of every complaint – and make my heart and mind agree so my mouth declares His Praise – He is good! He is good on Sunday. He is still awesome on Monday! We serve a good God! Let’s sound like it.

Those hydrangeas in the flower bed have some blue and purple blooms on them right now. I have the ability to change the color of the flowers by what I put in the soil. I can add pH or alkaline depending on what I would like them to look like. I also have the ability to decide what blooms in my life, too. It is about my conversation. It is how I communicate with the Lord and other people. The foundation of my life will be evident in the fruit of my life. Let it always represent that I am rooted and grounded in His Love.

Colossians 2:7 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Perfecting Praise

perfecting-praise

Psalm 92:1-2 (NLT) It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening…”

Thank God it’s Friday! I don’t think I could have made it to one more day of this week before the weekend. It has been a busy week. It is already shaping up to be a busy weekend. If I am not careful, I will get wrapped up in my to-do list and all the “things” I need to finish at work, the “things” I want to do at home, and the “things” I have to do at church until I no longer am doing what I should be doing the most. My life is very busy. Yours probably is, too. It is human nature to think that we are too busy for certain things and get our priority list out of whack but truly if I do nothing else today – I need to praise the Lord.

My commute to work is about 45 minutes one way each day. I have about an hour and a half blocked Monday through Friday with nothing to do but drive to town and back. I was concerned when we moved that I might get tired of the daily drive. This is not the case. It has become a designated praise break. After I drop our youngest off at school, I have about 40 minutes of uninterrupted Jesus time. This time is so important. I love to praise the Lord. Worship is my favorite part of every church service. I am not a musician. I cannot play an instrument. I am not able to carry a note. However, when I am alone in the car worshipping my Lord and Savior – it is as if no one is there but me and Jesus so I sing at the top of my lungs. Right about now would be a good time to thank the Lord that you do not carpool with me.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord. Are you thankful today? Do you have something to sing about? God loves you. His Love never fails. It is enough to sing about each morning. His Faithfulness is relentless and enduring. The Lord never gives up on us. It is work singing through the night. No matter how this day shapes up or falls apart, I have a reason to praise the Lord.

Psalm 42:4-5 (NLT) My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

Is your heart broken today? Are you discouraged? Overwhelmed? Weak or weary? A bit burned out or completely give out as we say in the south? Do you remember when you used to walk with the worshippers? Lead a procession of praise? Sing for joy? Be thankful? What happened? Life happens. We come to the Lord with great expectation but it is not solely based on truth and understanding so when the first storm blows in or trouble comes knocking – it takes our breath away. We begin to complain, grumble or murmur rather than praising, worshipping and singing praise to the Lord. Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart sad? When we take our hope from the Lord and place expectation in anyone or anything else, it is misplaced. He is our Rock and Salvation. He is our only Hope that does not lead to disappointment. We were created to give Him praise. It is the very reason there is breath in our body today. To do anything else is out of character. Our soul fights for its voice in the midst of our discouragement. It is ready to praise. We must learn to let it out!

Luke 19:36-40 (NLT) As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.  “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”  He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

Jesus does not need my praise. He doesn’t want it. Jesus is worthy of all praise. If I choose to withhold praise, worship, honor or glory from my Lord, “the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” Sometimes, we need a humble perspective. God did not have to save us. He is God. He is Sovereign. Yet in His Complete and Utter Perfection, He still loved us and decided to send His One and Only Son to die for us and give us life again. By asking Jesus to be our Savior and Lord is to accept this gift so graciously given. We cannot earn it or attain it any other way than the acceptance of Jesus Christ. So what makes us think in our depleted human state when the only good thing in us is the Grace of the Living God that we can withhold thankfulness, praise and adoration from Jesus for a single moment? But we do it every day.

