Do you have a lot of knowledge about God but not much of a love relationship with Him? Has your head knowledge reached you heart so that it affects how you live? Where are you looking for your knowledge of God? to a radio personality? a pastor? a friend? a self-help book? How about trying the real thing. . . God! Go to His Word and You will find the Person, not just the doctrine.
fellowship with God
The relationship between God and man is at the heart of the new covenant. God desires to have fellowship with men. The author of Hebrews writes, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22) and that we “come to God through him (Christ)” (Hebrews 7:25). God desires to have a growing relationship with Christians. Believers are told that they can “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16).
But, drawing near to God also brings obligations on our part. Christians are to “serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). . . and “throw off everything that hinders (us) and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1) and persevere against sin (Hebrews 12:4). . .we are to “share in his (God’s) holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). . .and “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12).
Although man has chosen sin, God in His grace has not allowed sin to rule mankind’s destiny. He blesses man in spite of his sin, because of Jesus Christ, who as the High Priest offered up the perfect sacrifice to pay the price for man’s sin!
In the Old Testament, repentance was the acknowledgment of sin, accompanied by an acceptable sacrifice. The sin was then forgiven and the sinner restored to fellowship with God. Repentance was seen in external forms such as, fasting, sackcloth and ashes as well as general days of penitence intended to bring Israel to repentance. These public displays of repentance were often subject to criticism. God desired that the people genuinely repent, not partake in empty ritualism (Isaiah 58, Hosea 6:1-3, 6; 7:14, Amos 5:21-24).
God’s desire for us is that we not only confess our sins, but that we repent of them. The Greek word repentance translates, “a change of place or condition.” Repentance is more than a tearful apology, it is the abandonment of a course of action which defied God by doing what He dislikes or forbids. It shows a change of one’s mind or direction with the intent of never returning to the prior condition.
How are we partaking in empy ritualism rather than true repentance? Is there an area in your life that needs to be abandoned to return to following God? Is there a habit or a sin that needs to cease? When you repent of your sins is it with the mindset that you will never return to that sin again?