Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blessed are those who mourn

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew. 5:4

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When you think of mourning, what do you think of? Does the picture of someone in black, standing at the edge of a newly dug grave come to mind? Perhaps deep grief over failed opportunities? Perhaps sadness that things didn't work out as we expected them?

Usually humans mourn over something that is lost. But Jesus isn't talking about that - he is talking about mourning and grieving over our sin.

For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation---and there is no regret in that! 2 Corinthians 7:10

As time has gone on, and Christianity has gone on, one of the problems that has happened is that we have failed to comprehend the seriousness of sin. It's just not taught that we are to mourn for our sin. I have seen this far too much. People do something wrong, then pray a prayer of repentance, skipping the step of mourning for the sin.

Christians can be quick to speak out against certain sins like homosexual marriage, abortion, adultery, domestic abuse, murder etc but they fail to see their own sins of judging, arrogance, self-righteousness, lying, and gossiping. No sin is greater than the other. Sure, there are different consequences for different sins, but sin is sin.

God doesn’t have a rating system – this sin is less than that sin. If you gossip – you are in the same category as a murderer. If you lie, you are in the same category as a rapist. If you look at another person who is not your spouse with lust – you are in the same category as a paedophile. See what I mean? Sin is sin. Now I picked three sins that would create a physical and emotional reaction in you. When we think of rapists and murderers it stirs something in us. It sickens us. But ALL sin should sicken us!

The Greek word Jesus used for "mourn" in Matthew 5:4 is PENTHEO. PENTHEO which has the idea of a deep sense of inner grief that consumes the person. It has the idea of strong grief manifested externally.

Jesus selected the meaning well. PENTHEO. He wants to make a point about our attitude toward sin. Does your sin cause you to mourn your condition?

We need to despise sin --We should especially despise our own sins. If we casually say, “Oh yeah baby! I’ll admit I’m a sinner BIG TIME!” but there’s no remorse then we will not receive God’s blessing.

We’re told in Scripture to repent of sin—to recognize how much it offends the heart of God and then grieve over it.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” James 4:8-10

True repentance has become a neglected word in the church.

J. David Hoke said: “Repentance precedes the blessing of God. A lack of repentance shuts off the power of God. There will be no revival or renewal without repentance. And there will be no
repentance without godly sorrow. Until we come to the place where we truly mourn over our sin, we will never see the hand of God revealed.”


Now I don't know about you, but I am desperate to see revival in the community! In our churches - everywhere! Do you? Who wants to see the hand of God?

REPENT!!

What is repentance? Repentance is often wrongly viewed as feeling sorry, conviction and sorrow for doing the wrong thing. However, the Bible views repentance primarily as a radical change of mind, change of attitude, and change of decisions. That results in a change of one's actions and a new direction adopted.
Asking God for forgiveness is not enough, we need to truly repent, change how we think about the sin, change our attitude and decide not to do it again. Repentance means we walk away from the sin. It’s not repentance to say “sorry” and then go back to the sin time and time again.

The great thing is that when we repent and show that godly sorrow, God comforts us.

When my son was young and did something wrong, he was scolded or disciplined, we asked him if he was sorry. Now he couldn't actually say he was sorry at the time, but he felt remorse. His way of letting us know that he was sorry was to lay his head on us while he finished crying. We then as parents comforted him – because he has recognized that he did something wrong. Relationship became whole once again. We don’t hold it against him, we don’t refuse the cuddles because he has done something terrible, and left to cry it out. If he feels remorse, then we immediately show him grace by comforting him when he is grieving.

God is a perfect, compassionate parent. He is sympathetic toward those who mourn for their sin. I can just see him doing what we did with our son, wrapping his arms around us and speaking words of comfort. Our relationship with God has become whole once again.
Chuck Swindoll said: “God loves the broken heart, the bent knee, and the wet eye.”

Does it break your heart when you sin against God? --Or do you flippantly think, “Yeah, I sinned. So what?” or “Woops! Sorry!” or “I’m only human. Humans make mistakes.” or even worse still make excuses for your sin? Do you experience a godly sorrow that leads to repentance? Is your lack of repentance keeping you from experiencing revival and seeing the hand of God move?

“For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation---and there is no regret in that! But sadness that is merely human causes death. 2 Corinthians. 7:10

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord
Have mercy on me, a sinner. I pray that you will direct me and show me the sins I need to repent of. I so desperately want to see you move in my life, my church and in my community. How can I preach repentance if I have unresolved sin in my own life? Show me! Help me to be open to your teachings, your guidance and your discipline. Help me respond to your guidance with humility and obedience.
Thankyou for your Grace on me.

In your precious name, Jesus, Amen.

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