What Does Repentance Look Like?

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The simple definition of repentance that I remember from church is, “To turn around.” I see this theme emphasized literally and figuratively in the book of Jonah.

In chapter one, Jonah disobeys God’s word to go to Nineveh. In fact, Jonah goes in the opposite direction from Nineveh. Chapter two is Jonah’s story of coming to repentance. Chapter three is a picture of Jonah turning around and heading straight to Nineveh. Chapter 4 is God’s correction of Jonah’s thinking and God’s softening of Jonah’s heart to beat in unison with His heart.

The lessons in the Old Testament never get old. Chapter three shares the signs of true repentance expressed by Jonah, the people of Nineveh, and the king of Nineveh.

1) Vs. 3  Obey God’s word.

2) Vs. 3  Do things differently from the past.

3) Vs. 5  Believe God’s word.

4) Vs. 5  Mourn over one’s sins.

5) Vs. 6-7  Set the right and godly example for others to emulate.

6) Vs. 8  Stop sinning.

7) Vs. 8  Ask God for mercy and forgiveness.

8) Vs. 5-8  Align our priorities with God’s will for our lives.

May we draw closer to God through the repentance of sin. God’s heart is for us to enjoy the safety, the purpose and the joy of a life lived fully for Him, unhindered by sin.

Jonah 3:1-5

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 

 

A Chocolate Connoisseur, I Am Not!

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Although I didn’t have any plans to travel out of the country for Christmas, I bought a passport. A chocolate passport. It was advertised as a chocolate adventure for the taste buds. Ten bars of dark chocolate, single sourced from localities around the world. The descriptions were inviting with lines like, “Deep chocolate aroma with floral and fruit notes,” and, “Marked fruity taste with a touch of spice.” Teasers that filled me with anticipation. And oh the chocolate was wonderful. I savored each bite and concentrated on the undertones, the notes and the touches, but I didn’t get it. Maybe I am just a chocolate lover and not a chocolate connoisseur. It was not the first time that the finer things of life were lost on me. I remember when I first became interested in the Bible as an adult seeker. As with any good book, I started at the beginning. It was an exciting read with many story lines in Genesis and Exodus. Then I reached Leviticus with all the laws foreign to my senses. I was thrown for a loop as I simply didn’t get it. Fast-forward ten years in my relationship with the Lord. Now those same passages spoke volumes to my heart. I loved the foreshadowing of Jesus in the Old Testament. The connections between the Old and New Testaments reinforced God’s plan for mankind and for me. The difference was that I had the Holy Spirit inside of me. The Spirit that reveals the deeper truths. The Spirit that expresses faith with nuances. The Spirit that proves over and over how sweet our life is in God’s hands. .

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 119:103

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

 

King Josiah’s Example (2 Kings 22): Part 1

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I remember being on the fence (so to speak) about God’s truth in Jesus Christ. I decided to learn more by reading God’s word in the Bible.  I started at the beginning.  In Genesis and Exodus, there are so many exciting stories and examples of faith to relate to and be inspired by. Then I hit Leviticus, the book of laws.  That’s when things starting falling apart.  I didn’t get it.  Twenty years later with the hindsight of faith, I love the Old Testament.  I still stumble over the names, places and who was king when, but I have found a treasure trove of wisdom in those seemingly harder and duller passages.  2 Kings 22 is one such nugget.  In this chapter, I found ten examples of King Josiah to follow in my own life.  There is so much we can learn from the examples of those who came before us.  Even better, when it is an example that honors God with obedience.

Please feel free to add or expound on the examples I have listed.

1)      Vs. 1-2  Choose God’s ways.

2)      Vs. 2      Stick to the straight and narrow, not turning to the left or to the right.

3)      Vs. 5      Care about the church as a place to honor God.

4)      Vs. 7      We can’t do it all and we aren’t called to do it all.

5)      Vs. 8,10  Surround ourselves with godly people to keep us accountable to God.

6)      Vs. 11      Keep our hearts softened towards God.

7)      Vs. 13      Recognize evil in the world, including our own.

8)      Vs. 13      Take ownership for our sphere of influence (those we are in authority over.)

9)      Vs. 19      Humble ourselves before God.

10)    Vs. 19      Grieve over sin.

 

2 Kings 22:1-2

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.