Open Heavens Daily Devotional – PATHWAY TO COMPLETE RESTORATION (Saturday 14th July 2018)
Memorise: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning: Joel 2:12
Read: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-11
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
The Bible teaches that any form of restoration must start with true repentance. Repentance is a radical change of one’s thinking, personality and behaviour from a state of rebellion against God’s commandments to obedience to God’s word. A repentant person turns a new leaf through a new relationship with God, after attaining a new understanding of his or her nature and character. Repentance is usually demonstrated by remorse, mourning over sin, weeping, wearing of sackcloth, making restitution for wrongs committed and humbling oneself before God.
However, the emphasis must be on taking a new course in life that proceeds from a new relationship with God. God always responds positively to a broken heart. Psalm 51:17 says:
“The sacrifices of God are a broke spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, throu wilt not despise.”
In Joel 2:12, God specifically called His children to approach Him in repentance with fasting, weeping and mourning wherever they needed restoration, saying:
“… turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”
God still honours genuine weeping and mourning in repentance. It is a pity that such open declarations of repentance are no longer “fashionable” in contemporary churches. There are two aspects to true repentance: it looks upon the errors of the past with a weeping eye and unto the future with a watchful eye. To fast, mourn and shed tears of sorrow because of sin was the normal practice of the founding leaders of many Christian denominations.
The wonderful effect of such expressions of deep genuine remorse of sin is that it usually marks a permanent departure from a sinful lifestyle. Although repentant people may still fall into error in the future, sin and immorality cannot remain a lifestyle for them because they will not want to go through the experience of deep remorse again.
The determination to life in holiness therefore becomes their life ambition. In contrast, those who come to God for salvation with levity, while chewing gum and chatting with friends, may not have given any deep thought to their sinful past and the implication of the decision they are making. Such people may not place much value on their salvation. They usually don’t take sanctification seriously and therefore stand the risk of falling back into sin. How genuine is your repentance?
Approach God with a broken and contrite heart in repentance over any secret sin you may be harbouring in your heart.
Bible in one year
2 Chronicles 24-25
Sing hymn 3
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE