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Words Of Warning

By REV ANGELA PALACIOUS

Lent is just around the corner, next week as a matter of fact. Lent is a time to make a change. The following words of warning shock us to stop, take notice, and make a decision.

  1. Review: Look at yourself in the spiritual mirror. What do you see? Are you becoming more like Christ or less like him? Are you loving, generous and kind? Are you honest, humble and holy? Add any qualities that you know about Him and see how you measure up: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV).

  2. Repent: This means to be sorry enough for what you think, say and do to want to change and to admit that now is the time to begin. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the makeover that you need: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1: 8-10 NIV).

  3. Reconcile: Begin to walk according to the word of God and seek to be reconciled to your Creator. Let the image of God become your desired identity: Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10: 21-22 NIV).

  4. Repair: There are relationships that are in need of restoration, especially within the home, the work place, the congregation, civic organisations and neighbourhood. It is for us to try to live at peace with all persons, though there are times when this seems to be impossible. Our attitude is to represent Christ as best we can. To speak our truth in love, to refuse to be abused, to turn the other cheek, to choose to be silent, to wait upon the Lord, and to act with courage are just some of the responses that may be appropriate. Prayer is imperative to discern the different answers needed in varying situations: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:17-18 NIV).

  5. Release: It is time to walk away from some of the memories of the past. It is time to forgive ourselves for the things we have confessed and to embrace the promise of being a new creation that salvation promises. It is also the season to forgive others and work to be healed and set free from resentment and bitterness. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).

  6. Reform: Plan to move toward transformation and bring all of your hopes, plans and dreams into alignment with the principles of the Kingdom of God: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)

How are you using your time? Do any of these words resonate with you? Do you think that God is tapping you on the shoulder to get your attention?

None of us can afford to continue with business as usual. If we want to be a holy people, we have to start taking holiness seriously. A personal move on our part can only lead to change on a national scale.

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