Over the past week, it seems like we are hearing a lot about repentance at Christ Community.
Big John showed us our need to return to the Lord as a nation in Jeremiah 4. The last two weeks of our Refresh & Restore devotions have looked at repentance — how sin works and our need to repent and beginning to look at how to repent in Psalm 51. But, as much as I would like to tell you that we have a big plan where we have coordinated with each other, it is pure coincidence on the part of me and John. The plan goes above our pay grade.
L.G. tells us often that God has a plan for our lives, but it is different when we see it begin to form before us. It is different still when that plan involves repentance. You see, repentance is not fun. It is not enjoyable. Nor is it meant to be. Being corrected is never fun – never enjoyable. But it is always necessary. And, while the process is not enjoyable, the results are blessing and restoration!
Psalm 32 is considered a penitent Psalm (basically a Psalm of repentance). But look at how positively it teaches us to view repentance:
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.Psalm 32:1-2
The blessing comes from the forgiveness! This does not do away with the pain or consequence of sin. It highlights the fact that we have a loving Father waiting for us on the other side of the process (Luke 15:11-32)! We have the opportunity and the privilege to get to repent. And when we turn away from our sin and back toward our Savior — oh, what a blessing it is to return to Him!
And that’s what we are singing about tomorrow — the joy of returning to the Savior in repentance!
These Scriptures were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:
Here are our songs:
- Holy Water — This is a new song for us, and it’s a little different. But isn’t everything about Christ Community a little different? Amen, and yes! We are going to rejoice in the cleansing of God! 1 John 1:9 says that “if we confess our sins” we will find that God will faithfully “forgive our sins” and “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. This song rejoices in what comes after — the sheer joy that comes from returning to God and being refreshed and restored in Him!
- The Father’s House — When we turn from our sin and return to God, the Bible gives us the image of running to the open arms of a Father! That’s good news! This makes me think of my boy, Xander. He compartmentalizes the pain of punishment and the need for restoration better than anyone I’ve ever seen. As soon as he gets punished, he immediately turns and wants a hug to be restored. Our heavenly Father waits for us to return to Him with open arms — restoration is available!
- How Great is Our God — Part of returning and being restored to God is worshiping Him. In fact, repentance is, in and of itself, an act of worship. When we realize all that He has done for us in salvation and all that He continually does for us, our response should always be “How great is our God!” There is nothing in this world that offers the grace, mercy, and forgiveness that can be found in Him, so we should proclaim His glory and Name from the rooftops!
- King of Kings — Perhaps one of the most important images for us as Christians is that of the King leaving His throne and coming to earth to save us. He did not sub-contract the work of salvation. He knelt in the dirt and depravity and lived for us — to “reconcile the lost”. He suffered and did “not despise the cross” — “for our sake [He] died”! He then defeated death by rising from the tomb! And, just as the stone was removed from the entrance to the tomb, He removes the stone from our hearts, giving hearts of flesh – restoring us to Him! That’s good news!
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Proverbs 4:19, John 3:19-21, Ephesians 2:1, Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 5:17, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31, Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 2:7, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 8:1, John 1:14, Psalm 136:3, Matthew 28:18, Revelation 19:16, Matthew 13:24-52, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 53, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-10, Galatians 3:13, Colossians 2:14, Titus 2:14, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Matthew 27:52-53, Luke 15:7, Acts 2:1-4, Matthew 24:35, Ephesians 1:7, Galatians 5:1, Galatians 2:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:11
- (inv) Beautifully Broken — Once we are broken over our sin, we have the opportunity to return to the Savior who can bring to life that which is dead – who can restore that which was lost – who can mend that which was broken. There is no other source of such healing. He issues a call for all who are weary and broken to come to Him and find rest. How will you respond to that call?
- Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Psalm 51, Psalm 32, Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 6:1-11, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 31:12, James 4:6, Isaiah 43:18-19, Revelation 21:5, Acts 3:19-21