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Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

It’s hard to get it right.

Relationships are messy.  Families, friends, neighbors.  Even long-term ones can be fragile.

Words spoken in innocence, meant to say one thing, but conveying something else to the listener.

Actions intended to help, but received as control.

Feelings hurt. Trust jeopardized. Love strained.

Excuses. Explanations. Justifications.

But love and history win out.

Repentance.  Going both ways.

“I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”

Then sweet words:

“I always forgive you.”

What about you?  What words have hurt you, or someone you love?

C2012 Judy Douglass

Related posts:

A Prayer for Forgiving

What I Do When Someone Hurts Me

Grace Forgives

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I have had the privilege of being part of a Praying for Revival community.  Of course, as we seek God for revival in our land and our world, we must first seek it for ourselves.  As I was preparing to lead our session recently, God gave me a little understanding of the ongoing cycle of His work in and through me.

I am still meditating on these truths, seeking to understand and apply.  I am sharing them with you, as I am absorbing them myself.  If you have additional thoughts or insights, please share them in the comments.

So here is what I have grasped so far, as I desire personal revival:

Deep humility (a true recognition of who God is and who I am) –>

Genuine repentance (horror at my sin, hating my sin) –>

True worship (awe, gratitude, adoration, honor) –>

Dependent prayer (I am inadequate, unworthy, nothing, needy)–>

Spirit anointing (now available for every need, asked for, received by faith)

 

Consistently living out the above will lead to the following being increasingly evident in my life:

Sincere gratitude (not a perfunctory thank you, but true giving of thanks)

Courageous faith (trust in action, no matter what the challenge)

Authentic living (so that my life looks more and more like Jesus)

Real oneness (preferring one another, united in the Spirit)

 

As these realities are growing in me, they will inevitably lead to actions:

Bold proclamation (I will talking about my Savior boldly and sensitively)

Sacrificial love (serving others, laying down my life for others)

Compassionate justice (responding in word and deed to pain and injustice)

 

Yet I must recognize that I cannot do all this.  It becomes possible and true in my life because of the BOUNDLESS GRACE of God.  It is not my performance, my good deeds, my hard work.  It is all God’s gracious gift of grace to enable me to become like Jesus, to do the impossible, to move on when I fail, to trust when I am inadequate, to believe God can work in and through someone as unworthy as I am.

What about you?  What has God shown you is needed for personal revival?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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At Rest by Pablo Picasso

REST.

That was my word for this year.

I have prayed, rested, listened, read.  And I am still seeking to discern what all God has been saying to me.

One very tangible outcome of my focus on REST occurred mid-year.  REST became the theme of the annual June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  For two months leading up to our day on our knees, I wrote mini-devotionals on REST for our community.  I thought I knew where I was going with each one, but God had something specific and different to say with each one.  I have been deeply ministered to by these simple sources of REST.

I am posting the introduction here, followed by links to the other articles.  Though they are written to those who love prodigals, each of us will find REST in these truths.

Take the Day Off

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

Are you tired?  Weary?  Need a break?

When you love a prodigal, it is often easy to say “yes!” to those questions.

Our minds are exhausted trying to know where they are and what they are doing, and striving to find something that works.  Our hearts are so weary from the battle, the confusion, the loss, the fear.  Even our bodies are tired—depleted from conflict, sleep-deprived, worn out from going to and fro looking for help.

God says, “Take the day off.”

He is a fan of rest!  He rested after creating the universe.  He provided a day of rest for us.  In fact, he commanded us to rest—he said everyone in the home, including the animals—needs to take a day off and REST!  He even required that the land get a year off every seven years.

I think God is really serious about REST. And I believe this is the theme he has given us for the 2011 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  It is just over 9 weeks until June 2—9 weeks for us to prepare to do major battle for our very loved wanderers.

Our first focus will be on finding rest for ourselves—our bodies, our minds, our spirits.  But we will also talk about praying rest for our prodigals.

Just think how weary they must be as they fight against us, against their demons and addictions and against the eternal God.  Perhaps some rest for their souls will give them the will to abandon the fight they have chosen and walk a different path.

Our theme verse is Jeremiah 6:16:  “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Over these next 9 weeks I will send additional thoughts on REST.  Be seeking the Lord for yourself and for your prodigal.

With love and grace,

Judy

Here are the links to the rest of the devotionals on REST:

Rest in His Presence

Rest in Repentance

Rest in Release

Rest in Giving Thanks

Rest on the Right Road

Rest in Obedience

Rest in Perseverance

Rest in the Promises

And finally, here is one more post, previously unpublished:

Rest in Forgiveness

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

I still remember the night he lied to me on his way to spend the night with his girlfriend.

The terrible things he said to me in his great drunkenness.

The night he and his high friends frightened our house guest into her room.

And when he stole from his sister.

The lies, the drinking and drugs, the stealing—they happened a lot.  There were consequences, but there were also God-given grace and mercy.

But those specific events—they have been harder.  I have forgiven them many times.  I put them behind me and move on in peace.  But then something triggers a memory, the pain resurfaces, the anger returns.  And once again I need to consciously extend mercy—I need to forgive.  He, of course, knows nothing of this ongoing battle over past offenses.

Unforgiveness is exhausting.

Eventually our prodigals need to know they are forgiven for all they have done—though usually that need comes after they have made some kind of turn around.  We are the ones who are being worn out and worn down when we are not able to forgive.  But what about consequences?  Yes, there will be consequences.

But we must forgive them—and in that forgiveness we will find rest.

Conflict by definition implies lack of rest.  Conflict, being wronged, the ongoing battle: all of these bring offense, something we hold on to, grievances we embrace.  And that grasping will surely exhaust us.

God has given us the key:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

So, is there something you are holding on to, a wrong from your loved one that you have not forgiven?  Take it to Jesus. Consciously forgive.  Then the door is open for peace.  For conflict to dissipate.  For REST.

In His mercy, Judy

Where have you found rest?

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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I love the Puritan Prayers from The Valley of Vision. This one is a profound call to grasp my sinfulness and God’s grace.

 
O God of Grace,

 

Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.

 

But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

 

I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;

 

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;

 

I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always say, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth the best robe.

 

Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return it in,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

 

Grant me to never lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.

 

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