For years I just thought repentance meant the prayer I had with God when I asked him for forgiveness of my sins. It was simple and easy and when I became a christian I realized that’s actually just a small part of the process of repentance.
So for the christian pursuing a relationship the first question you need to ask as you look upon someone you want to pursue a life with is: Are they a Christian? Not a Bible-belt, Sunday morning only, or a nominal Christian. Are they a Bible-believing, life-giving, devoted, mature, seasoned Christian? Are they in love with the God you love? Do they love God more than you love God? Does their lifestyle resemble what Jesus says in Luke 9:23?
The way Jesus loved people was radical. It was intense and we have never seen anything else like it. No one has died for people in the way Jesus died for us. Jesus bore our sins and our guilt. He took on all the shame we feel and he walked in our shoes for over 30 years and in that he showed the greatest act of love in history.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords and our hope is not in the kings of this age but in the King who reigns over all ages. The King who has truth spread in the democratic and republican parties. Who has Christians in both organizations working to build the Kingdom. Christ has his followers in the trenches and in No Man’s Land. The Kingdom of God is able to move wherever it needs to go. It is able to look at wrongdoing and stand up against it no matter who is charge. The Kingdom of God has been around longer than our country or any other, and in the end if God wants to do away with our nation as we know it as Christians we should stand strong because God always has better in the future for us. Our hope does not end wherever conservatism, liberalism, or America as a whole ends.
We idolize everyday in every single second. We worship constantly, that's what we were made for. It’s a natural trait about us. The question comes in though: “what are we worshipping? Who do we follow?” The answer for a lot of us is we get sidetracked. We start off good and fall off into chasing after the approval of man. We become more concerned about whether others think we are doing right than whether God thinks we are doing right. We chase after the affections and affirmation of leaders in our churches and communities but we forget that loving God is costly and it comes with disapproval by your superiors and peers, maybe not all the time but a lot of the time.
He is causing his new creation to take shape, to work and build the Kingdom. You are becoming more like Jesus in this life. Hardship is gonna come but new better things are always on the horizon and frankly you can see it if you just stop looking down at the mud you had to walk through to get to the shore.
Christ awakens us by given us life. He has given you his Spirit to live inside of you, to guide you, to strengthen you. The deal is, you are not your own anymore. Life is not about you. The Spirit enters the hearts of broken people and produces life in them. As Ezekiel says: “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”
There is no more worrying about tomorrow. No one can love you like God loves you and that means you do not have to feel like you are unloved anymore. You do not have to chase security. God bought you at a price. He laid his life down for you so you can rest now. You can breath. You are saved and no one can take that from you. God will never give up on you.
There was nothing in us, it was strictly out of God’s love for his children that he (the father) chose us in him (Christ) to be his adopted sons and daughters. That is a beautiful thing. It is a beautiful thing that this perfect, amazing, loving, caring, magnificent God would want anything to do with a sinner like me. He not only died for me, but he chose me before the foundation of the world to be his son. As Romans 9:15-16 says: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.