Tag Archive for Repentance


Repentance & Forgiveness

Monday –      Freedom
Hymn: Your Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     Forgiveness Is Always Available
Hymn: Father, I’ve Failed You (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – New Driver
Hymn: So Unworthy (recording) (printed)

Thursday –  Repent

Friday –          A Story of Forgiveness 1

Saturday –     A Story of Forgiveness 2
Hymn: Sea of Mercy (recording) (printed)

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from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Ash Wednesday

Father, we worry and complain about so many things,
but we rarely give even a passing thought to
what is saddest and most destructive
in our entire world:
our sin and
our unrepentant hearts.

Today, Lord, make us conscious of our sin and
its terrible price.
We have turned our back on You, our Creator,
the only Source of all that is good.
We have dethroned You
from our lives and
from our race.
In Your place, we have enthroned our
short-lived selves.
The results have been predictable:
suffering, and

Father, we own our sin.
It is the one thing in this entire world that is
truly our own.
We face and accept our physical death
as the inevitable result of our sin.
We bow to You, face down,
excusing nothing,
claiming nothing,
clinging to nothing but Your mercy.
We confess and repent, Father.
Have mercy on us.
O God, have mercy!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Ash Wednesday Hymn
Printed Music & Lyrics

Lord, Forgive Me

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, NIV)

We are so weak and inconsistent, so dull and ungrateful.

Yet if we repent and consciously turn away from our sins, not even they need separate us from God. The One who died for us doesn’t ask us to beg for forgiveness.

He doesn’t expect us to earn it or deserve it in any way.

You can’t. Don’t try.

He just wants you to ask Him to forgive you and trust Him to do it.

forgive me.
I trust You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, I’ve Failed You
Printed Music & Lyrics

When We Fail

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, NIV)

What should you do when you find you have forgotten God for a while? Don’t beat yourself up. Simply turn to Him again, admit your failure, and continue joyfully walking with Him. Your sadness is a sign of your love and desire for Him.

What should you do when you realize you’ve sinned? Don’t be discouraged. Admit it. “That is just like me! I cannot do anything right without God.” Confess your sin and confidently petition His grace, focusing not on your sin, but on His merits.

Then return to your normal work, and never let your mind go back. Put yourself completely in God’s hands for life and death, for time and eternity.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, I’ve Failed You
Printed Music & Lyrics

Psalm 99: How Does Holy God Respond to Sin?

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Psalm 99:8; Exodus 33:18-20; 34:5-7

When Psalm 99 says that God was “a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds” (v.8, NASB), it is affirming what God repeatedly emphasizes about Himself. He gladly, eagerly, lovingly forgives the sins of those who confess and turn away from their sin. But in His holiness, He will not simply overlook sin. God punishes those who do wrong.

Joshua warned the children of Israel about this when they chose to renew their covenant with God. Read Joshua 24:15-21.

When Moses asked God that he might know Him better, God revealed Himself both visually and verbally. As He passed by Moses, this is how He summarized Himself:

“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” (Exodus 34:6-7, NASB)

Many in the world today think that because God is loving, He won’t punish us. Sometimes they even suggest that if God is so forgiving, why doesn’t He just forgive what we do, without all the demanding and threatening? They want a God who will let them continue to live as they please.

But remember what sin is:

  1. Sin is a deadly disease. Our loving God cannot simply ignore it. It separates His loved ones from their only source of life and peace. God will completely cure all those who allow Him.
  1. Sin is relational. It is a broken relationship with the Living God, and He longs to restore that relationship. But like any relationship, our relationship with God has two sides. God cannot repair our relationship with Him unless we are willing and participate. Unless the relationship is repaired, forgiving past sins does no good. It’s like taking an antidote for a deadly poison, then continuing to drink a big cup of that poison for every meal. The antidote is useless. The deadly danger is still flowing through our system until we turn away from its cause.

Living as God’s People

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Leviticus 20:7-8, 22-26; Joshua 24:15-21

God is holy—transcendent…high above us…separate…pure. We were sinful…contaminated…corrupt. Yet instead of pushing us away, the holy God drew us toward Himself and into His holiness. By His own choice and doing, He separated us unto Himself. He made us His holy, separate people. What a privilege to be the holy, chosen people of holy, sovereign, Creator God!