When I choose to complain about my situation? It tells the world that my God cannot satisfy my soul. When I gripe, grumble and gossip, it expresses a void that the capacity of my Savior’s Love cannot fill so I am empty and dry. The confession of my life speaks from the inner most depths of my heart. It is not what we say in church or in the presence of other believers that tell on us, but when our love is put to the test in discomfort or inconvenience. This tells the Source of our hope and our confidence in Him. The Lord is good. In every season, He is faithful. He gave us a new life, voice and breath so that we could join in the course all around Him.

Revelation 5:11-13 (NLT) Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

There are three voices in Heaven singing blessing, honor, glory and power filling the atmosphere with praise. The angels sing. The souls sing. The creatures sing. Everyone is singing to the Lamb. This is Heaven. This is the greatest praise break of all time that will last forever and ever because He is worthy! God has given you and me a song to sing! (Psalm 40) Are we singing it? In the Disney movie, “The Little Mermaid”, Ariel exchanged her beautiful singing voice for her sweet prince. She left the sea to live in his world. However, it was her voice that drew the prince to Ariel in the first place. What have we given up our praise for? Is there anything so precious that it would be more important than worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? He is our soon and coming King. Is our allegiance to His Kingdom clearly being expressed audibly in our life? It is our voice that unites us with the declaration of heaven that Jesus is Lord. Is this our confession? Is our life filled with praise?

Psalm 150 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.  Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!

We must protect our praise today. We cannot sit back silently and let creation take our place. When you wake up each morning, it is because the Lord has provided the breath to make it through one more day. The breath in our body is given to us to express the Glory of God by following His Word and fulfilling His Purpose in our life. Dead people cannot praise God. (Psalm 6:5) Life gives us the opportunity to worship one more day. To give Him thanks. To bless His Name. Each day should begin with praise. Each night should conclude with it. Praise is the perpetual confession of faith and hope in Jesus Christ. If we grow silent, it is a reason for concern because even the rocks will cry out in His Name.

Wednesday night after church, a new mama was holding her infant son. He is just old enough to respond to his mother’s voice. She would speak to him softly and a smile would break across his face revealing a toothless grin. As she continued to engage with him, he began cooing in response to her voice. His adoration of his mama was clear. He was responding to her. Praise is our response to the Lord. It is how we express our love and gratitude for the grace we have been given and new life discovered in Jesus. Can the Lord hear our response to His Goodness today? Is He able to weed through our words to extract some glory, praise and adoration? Many will come to Jesus on “that” day telling him all the “things” they did for him and in His Name, but Jesus will say, “I never knew you!” Praise is the voice of our relationship to God through Jesus Christ. We must make it clear. Praise is our expression of salvation. Paul said, “And they praise God because of me.” (Galatians 1:24) Lord Jesus, let that be my testimony today! Let my praise be with expectation. My hope is secure in you, Lord. I will make you known today Jesus. I will not let a rock cry out in my place. Amen and amen!

I Peter 1:3-5 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

 

 

 

 

But God…

But God

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. We do. We don’t mean to, but we do. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As believers, we must think about our faith in God, relationship to Jesus Christ, His Word and practical application of what we believe on a daily basis. Christianity is faithful and habitual. As we begin the transformation process of salvation, our participation is surrender. It is take bits and pieces of our existence and daily turn them over obediently to God. His Spirit reveals the areas of our life which are withheld and it is our job to turn them over in repentance. I may have lost some of you here, but that’s okay. You will want to be a living sacrifice by the end of this, I am convinced.

 

“But” be transformed is a pivotal statement in the key verse today. This world can empower your life or it can kill your purpose in a single statement. It happens all the time. I have seen it in Sunday school, church, board meetings, and Bible studies. In this social groups of believers who claim to have faith, a lack of faith is revealed in their conversation. “I am trusting the Lord, “but” the reality is…” “I know that healing is possible, “but” the doctor says…” “The Lord has laid it on my heart to do (blah) “but” the budget…” “I want to serve the Lord, “but”…”

 

“But” is a conjunction. The danger of this word comes with its explanation. The definition of “but” is on the contrary, yet, except that, unless, otherwise and other negating words. To use the word “but” after a statement of faith negates it. In other words, when you profess to believe in Jesus and add “but” to it, you have nullified the declaration entirely. The word after “but” holds all the power. Do not be offended by this but be aware of it instead. Offense is the enemy’s way of shutting us off and isolating us. It keeps us from using knowledge to our benefit and keeps us from understanding the Power that God has given us. I know, I know – “but” we live in a real world. Okay, I get that so do I. “but” – greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world.

 

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NIV)

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

 

Our words hold power. We don’t have to try or even mean them for damage to be done. The tongue gives life or administers death each day. The word “but” is important. We must carefully listen to the order of our sentences to determine the condition of our heart and level of faith operated in. If God, Jesus or Lord come before the word “but” when used we have a problem.

 

Sitting in a Sunday school class, the attendees were sharing special prayer requests and the needs of others. As one might expect, there were many who asked for prayer for ailing family and friends. As we bowed our head to pray, the speaker said, “And God if it is Your Will to heal these folks…” I almost came out of my chair right there save my husband sitting right next to me. Of course, it is God’s Will to save, heal, deliver and restore us. Why would He have allowed His Son to be tortured and die for anything less? I opened my eyes and looked around the room and everyone was praying earnestly. Their intentions were good but they did not understand. We must know what we believe. We must examine the contents of our heart. We must allow Jesus to transform us day by day especially until our heart and mind agree. From the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks. Healing is most certainly the Will of God – He says so in His Word. God holds all power and authority in our life. Jesus is Lord of our life when He comes after all “buts”.

 

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

Looking back in the Old Testament, there are many references to “but God” in the accounts of men like Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph just to name a few. When life was less than favorable, the passage generally ends “but” God or “but” the Lord was with them, or “but” they found favor with God. These men faced many challenges. In the end, it was the “but God” was with them that changed everything.

 

Mark 9:22-24 (NIV)

“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

 

All things are possible to those who believe. I know many believers who I consider to be strong Christians who still have unbelief. I still have unbelief in me at times. Everything is possible for one who believes. The more we believe the less impossible life becomes. “If you can…” Jesus didn’t like that statement very much. “If you can…” he responded to the man with a quick correction. The man said, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” Even the smallest amount of disbelief is a faith ender, miracle spoiler, blessing robber, and dream killer. We must check our declaration to determine the driving force of our life. This may help us understand why Heaven has not made it to earth yet, healings aren’t happening and deliverance is dead. The impossible is only possible when we believe.

 

Romans 8:8-10 (NIV)

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

 

“But” if Christ is in you, then you have been made righteous. Many times but is our excuse for trying to help God our or establish some kind of work in our life. Righteousness is in Christ alone. Our connection to Him is established in desperation and never co-dependency. Nothing we can ever do for Christ will be worthy of what He has done for us and is now trying to do through us. The realm of flesh separates us from the realm of hope. God’s Spirit works inside us to cultivate more faith of the little that we have and produce spiritual fruit to satisfy our soul and promote generosity and sharing of that fruit with others. We do not produce increase in our life. We may plant or water but it is always God who gives us increase. (I Corinthians 3:6-7) God is trying to grow us today and move us from the barren unproductive state of God, we must change “but” to “but God” again.

 

I Corinthians 3:10-11 (NIV)

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” (Hebrews 3:4) Humility can be crushing sometimes and I find that every time I enter a transformation phase in my life that the subject is addressed. Everything I am. Everything I can do. Every word I speak must be devoted to the supremacy of Christ in my life for faith to fill my life. When I take precedence or situations become priorities or my words are not petitions to God but complaints to man, I rob myself of the blessing of righteous obedience. Friend, the Lord can do it without you. You are not a martyr in your labor but simply took the burden from Christ. Our competence is completely from Christ alone. (2 Corinthians 3:5) Apart from Him, we can do nothing of worth or value for us or the Kingdom of God. (John 15:5) It is in Christ alone. It’s humbling to think that all my hard work is in vain when it is not attributed to Christ, wrapped in love, and surrendered to Him. I am nothing without Him.

