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Clear the Streets

The latest teaching series at The King’s Arms Church -The Gift of Repentance - is drawn from Luke chapter 3 and John the Baptist’s teaching in the wilderness. In the earlier part of the chapter, John recites a passage from the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’” [Isaiah 40: 3-5]

Reflecting on these verses, Brendan Bateup recast the words. His version carries the essence of the extracts from Luke and Isaiah, while painting images more familiar in the world around us today:

Clear the streets. Fix the pot holes, tidy out the front yards. Remove the rubbish. Layout the red carpet.

Cut a path through the hills; fill the valleys. Straighten the corners.

Remove all the obstacles that may hinder God reaching us.

Clear our minds of worldly desires

Open our hearts. Look towards God. Repent.

Remove all sin from our lives.

Live a life to please God (not people).

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Godly Sorrow

Repentance
By Oswald Chambers

 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 Saviour,
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…

… 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.

Oswald Chambers was a Scottish preacher and teacher whose ministry took him for a time to the United States and Japan. The last six years of his life were spent as principal of the Bible Training College in London, and as a chaplain to British Commonwealth troops in Egypt during World War l. Chambers died in 1917 at the age of 43 from complications following an appendectomy. After his death, his wife Biddy compiled her handwritten notes of his messages into a number of books, including the popular devotional ‘My Utmost for His Highest’. Learn more of Oswald Chambers at the website My Utmost for His Highest.

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