So last night I went to my first ever Ash Wednesday Service. It was a quiet contemplative service, very short. One thing I was struck by was the suggestion that we linger longer over our confessions, considering the cost that Christ paid for our sin. I tend to be a quick repenter (on those easy to confess sins). Confess, forgiven, yahoo! I would like to get to the place in my trust of God to be brave enough to say every day “Please reveal any wickedness in me and create in me a clean heart, O God” Last night I also got my first ashes on my forehead. Yikes some of you protestants especially the Russian Baptist ones might be squirming with this news. The point is to focus on Jesus, to consider his sacrifice for us, and to turn in the direction He wants us to go. The following stuff comes from a study I go to (when I’m in California) on Personal Revival. Consider, repent, be forgiven, and live in the joy of the Lord!
“Nothing can enter heaven which is not real; nothing erroneous, mistaken, conceited, hollow, professional, pretentious, insubstantial, can be smuggled through the gates. Only truth can dwell with the God of truth.” C.H. Spurgeon
From Seeking Him Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Tim Grissom with Life Action Ministries
“Honesty breeds honesty.” When someone gets honest with brothers and sisters in Christ and is loved and supported, then others will also begin to lose their fear of being honest. Walking in the light restores and preserves unity in the church.
“Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! there is flowing a crimson tide-
Whiter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
-Julia H. Johnston
Here’s something from this revival book about repenters.
1. A repenter renews his mind with truth from Scripture consistently. He is aware that the battle against temptations is first waged in the mind and that the process of repentance begins there as well.
2. A repenter responds to God immediately. At the first sign of conviction, he agrees with God about his sin, Turns away from it, and turns toward the Lord.
3. A repenter obeys God completely. His repentance is thorough, and he does not cast a longing look back at sin. He forsakes the temporary pleasure of sin for the abiding joy of God’s blessing.
4. A repenter follows God personally, He does not base his commitment to God on what others are doing. “Though no one joins me, still I will follow” expresses the attitude of his heart.
5. A repenter accepts God’s discipline faithfully. Realizing that sin has consequences, he accepts the Lord’s discipline as an act of love and as a reminder when he next faces temptation.