|“… our marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are heart problems. They are God problems. Our lack of intimacy with God causes a void that we try to fill with the frailest of substitutes. Like wealth or pleasure. Like fame or respect. Like people. Like marriage.” Francis Chan
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2
John the Baptist’s call to repentance is the first exhortation or warning in the New Testament. It is also first in importance. Repentance is the door to the gift of life; without it no one enters. The Bible knows nothing of salvation apart from repentance. In John’s message, he marries the command to repent with the consequences: “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”282 The failure to repent carries with it judgment. Notice that John carefully articulates judgment. The axe sits at the root of the tree, perhaps having already been imbedded, making judgment absolute. However, the tree is still standing, capable of bearing fruit, thus reflecting the potential for God’s mercy. Repentance leis between these two absolutes.
The Baptist talks about fruit; repentance must produce fruit. Mere acknowledgement of your sin is not enough. You must be willing to change. If you believe God’s wrath is directed at you, and you want God’s grace, then the fruit of repentance will be forthcoming.
Repentance is not just for conversion; all that sin need to repent. It doesn’t matter where you are in your walk with God, you never grow out of the need to repent. As long as you sin you need to repent. Never deceive yourself into believing that because you are a child of God you no longer need to repent.
282 Matthew 3:10
Psalm 60-62 Romans 5 (New King James Version)
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
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