 

I Corinthians 2:11-13 (NIV)

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

 

The third relapse of cancer in our son was the worst of all. It had spread from his neck throughout his entire torso. His scan was an array of dots throughout his body. The doctors had declared us in the realm of hope now because to them the reality was that cancer was winning. After the third round of chemo, they were going to scan his body to see if the treatment was helping. It came with a warning. Do not be discouraged if the cancer is still there. The only thing we want to see is that it is no longer spreading. Something rose up in me, it had to be God. I was really struggling by now with the continued relapses in the natural but I asked anyway, “What if it’s gone?” Patting me on the shoulder and then putting her arm around me, the doctor tried to let me down gently and after some pressing, she said, “It’s impossible!” My heart began beating wildly in my chest, my spirit long dampened by bad reports and the Holy Ghost began stirring in me. Could it be? Was it true? Was something about to happen? When she called me three days, yes, three days later, it was to a doctor laughing hysterically. The scan was clear and the cancer gone.

 

The reality was that our son would relapse again and again. The Truth is that he is alive and well today in total remission to the Glory of God. God works in the impossible. When we dare challenge the lines of reality with God’s Word backed by just a little faith, impossible things happen. Revival will break out when continue to push the line of the impossibilities with conversations that are declarations of faith rather than empowering fear and doubt. We must work day by day to wrap our head around God’s Supremacy and Power allowing His Spirit to convince our heart until our mouth cannot give credit, power or authority to anyone or anything else without immediately realizing the mistake. God wants the impossible to be labeled possible and probable in our life. it begins with me. I must examine every single word that I speak, comparing it to the Word of God and making sure that God always comes after my “buts”. Titus 1:15-16 talks about those who claim to know God but remain impure and corrupted. I don’t want to be someone who has to tell others that I believe in God because my life does not display the Truth. I want them to know without asking. Your situation does not dictate one’s faith and circumstances hold no power over us. No matter if the bondage faced is real or perceived, the truth remains unchained and moving in our life. (2 Timothy 2:8-10) Isaiah realized that he was unclean. The angel touched his lips with a coal from the altar. He was cleansed and renewed immediately to do the work of God.

 

Titus 3:3-6 (NIV)

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…”

 

Jesus said, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” I believe this includes powerless conversation when we allow something or someone else to have more power than God in our life. I trust God “but”… I believe in Jesus “but”. All those times when we profess faith “but” nullify it with fear and futility. We are all guilt of it. When we add all the reasons that make it impossible to trust the Lord, this should be lead to immediate conviction so that we can surrender our thoughts and mind back to Christ. Do our words relay foolishness, disobedience, deception, bondage, malice, envy, hatred or do we constantly express confidence, love, affirmation and allegiance to Christ which frees us of worldly expectation so we can love more, give more and serve more in the Kingdom of God.

 

If someone hurts me, then comes to issue an apology, it is all good until they use the word “but”. I’m sorry “but”…is a lie. For example, I’m sorry “but” I was having a bad day. I’m sorry “but” you made me whatever. Repentance does not come with an excuse. There is no need for “but” when it comes to our life of faith. The only time “but” is effective is when it is “but God.” We all need to be washed by His Blood on a daily basis. We all could use the coal on our lips each day. There is no shame in accepting His Mercy given to us. The greatest sin of all is to know His Great Love and refuse to receive it. We must strive in all things to be like Jesus. We are successful when we surrender everything to Jesus. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Listen to your words each day to see if faith is holding power or fear has taken over. Now do something about it. The words that are spoken after “but” nullify everything spoken before. The subject of our “but” is the one that holds power in our life. Who is that today?

 

Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let Your Praise Out

Let Your Praise Out

Psalm 33:1 (NLT) Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.

