intimacy · Repentance · the Word

intimacy and repentance…

ChristianAudio.com offers a free audio-book for download each month… I highly recommend the one for this month… August… I’m just barely into chapter two… but what I’ve heard so far is so worth it…

The title is… The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Walking… listening… the author shared… the first rule of repentance

Do you have to feel like repenting in order to repent? …

How do you repent for a sin that doesn’t feel like sin? …

In this crucible of confusion I learned something important. I learned the first rule of repentance, that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin.

How much greater? About the size of a mustard seed. Repentance requires we draw near to Jesus no matter what, and sometimes we all have to crawl there on our hands and our knees. Repentance is an  intimate affair and for many of us intimacy with anything is a terrifying prospect. …

I discovered that the Lord doesn’t change my feelings until I obey Him.

—Rosario Champagne Butterfield

I love the way she connects intimacy with God and repentance…

No wonder Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is…

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and with all your soul and with all your mind. …”
Matthew 22:37 ESV
When we love Him with all of us… there is no room for anything else…
To love God… to draw near Him… be intimate with Him… means we lay down our own desires… lay down our own feelings… understandings… of what we believe is right and wrong… and give it all to Him… come into agreement with Him about sin…
This is love for God: to obey his commands.
1 John 5:3
I too have discovered… that He changes our feelings… when we obey Him… even when we don’t feel like obeying…
Even when what we think is just fine… feels good… doesn’t seem to be hurting anybody… but He says it’s sin… when we obey… we begin to understand His feelings on the issue…
All sin… is harmful to us…
harmful to our relationship with God…
and that’s why He longs for us to be free from sin…
And… no… we don’t get to define sin…
only God gets to do that…
and He shares the truth with us in His Word…
This unlikely convert… the author of the audio-book… as an English professor… spent much time in the Bible…  even before she believed…
She came to know… what I’ve experienced too…
time in His Word… transforms… a person…
and when we surrender to Him… and His Word…
the change is amazing…
Be intimate with God…
spend time in His Word…
obey His Word…
repent…
Do not merely listen to the word,
and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:17
Intimacy and repentance… choices we make… to love God….

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