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REPENT - Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, ‘Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations.’”
Ezekiel 14:6

Allow me to summarize the state of the church in Dallas based on one simple, yet profound comment made last night. It was a comment that was made by someone who boldly went forward to confess the sins that she has been struggling with. This young lady said after she had gotten done confessing along with other individuals who were recovering from addictions such as drugs and alcohol, “I know that we aren’t the only sinners here tonight.” And I thought man, she hit the nail on the head. How true was what she said?!? Well too many times as the church we wait for others to get right with the Lord. We wait for others to take the step forward. We wait for others to confess their sins. And we too many times, sit back and listen. We sit back and observe. Let’s let those that look like need to repent, doing the repenting. Let’s let the ones who have the tattoos, who have the earrings, who look like they need to confess, do the confessing. But as this young woman stated, we are all sinners. We are constantly being tempted with “life” and all that is thrown at us. Therefore, in order for us to draw near to the Lord, we need to acknowledge the sins in our lives and REPENT.

If we desire to see revival come to this city, REPENTANCE must be evident. God spoke of this when Ezekiel wrote, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations.” God was tired of the Israelites looking in all the wrong places. Their focus and direction was everywhere but turning to the Lord. So God called for repentance. In the Hebrew language, repent means to “to turn back” or “turn around.” No longer can we continue on with our sinful lifestyle. We need to turn away from our idols of today. So let me ask each of you, including myself, “What is keeping our attention from the Lord?” Maybe our idol is the television. Maybe our sin is impatience. Maybe our idol is the internet. Maybe our sin is pride. Maybe our idol is materialism. Whatever the sins or idols in our lives, it is time to turn away from them. “The word (repent) refers to a reversal or a change of direction, as when the word is used as of the receding floodwaters.” It is never too late to turn around and cry out to God. Please don’t wait until you hit rock bottom. It might be too late by then. Rather, we need to move forward, and the time is now. As one commentary writes, “The prophets commonly used this word (repent) to call the Israelites to a radical, conscious rejection of their past sin.” Don’t you think we as the church in Dallas need to do the same? It is time to change our LIVES for the Lord. Dare I say, let’s get radical and repent of the sins we have placed in our everyday lifestyle.

Billy Graham, in one of his early revival crusades, addressed the issue of repentance to those in the city of Los Angeles. He said, “Repentance is confession of sin, repentance is sorrow for sin, and repentance is renouncing sin. May believe God’s Word and accept Christ’s sacrifice, but they have never been truly repentant! If they were, their lives would show it!” Amen. Don’t you think that if we were truly repentant for the sins in our lives, then our lives would reveal our sincerity? Our lives would exemplify Jesus Christ? I think when true repentance comes to our own lives, we will then begin to see personal revival come. We will begin to see a “a complete turn around” in our lives. We will begin to see our own lives “reject past conduct.” AND THEN, we will begin to “turn to obedience to the Lord.” Revival will come when repentance takes place. Therefore, let me be so bold to ask myself, “What do I need to repent from today?” Let me ask each of you, “What do you need to repent from today?” Please take time to get right with the Lord today and repent.
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan