Here are a few reminders for you:
- Friday is anti-trafficking day. You might see people with red X’s on their hands or on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles. Everything that you see related to this is to shine a light on human slavery and expose it for the evil that it is. You can follow the official hashtag #enditmovement
- Saturday is kids day at Lifeway. You will be able to buy the new VeggieTales movie about Noah before you can actually buy it. I plan on taking my family.
- Sunday – FaithPoint Men, we will be meeting at McDonald’s at 9:00 am to discuss chapter 7 of Dude’s Guide to Manhood. I look forward to our time of fellowship and discussion. See you there!
Here are the sermon notes from Sunday:
The text for this sermon is Genesis 35. The title of this sermon is: What Real Repentance Looks Like.
How many verses have you memorized that you have never lived out?
Face it, if you actually applied the Scriptures and did your best to live out what you say you believe – your life would change. Change? That would mess up everything.
Change. No one really likes change unless you are the one that initiates it. Your old “self” automatically throws up a wall of resistance to push back against change. It doesn’t even matter what the change is. Your “self” is not ready for it.If you are going to be a disciple of Jesus and be everything that He has called you to be, change is necessary. Your life has to change.
There is sin in our lives that has to go away for there to be real change that takes place.
What kind of change are we talking about?
Are you in the confession trap?
You have a sin that makes you feel guilty and you confess that sin to God (so that you feel better) and then you go back and do it again?
You feel like you are a gerbil in a cage. You are on the wheel and you are going in circles but you are not really going anywhere. You are in an endless cycle.
The confession trap is a cycle. You are the gerbil. You are on the wheel of sin, feel guilty, confess, not feel guilty, sin, and the cycle goes on and on. No change has taken root in your life.
Do you know why it is so difficult to get people to come to church? They look at their lives and look at your life and don’t see a difference.
The Bible has a word for that. Hypocrite.
We do not want to get caught in the endless game of confession just to go back to our sin again. Peter warns against this. 2 Peter 2:22.
You ever seen a dog eat its own vomit? What about its own poop?
Does it make sense for a pig after it is clean to turn around and go right back to the mud?
Why does this happen?
That is just what a dog does.
A pig does what a pig does because it is a pig.
We are neither dogs or pigs. So, it doesn’t make much sense for us as people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and adopted into God’s family to continue in sin after we have already been forgiven of it.
We do not want to get into the habit of abusing grace.
We should be defined by repentance.
Real repentance leads to real change.
- God Speaks – The first thing that we notice is that Jacob, in the middle of his mess, still does not go to God. God comes to Him. God is still pursuing Jacob. God has always been pursuing Jacob.
God has always been pursuing you. God has been chasing you down for your entire life. You did not speak first. Your Heavenly Father spoke first. He comes to you and speaks. He doesn’t use a bullhorn, He doesn’t sound like sirens or look like big, flashing neon lights. He whispers.
You have to be tuned to hear His voice or you will miss it. You have too many voices competing for your attention. You have to sift through all of the noise so that you can hear God’s voice. His voice is unique. All of the other voices sound the same.
- Sin is buried – Jacob went to his family and told them that he was going to do what God told him to do. They brought everything to him that was impure or a false god. Jacob buried them at a tree. Jacob dug a grave for the things that kept him from obeying God.
Your sin was covered by blood on a tree. When Jesus was buried. Your sin was buried with Jesus. When He arose, your sin stayed buried. You are not without responsibility. You have to get rid of those things in your life that are keeping you from obeying God. You have to bury them.
Once they are buried, they stay there. It doesn’t make sense to bury some sin and then go back to the grave to dig up its dead body.
If you are saved, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. That is power. We don’t have a word to describe that kind of power. Superman, The Hulk, dynamite, nothing we have is capable of describing the kind of power that the Holy Spirit has. However, because He has the power to raise Jesus from the dead means that He also has the power to break through your wall of resistance to the change that He wants to bring about in your life.
Your sin is buried.
- New Clothes – Jacob told his family to change their clothes. Why? They were changing. The old clothes were going to remind them of their past. The new clothes are a reminder of their new life.
When you become a Christian, Jesus gives you new clothes. He clothes you in His righteousness. You have put off your old self and your new self is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.
- New Name – God told Jacob that he would no longer go by the name Jacob but that he would go by the new name that God gave him – Israel.
You have a new name too. You are not the person from your past. You are everything that the Bible says you are. Your Heavenly Father has called you saint, holy, righteous, justified, child of God, heir with Jesus. You have a new name.
It is time to stop going by your old name and start living by your new name. It is time for your life to change. Your Heavenly Father has given you a new name. It is time for you to live your life to reflect your new name.
- God Reinstates Relationship – God forgave Jacob and reminded Jacob of the promise that God gave to him. God renewed His relationship with Jacob.
When we repent, God restores relationship with us.
For us, it is not about not feeling guilty. It is reconciliation with our Heavenly Father and a change in our life that causes us to run from sin and not want to go back to dig up its dead body.
God has pursued you, covered your sin at the cross with the blood of Jesus, given you new clothes, a new name and restores you back in right relationship with Himself as if you had never rebelled at all.
It is time to change.
It is time to respond to your new name. The one that your Heavenly Father gave you.
It is time to follow the leader – Jesus.