But privileges carry responsibilities. We must live lives that are holy, separated entirely to our holy God. Moses warned the people:

“You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. You shall keep My statutes and practice them…so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you…You are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” (Leviticus 20:7-8, 22-23, 26, NASB)

Later Joshua similarly warned the people that the holy God would not overlook their sin.

“If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.” (Joshua 24:19, NASB)

God will eagerly forgive sin if we confess and repent – that is, turn away from it. But He is holy, and He will not simply overlook sin. As with the children of Israel, we cannot live like the people around us. We are the holy people of a holy God, separated entirely to Him as His own.

However, we cannot and will not be holy in our own strength. God has not abandoned us to the weakness of our own willpower. As we will see in the New Testament, in Jesus Christ God has offered to us the beautiful gift of holiness by faith. We can be holy as He is holy, by His holy Spirit within, as we simply trust Him.

Fruits of Repentance

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)

Throughout our Christian walk, Christ calls us out of destructive life-styles and toward Himself. For many of us, responding to His call involves throwing off hurtful habits that have entangled us. While some seem instantaneously delivered from these habits, others must follow a process that can be frustrating and discouraging.

If you struggle with such a habit or with some recurring sin, this passage may prove helpful:

When the crowds came to John to be baptized, he demanded that they “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8, NIV). Seekers from a variety of backgrounds wanted to know what this repentance demanded of them. They asked, “What should we do then?” (Luke 3:10, NIV).

John answered by spelling out specific life changes that each group needed to make. Those with plenty were to share with the needy. Tax collectors were to collect only the taxes the law required. Soldiers were told not to extort money, not to make false accusations, and to be content with their pay.

For all of us, repentance is more than words, no matter how sincerely spoken. It is more than good intentions, no matter how pure and noble. If repentance is real, it will be accompanied by changes in the way we live, changes that act out our desire to turn away from sin forever. When our prayer is “lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13, NIV), we will do all we can to avoid that temptation.

If sin is a problem in your life, and if you deeply long to break your cycle of failure, why not get in line with the sinners, soldiers, and tax collectors? Ask God with a sincere and open heart, “What fruits of repentance would You have me produce, Lord? What changes would You have me make to break my sinful patterns?”

Listen, and I believe you’ll get an answer tailored to your need. The Savior will not ignore a seeking heart, and His wisdom is extremely practical. He may ask you to consciously avoid certain situations or to establish more positive habits. He may want you to make yourself accountable to a trusted Christian friend.

Whatever His response to you, write it down and begin obeying Him. Remember, you live in His presence every moment. Trust Him one step at a time, and He Himself will lead and enable and bless you.

A Present God

The Lord Almighty is with us.
(Psalm 46:7, NIV)

Sunday morning worship.
As we are singing glorious hymns of exaltation and praise,
I realize that I’m not thinking about Him,
but about me.
My thoughts are self-centered.

Forgive me, Lord.

How shameful such thoughts will be
when I stand before You face-to-face.
How foolish and abhorrent all pride will seem
in the blazing light of Your presence.

But Almighty God, You are here now.
I stand before You now.
You see my heart.
You hear my thoughts.
And I am ashamed.

Transform me, Lord.
Teach me.
Help me live and think and walk in the light of Your beauty and presence.
Fill every thought, every prayer, and every song of praise
with an active trust in a present God.

Have Mercy

A Prayer for Lent

I lift up my eyes to you,
to you whose throne is in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, O Lord,
have mercy on us.
(Psalm 123:1-3a, NIV)

Father God, our lives are plagued by trouble.
We are showered with the violence and arrogance all around us.
We are humbled by the selfishness and complacency of our own hearts.
Have mercy on us.

Our wives, our husbands, our children are in need.
Our communities are row after row of houses
filled with broken families and hurting people.
Many are desperate, plummeting through despair.
Our work places are dark,
crying out for the light of Your guidance and hope and love.

Father, we lift our eyes to You
and wait.
Our hope is You alone.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Have Mercy
Printed Music & Lyrics