It is “fitting” for the pure to praise the Lord. Fitting means suitable, appropriate, proper and becoming. Praise is not a natural response for the inward man. Praise is the act of expressing approval, admiration, and commendation born of a satisfied heart and grateful spirit. Are you satisfied today? Are you content? What if I told you that even if nothing changed in your life it is possible to live in total satisfaction and complete contentment – would you believe me? We are raised in a culture of immediate gratification. It is a dog-eat-dog world where trust is considered a weakness not a strength. Society is driven by supply and demand so attainment never leads to fulfillment because a new “thing” is introduced. This need for newness. This need for now. This lack of fulfillment has created a culture that does not know how to praise in the midst of constant pressure to conform to a standard that is always changing. The church is not immune. We have the opportunity to live in complete satisfaction and total contentment right here right now with exactly what we have and who we live with. We just have to figure out how to release it in our life.

Psalm 47:7-8 (NLT)

For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.

Praise puts God back on the throne of our life. When we voice our concerns over problems, troubles, trials and even enemies, they take the place of the Lord as the center of our life. It is boasting the power of the adversary than that of our Lord and Savior. It is perfectly natural to voice discontentment but not advantageous in the battle lived in. It tells the enemy of our weakness. It shows that the spirit of fear has overtaken the rightful place of the Holy Spirit our Helper in the midst of every storm. Jesus is our Savior. Call His Name and He most definitely will answer. BUT do you call Him Lord?

The economy has been tough. Layoffs and workforce reduction is common place. Companies force our workers before their retirement is vested to cut costs. Slash hours to keep from paying benefits. So naturally people talk about fear that they might lose their job or what will happen if they do – this confession tells the enemy that a person does not trust the Lord to provide for them so what happens? You lose your job. Of course! The enemy knows it is your weakness because you told him. But to those who know that God as Provider, it is not a pleasant thought to think of losing the job that produces income and pays the bills but considering God is in control – you just keep praising Him and thanking Him for your job that day and in that moment. We have to use our words to thwart the enemy’s advances on our life by constantly praising God throughout each day. Our God reigns. As long as I keep Him at the center of my life on the throne of it, I am going to have good outcomes and celebrate victory. Even if I did lose my job, it would not mean that I am not well-cared for. It means that if I am faithful and truly confident in the hope that I have – something better is coming.

Psalm 54:6 (NLT)

I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.

Praise is a voluntary offering. It begins with sacrifice. To abandon the five senses and go with what you know about God rather than what you feel in your gut is where it all begins. Life doesn’t change overnight for a believer. Yes, there may be immediate deliverance from some things but after that is a daily walk of faith that requires endurance for a reason. Some days are long and hard – just like that of an athlete training for victory or a soldier preparing to win a war. It is a fight to the finish against self that seem harder with each step. At some point maturity begins to kick in and people try out faith and decide to trust the Lord. With each small step closer by faith, when hope becomes confident and weighty enough to keep us standing when every falls apart, defiance holds on to that Word God gave us refusing to let go until it comes to pass, when the rubber hits the road – it is the time of turnover in our life. The moment that we decide to put our money where our mouth is and praise God like He is for real. It is in that moment that we become consumed by His Love and overpowered by His Goodness and our heart is totally apprehended by the awesomeness of God. In the natural, it looks a hot mess. But inside, the Lord is putting our heart, mind, body and soul in order preparing us for forever with the tiniest offering.

Psalm 9:1-2 (NLT)

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Praise is not naturally occurring but personally produced. We decide if we will praise God. This goes all the way back to Deuteronomy when God gives us the choice of blessing or cursing – life or death. “I WILL praise you Lord with all my heart!” I have to remind myself to praise God. I have monitor my words carefully especially considering that I exhaust more than 10,000 a day allotted to women. I must be conscious of my words and how they impact my harvest. If I want to the grass in my yard to grow – I would spray water and fertilizer on it not gallons of bleach.

Praise is always a choice. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, I had to decide if I would trust the Lord. With each relapse, I had to continue to decide if I would trust the Lord. Around the third time, I began to feel something settle in my spirit. We often withhold our praise not to make God look foolish if He doesn’t do what we think He is going to do. I told the world that God was going to heal our son according to His Word. I was committed to it. At some point, I went from saying to believing it. Praise confesses God’s Word over our life but we still have to wait on Him. Praise effects our heart and mind. It changes the outcomes of our life.

