River City Church - Smyrna, GA

A Lifestyle of Repentance

February 2, 2020

Josh shared a message that challenges us to embrace a lifestyle of repentance. It is easy for us to see the flaws in others -- to see how they need to change. As we continue our apprenticeship to Jesus, we have to practice true repentance which requires us to engage in self-examination and confession of our own sin and intentionally seek to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. The worship journey this week: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 32:1-2; Psalm 106:1-7; John 6:44; Romans 2:4; John 20:23; James 5:16; 1 John 1:9.

Josh shared a few quotes today:

1) Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns: "My movement talks about prayer. We are a praying people. But, we aren't inclined toward penitent prayer or the life of ongoing repentance. Lack of teaching on this subject has made us people who love to praise God, while at the same time, compromised by personal and corporate sin. I firmly believe 2020 should be our 'penitent year.' We don't need to get America to 'cry out to God.' We, the church, need to cry out in fervent, penitent prayer. Both we and our ancestors have sinned. There is a whole generation who have never experienced the heavy, convicting cloud of God's Presence. They've seen smoke machines, and even danced before the Lord. But, they've never been overwhelmed by the Glory or trembled under the weight of the 'Holy hush.' The only way there is through the door marked 'penitence.' "   

2) Richard Foster: "The discipline of confession brings an end to pretense. God is calling us into being a Church that can openly confess its frail humanity and know the forgiving and empowering graces of Christ. Honesty leads to confession and confession leads to change. May God give grace to the Church once again to recover the discipline of confession."

3) Adele Ahlberg Calhoun from Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: "Self-examination is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens my heart to what is true about me. This is not the same as a neurotic shame-inducing inventory. Instead, it's a way of opening myself to God within the safety of divine love, so I can authentically seek transformation. Confession embraces Christ's gift of forgiveness and restoration while setting us on the path to renewal and change."