Again And Again
Read Psalm Chapter 66
Okay, I give up. I can no longer promise that our daily thoughts will cease to be about repentance. For today’s message, we will look at some of the scripture passages from yesterday and give them additional scrutiny.
Ps 66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. 17 I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
There is something which few Christians know: God does not answer the prayers of His children who are willingly and purposefully living in sin. The Psalmist stated this very clearly: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (to my prayer).” Can we get a picture of a Christian who “cherished sin in his heart?” That person is simply the man or woman who loves sin more than he or she loves God. To cherish something is to hoard it with the intention of keeping it for oneself. When someone refuses to give up a particular sin, the Lord will not listen. If you want a New Testament verse which carries this idea, here it is.
1Pe 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Lk 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.
Our Lord will always hear the prayer of His beloved ones when their hearts are repentant, truly sorrowful over their mistakes, and coming to God in submissive humility. But He has no obligation to hear the man who cherishes, loves, sin in his heart.
Ps 85:8 I will listen to what God the LORD will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints— but let them not return to folly.
God does not expect the unbeliever to listen to Him and obey His instructions. But from His children He requires it. There is no option. When a man turns to God, he must come to Him in repentance and belief. From that moment on, the believer is not to “return to his folly.” When we do so, as I have many times, we suffer. There is no pleasure, no peace for His people who turn from His pathway. We must be wise and heed the warning from this verse. Do not return to our folly!
Mk 6:12 They (the disciples) went out and preached that people should repent.
I find it very interesting to note that when the disciples went out two by two, Mark wrote that the disciples preached that people should repent. I have no doubt but that they also preached Jesus and implored their listeners to follow Him. But there has to be a good reason that the Spirit prompted the writer to only mention repentance as their message in this passage.
No promises anymore. I have no idea what the Lord will urge me to address in the future.
Prayer: This message, Lord, is rarely heard in our churches today. Thank You for bringing this to our attention. Give us hearts willing to repent, and to return to our folly no more. And we would ask You to prompt Your SSA sons and daughters to repent, if they are cherishing sin in their hearts.