I have a friend whose marriage fell on hard times around the same time our son began his fight. We agreed to pray together in faith. My son was healed. The around the same time our results came in this week – her divorce became final. She loves her husband. She wanted to continue to be married. Now what? Did her faith fail? Did her praise fall on deaf ears? Why didn’t she win? Who’s to say that she didn’t? God hates divorce but He loves her. His Faithfulness did not stop. His Love is still real. Our outcomes do not determine our praise. Remember that third time I talked about just a minute ago when everything changed, it was the moment that I decided no matter how things turned out that I would still praise God for the rest of my life. I didn’t tell God that I would praise Him or serve Him or love Him IF He healed our son. I told Him I would praise Him, serve Him and love Him no matter what because He is my God! Sometimes this is the only thing we can do when we do not understand why our life doesn’t seem to be manifesting what we think God has for us. Trust me! He has forgotten and is still moving Heaven and Earth just for you!

Psalm 30:4-5 (NLT)

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.  

Praise does not mean that there will not be weeping, sorrow, pain or heartbreak in our life. It means it will not last forever and that all things will work together for our good because we love Him enough to trust Him, wait for Him and follow the Lord no matter what! Joy is coming! Favor belongs to you! It is ushered in our life through praise that says to the Lord, “You have my approval, admiration, and commendation.” It tells God you want His Will and His Way for your life. Praise fills the atmosphere around you with faith and hope that changes the environment in which we live making it prosperous as it begins producing all the good things that He has promised. Don’t abandon your field. Stop through acid on your crops. Fill it with good seed. (God’s Word) Cover it with fresh fertilizer. (Praise) Cultivate it with love. (Good Works) Flood it with His Spirit.

Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT)

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
 that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.

The walk of faith takes us farther than our natural ability. It is a place that feet may fail. Strength will wane. Hearts get weak. It requires something greater than self to endure this challenge to stand strong to the end. Praise becomes our refuge. It wraps our entire being all of our humanity incorporated with our spirit in the Love of God. His Love becomes our shield. Praise produces an impenetrable force field around our life that silences the mockers who think we are nuts, engages the saints to pray us through and memorizes the masses who are looking for a Savior who really saves. They want a real God with real purpose to make real changes in the dead and broken life. Trust me – it is not a place for those who care what others think. People think I am crazy and live in a pseudo reality. That’s fine. My question to them is how many mom’s do you know who have children who have had cancer five times, chemotherapy, massive doses of radiation, and a bone marrow transplant who one year later are alive and well in college. God has cured his cancer. He is continuously healing his body of the aftermath. He has provided everything this kid has needed along the way continuing even today. He had a 2% chance of survival. God said, “He would live and not die” on October 25, 2011. It has been confirmed on August 21, 2015. Do you think I am going to praise Him? I have been since the very first day. How do you think I made it through my heart being shattered all those times?

Psalm 34:1-3 (NLT)

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.

Praise is not about who I think God is or what I want Him to do for me. It is about WHO He is and what He is doing in my life. I will praise the Lord at all times. This is easy when things are going well but when we decide to trust and believe that God is faithful enough to continue to speak His Praise in every situation – change will come, turnaround will happen and victory will come. What is your confession over your life today? I did not decide to praise God at all times until I had nowhere else to turn. How happen would it make His Heart if you decided to do so before tragedy strikes? My decision to praise the Lord was an act of survival. I needed the Lord to keep me standing and keep me breathing through the awful ordeal we faced. I was desperate. I was broken. I hate that our son ever had to experience such an awful disease, but I am not sorry for the brokenness that let my praise out!

Constantly and continually speak the praises of God over your life. Find your answer in His Word and speak it until it comes to pass. It has to come to pass because God does not lie or change His Mind and His Word NEVER returns void. It only fails if we abandon our post and don’t wait for it to come. God perfects our way and praise invites that change. You are not helpless – we have a Helper. Call on Him today? Rather than complaining and griping – thank Him for the solution that God is sending you today! God is faithfully pursuing you with unfailing love and goodness –praise opens the door and lets it come pouring in!

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

I Must Confess – A Devotion

I Must Confess

Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

There are two steps to salvation: 1) Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and 2) Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. To believe in our heart makes us right with God, but what we confess with our mouth ultimately leads to salvation. Everyone can recite the old Scottish proverb, “Confession is good for the soul.” But if that confession does not line up with true belief that overflows from our heart that Jesus Christ is Lord – then it is a problem. We have no problem calling ourselves “Christians” but living a life committed to such a confession can be challenging. It is a stumbling block for believers and unbelievers alike. Without a heart full of faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ – our confession is weak and ineffective.

A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? (Luke 6:44-46) Our words are a clear indication of what we truly believe in the depths of our heart. The fruit of our lips is produced from the seeds in our heart. We will one day be judged for every idle word we speak. (Matthew 12:36) The words of our mouth choose life or death to the faith growing in our heart each day. Complaining and grumbling is disbelief that nullifies any confession of faith that we make indicating that we do not truly believe in God’s Plan or that it is the best course for our life. Lying and backstabbing defy the Lordship of Jesus Christ as a blatant act of disobedience. (Ephesians 4:31) Our confession and belief must always agree. This is a monumental challenge for all mankind. If we could only make our confession valid with a heart full of faith and belief in Jesus Christ and His Power, our life would begin to prosper as our soul does. Our tongue is called a “flame of fire.” (James 3:4-8) But as it is clearly detailed in His Word, we do not do much with it other than burn down what God is building up. Jesus came to set the world on fire. (Luke 12:49) It is time to allow our hearts to be surrendered to the Lord so our confession will be empowerment to the world. We will be the Light of the World when we set the world on fire with His Love.

I John 4:14-16 (NLT)
Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

We confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead to be saved. (Period) It is a total surrender of our life and love to the Lord. (Period) Our confession is not an opportunity to tell God everything that we need. (Hint: He already knows and has already provided it.) It is an acceptance of His Amazing Grace that allows us to step out of darkness and back into right-standing with God. Our inheritance awaits and is accessible by believing. (Romans 4:16-17) The confession of the church has become convoluted as well-meaning Servants of God try to sell salvation by elaborating more on the benefits of salvation rather than the desperate need for it. Salvation is a matter of life or death. It is a choice that absolutely must be made to be saved. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord on that day without exception whether you believe that there is a God or not. (Philippians 2:5-11) Your religion will not save you on that day. Doctrine is of no use. The only thing that will be reviewed is our confession backed up by the belief in our heart.

I John 1:8-10 (NLT)
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Confession is not a “been there, done that” event in the life of a believer but a day-by-day, moment-by-moment and step-by-step occurrence. Grace is sufficient when it is applied. To confess means to acknowledge, to own or admit as true, to declare (to make known) and to acknowledge one’s belief. We must confess our sins to God daily believing that He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. There is more to the story though, our confession must line up with the motives of our heart. Our motive in life is not to sin but remain in righteousness with the Lord. Right? You cannot use your confession to try and convince God to accept anything less than righteousness. Right standing with God is dependent on the fact that we leave sin and darkness behind. As we learn to walk in His Way and follow His Word, we will begin to discover un-surrendered areas of our life that require immediate attention so we confess them to the Lord. Our confession that Jesus is Lord must line up with what we say and do to be valid. Otherwise it is a lie. Faith is based on what we do not see and confident hope in what is to come via the Father and His Great Love. (Hebrews 11:1) Therefore, it matters how we live, what we do and what we say. It must all line up to produce confident hope that allows us to live what we believe even when we don’t see it. To confess that Jesus is Lord and our soon Coming King but live in sin and darkness is to live a lie that will be exposed in the Light of His Great Love. It is time to confess the sin in our life and surrender it to the Lord choosing fasting and prayer over disobedience and complaining to step into the Promises of God. You cannot demand them as a Child of God if you do not live like one!

