VIDEO True Repentance

Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation… —2 Corinthians 7:10

Conviction of sin is best described in the words:

My sins, my sins, my Savior,
How sad on Thee they fall.

Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God— “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight…” (Psalm 51:4). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.

The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable “goodness.” Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.


When we no longer seek God for His blessings, we have time to seek Him for Himself.  The Moral Foundations of Life, 728 L

God’s Purpose in Our Pain (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Lighten the Load

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

When the women in our newly formed Bible study faced a series of tragedies, we suddenly found ourselves sharing deeply personal experiences. Facing the loss of a father, the pain of a wedding anniversary after divorce, the birth of a child who was completely deaf, the experience of racing to bring a child to the emergency room—it was too much for anyone to carry alone. Each person’s vulnerability led to more transparency. We cried and prayed together, and what started as a group of strangers became a group of close friends in a matter of weeks. 

As part of the church body, believers in Jesus are able to come alongside people in their suffering in a deep and personal way. The relational ties that bind together brothers and sisters in Christ aren’t dependent on the length of time we’ve known each other or the things we have in common. Instead, we do what Paul calls “[carrying] each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Relying on God’s strength, we listen, we empathize, we help where we can, and we pray. We can look for ways to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (v. 10). Paul says that when we do so, we fulfill the law of Christ (v. 2): to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. The burdens of life can be heavy, but He’s given us our church family to lighten the load.

By:  Karen Pimpo

Reflect & Pray

Who’s suffering around you? How can you lighten their load today?

Dear God, thank You for walking alongside me no matter what I face. Help me love others in that way today.

Learn how to care for others spiritually.

Let Us Run The Race With Endurance

Where it says in Hebrews 12:1 to “lay aside every weight,” we must think in terms of this race. The runner empties his pockets and wears the lightest, most flexible clothing he can; he does not carry a single unnecessary ounce of weight. Some things that aren’t exactly sins still act as weights that can burden us and hold us back. They exhaust our strength or lure us into spending too much time and attention on them.

Remember, this is not a short sprint—it is a long, deliberate race. The primary characteristic that is required is endurance. Many people start off the Christian life as if it were a dash. A little while later, they are panting beside the track; they are finished, and they have hardly begun the race. Ecclesiastes 9:11 wisely points out, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”

The following is the testimony of a victor—the apostle Paul:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8, NASB)

Paul knew that he had won the race. He had finished the course, and he knew that the prize was waiting for him. That is a glorious testimony. It can be the testimony of you and me, too, if we will only meet the conditions.

It isn’t speed or strength but endurance that counts.

Prayer Response

Thank You, Lord, for helping me to “press on.” I proclaim that I “lay aside every weight” in preparation to finish a long, deliberate race. I shall run the race with endurance. Amen.

No One Like Jesus

 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.” — Luke 1:35

The Virgin Birth is clearly taught repeatedly throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament in many different kinds of ways.

Once there was a newly minted young minister in a rural area. And there was a man in the neighborhood, an old farmer who didn’t attend church. One Christmas season he invited him to come. And the man agreed. The sermon was on the Virgin Birth. As they were discussing the sermon afterwards, the minister asked the farmer what he thought. (I have learned the hard way that is a big mistake for a pastor to make.) The farmer hemmed and hawed. Finally he said, “Well, now, my boy,” he said, “Let me ask you a question. If you heard about a girl today that got herself pregnant and then claimed that it was a virgin birth, would you believe that?”

Another silence. And the young man said, “Well, if he grew up to live a life like Jesus and came to die and rise from the dead, why yes, I would.”

Question to ponder: How was Christ different than anybody else?

Then the Spirit Came

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit…before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.Joel 2:28, 31

There is a great modern error which I want to mention: it is that the coming of the Spirit happened once for all, that the individual Christian is not affected by it….This error asserts that the coming of the Holy Spirit is an historic thing, an advance in the dispensational workings of God; but that it is all settled now and we need give no further thought to it. It is all here and we have it all, and if we believe in Christ that is it, and there isn’t anything more….

Listen, brother. Our Lord Jesus Christ advertised that He was going away to the Father and He was going to send back for His people a wonderful gift….

Then the Spirit came. Was He equal to the advertising? Did they say, “Is this all He meant! Oh, it is disappointing!” No. The Scripture says they wondered. The word “wonder” is in their mouths and hearts. He gave so much more than He promised, because words were the promise and the Holy Ghost was the fulfillment. HTB032, 035-036

The Holy Spirit is always within reach, if we are in condition to receive and absorb Him. HS504

Satanic Forces

He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling.Jude 6

The Devil was created as a wise and morally perfect being (then known as Lucifer) who aspired to take over the throne of God and thus usurp the position of his Creator. Once that happened, Lucifer was expelled from heaven, together with the other angels who had sensed and shared his rebellious attitude. This is the fall from heaven that Jesus told His disciples He had witnessed.

Since his fall from heaven, Satan, apparently losing little of his administrative skill, has marshaled these fallen angels (now known as demons) into a hostile force to work against God and His creation. We do not know just how many angels fell with Satan, but doubtless it must have been a colossal number. When Jesus once asked a demoniac: “What is your name?” (Lk 8:30), the demons answered: “Legion.” If they were telling the truth, the man was controlled by thousands of demons. A Roman legion contained six thousand men!

It is little wonder, then, that the Apostle Paul warned the Ephesians that they were involved in a tremendous spiritual conflict: “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Eph 6:12).

One of America’s founding fathers said: “If men will not be governed by God, then they will be ruled by tyrants.” How sad that people actually choose to be governed by Satan rather than by God.


O God my Father, I am so thankful that I have left the tyranny and rule of Satan to come under the sway of Your eternal and everlasting kingdom. May I come more and more under its sway hour by hour and day by day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Further Study

Lk 10:1-19; Ps 44:5; Rm 8:31

What event did Jesus witness?

What power did He give to His disciples?

Demandingness on Display

We want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.Daniel 3:18

How does demandingness manifest itself? One way is by an insistence that God answer our prayers in the way we think He should. I talked with a woman whose husband had abandoned her and their three small children. As she talked, I grew uncomfortable, for she told me: “I know God is going to bring him back. If He doesn’t, then He is not as faithful as He says He is. That can’t be, so my husband will come back.”

Can you hear the spirit of demandingness in these words? I sympathized with her hurt to such a degree that it was painful for me to have to explain this: that faith is one thing but demandingness is another. Her “faith” in God was based not on unconditional confidence in His character and sovereign purposes, but rather in the hope that He would relieve her suffering in the way she thought best.

Deep hurt is a most suitable environment in which we can wrongfully nourish a demanding spirit. Nothing convinces us more that God must answer our prayers in the way we think He should than when we are experiencing continued heartache. And the line between legitimate desiring and illegitimate demanding is a thin one which is easily crossed.

How can we be sure our desiring does not turn into demanding? When we are willing to say: “If God does not grant what I desire, then I can still go on because I know that He will never abandon me, and in His love I have all the strength I need to handle whatever comes.”


O God, save me from an insistent and demanding spirit. You who are always reaching out to me in love and awakening me, help me to recognize the difference between a desire and a demand. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 26:36-46; Ps 40:8; Eph 6:6; Php 1:1

How did Jesus express desire without demandingness?

How did Paul express it?