June 8, 2020 – If My People

Read 2 Chronicles 7

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 

                

God loves the entire world, but God’s work on this earth is primarily with His people. He has given His word to this world, but they can’t understand it apart from the Holy Spirit. The greatest need is not the transformation of the world. The world has no power to change. The greatest need is for the repentance of the saved. Repentance is a doctrine that affects both the saved and unsaved, but it affects them in different ways. For the unsaved, repentance is a change of mind in relation to their need of salvation. They must see that they are sinners and that Jesus Christ came to save sinners.
 
However, the doctrine of repentance for the saved is a turn from sin. When God spoke to Solomon after the dedication of the temple, He said, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) 
 
There is a great need for God’s people to humble themselves, pray, seek Him and turn from their wickedness. The world needs light. They will see light when our lives are different from their lives. We want to blame the problems in this world on the darkness of this world. We want to blame the problems on the immorality and rejection of God, but the greatest need is not the morality of the world, rather it is  the repentance of God’s people. The great prayer begins with the words, “if my people.”
 

When we look at the New Testament, we see the same thing. Twice in the New Testament, repentance is used in connection with turning from sin. In both cases it is addressed to saved people. In Acts 8:22 we read, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” This is not written to an unsaved man. A few verses earlier we read, “Simon himself believed and was baptized.” This act of turning from sin is a doctrine given to the church. We are the ones who have the power of the Holy Spirit, the power to change. The greatest problem in the church is sin, and the greatest need in the church is and has always been repentance. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we will not be conformed to this world. If we are conformed to this world, then we will be living in the same darkness the unsaved live in, and if that happens, the world will not see the light.

 

An Exercise to Increase our Faith: The responsibility for the direction of this world rests on the shoulders of this world. You can picture a ship in a bad storm looking for a safe haven. That ship can’t change the storm. It can’t still the waves. It needs a light to guide it into a harbor. The light has to shine so that the world may find God, who is our Savior. The light of this world is the Christian who has to be different from the world. 

 


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