Daniel 9:3-5 (NLT)
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:
“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.

I believe in confessing the Word of God in our life every single day. But if we do not live a life that demonstrates our confession that Jesus Christ is Lord and I have a desperate need for His Salvation that it is not the Word that governs my life. To be a Child of the King, one must be part of the Kingdom. You cannot live a life as traitor and still be considered a citizen. For example, a convicted felon cannot register to vote in the United States. They forfeit that right when convicted of a felonious crime. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we have been restored to right-standing with God and have our rights fully restored. Daniel confessed the sins of the people before the Lord with fasting and prayer. He petitioned God on their behalf. As we read the account of his personal prayer, it consists mostly of bearing his soul and pleading with the Lord to forgive their transgression and wipe away their shame. (Daniel 9:3-14) But look what happens as soon as Daniel finishes praying. “I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the LORD my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.” (Daniel 9:20-23) The Lord didn’t wait for Daniel to ask for a thing, but gave the command the moment the man of God began to repentance. God doesn’t need us to tell Him what to do or what we need. God needs us to repent of every sin that stands between us so that He can make it to us.

Psalm 66:16-20 (NLT)
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

The more that we use our prayer life to repent and realign our life with the Lord, the less we have to worry about remembering to send God our long laundry list of demands. Faith tells us that He knows what we need and He will deliver. So we wait on the Lord making sure nothing comes between us especially sin. Sin creates a barrier between God and His People. Grace must be applied in order to bridge the gap. We must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart enough to change the way we live to follow the Way of Jesus Christ. In doing so, God has open access to our life. He can now do all that He has promised to do because we are in right-standing once again. Sin will take away your joy. It will allow shame to overwhelm our faith so that we no longer believe that God is able based on our own inability to love and trust Him. We will become overridden with sin until if affects us physically. Our health can even be compromised. (Psalm 38:17-18) But through confession of our disbelief and disobedience, God comes rushing back in with peace, joy, understanding and empowerment. (Psalm 32:1-5) He does not want to punish you but make every single promise a reality in your life. The time has come for us to confess that Jesus is Lord and live like we believe it.

Matthew 10:32-33 (NLT)
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”

People tend to overcomplicate a relationship with Jesus Christ as religion. Jesus tells it like it is and simply says – “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven.” He goes on to warn us that to deny Him means that Jesus will deny you in heaven to the Father as well. There goes the whole misuse of grace in the church today. Our life must be an acknowledgement of the Lord – it must be our confession. Our mouth and motives must line up for us to prosper in the Kingdom of God as His Children. We are to confess the Lordship of Christ now and He will do the same before the Father. I must confess, acknowledge, own and admit to my faith in the Lord, declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and acknowledge the Lord by living what I believe for my faith to be valid as acceptance of the marvelous gift of His Grace, Mercy and Love. It must be my confession.

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NKJV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.

Have you taken ownership of God’s Gift for your life? God has given you the Gift of Eternal Life to live like a Child of the King. Do not accept His Gift and then ignore it (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) or your confession becomes invalid. You must live what you believe. We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is our salvation and mandate to share it throughout the world. (Romans 1:16-17) At the end of our life, we should agree that “now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.” (Acts20:25-27) Our declaration must be matched with dedication. (I John 1:5-6) If our head and heart do not agree, then there is unresolved conflict keeping us from the benefits of true confession when our heart builds a firm foundation of faith that is evident in all that we say and do. Maybe if today for just one day we would stop telling God what we need, what to do, how to act, and when to move choosing to line up our life with our confession, then maybe the Lord could make it past our unbelief, disobedience and sin to get to us with everything that He promised. Just a thought…so today I must confess.

I Timothy 6:11-15 (NLT)
But you, (your name goes here), are a man (or woman) of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.