Thursday, March 06, 2008

How to repent?

THINK about these statements for a moment :

1. All behavior is based on belief. If somebody gets a divorce it is because they have a belief behind that: "I think I'll be happier" or whatever.

2. Behind every sin is a lie of unbelieving. You think you are doing what's best for you, but you have been deceived. The Bible tells us that Satan deceives us.

3. Change always starts in the mind. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). The Bible teaches clearly that the way we think affects the way we feel, and the way we feel affects the way we act.

4. Change beliefs first. Trying to change behavior without changing beliefs is a waste of time. Say I have a boat on auto pilot headed north. If I want it to head south, I have two options: I could wrestle the steering wheel or (the better way) change the auto pilot.

5. I don't change people's minds, God's Word does. "We speak words given to us by the Spirit using the Spirit's word to explain spiritual truth" (1 Cor. 2:13 NLT). Both Word and Spirit elements are in preaching, and often we leave out the Spirit element. Spiritual warfare is tearing down mental strongholds. Our weapons have power, pulling down every argument, every pretension.

6. Changing the way people act is the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not behavioral change; it results in behavioral change. Repentance happens in your mind. That 's why John the Baptist says to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. "I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds" (Acts 26:20).

7. The deepest preaching, bar none, is preaching for repentance. Many preachers are great at interpretation, good at application, but not willing to call for repentance. I preach repentance every Sunday. I talk about "changing your mind" and "paradigm shift." But every message comes down to two words: Will you? "Will you change the way you're thinking?" If you are not preaching repentance, you're not preaching.

Are you ready to repent? This is the call of God.

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