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Waiting Till You're Clean Will Keep You Away Forever

"John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Mark 1:4 Some would question why John was even needed. What purpose did he serve? Wasn't it going to be enough that Jesus would be coming and would do many signs and wonders to validate who he is? The answer lies in what this passage is teaching, and that is that repentance must come BEFORE one can be born again. In the 3rd chapter of John, Jesus stresses the necessity of being born again, and repentance is the first and necessary step in that process in the seeker's life. The process cannot even start until the person first comes to repentance. He must humble himself before God, acknowledging his sinfulness, and THEN asking to be received, to be "born again." John came and fulfilled his part, preparing the way through repentance, but then he points to Jesus: vs 7: "And he preached, saying, 'There comes one after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.'" Friends, believing in Jesus is not enough to be saved - even the demons believe: "You believe that there is one God? You do well, even the demons believe - and tremble!" James 2:19 It has to start with repentance. What IS repentance? Many do not come to Christ because they see themselves stuck in a sin they know they cannot overcome. If truth be told, that would apply to all of us, because we are all born into sin, and we are all unable to overcome whatever is our particular brand of weakness. So obviously, waiting until one can get clean -- will keep him away forever. No, repentance is turning around. Turning around from what, to what? It's turning around from being the Lord of our own lives. It's turning around from the attitude that "I'll do it my way." It's bowing before the God who created us and receiving him as the Lord of one's life. When you think of it, rejecting the God who created you is pretty silly. But it's worse than that, it's deception and it's rooted in pride. How can one think that he can conduct his life successfully - better than the one who created him for a purpose? Your weaknesses will bring you down. You might reach the pinnacle of success, but the pride that that causes will bring you down in the end. On your own, you cannot win, and if you think you've won, the end will show you that you didn't. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18-19 On the other hand, the one who created you is the same one who ordered your entire makeup. He designed you with a purpose, and he is the only one who can bring you to become who you really are, he alone can bring you to the fullness of your potential. God is not a tyrant waiting to make your life miserable, as Satan has convinced the masses to believe. No, God knows the potential that HE placed within you, and if given the chance, HE will fashion your life to bring out the best in you. Yes, it will include some adversity, as long as we're in this world there will be adversity, but it's often through adversity that we grow, yet that adversity will be far better than the final adversity of a life lived apart from Christ. Pray with me: Father, help me to see the extent to which I have held onto the reins of my life, demanding to do it my way. Help me to see the pitiful fallacy and foolishness of that. I realize that YOU brought me into this world, you designed me uniquely apart from every other person on this earth, and you have the plan to bring me to the complete realization of all of my potential. Help me to remove the crown from my head and be willing to take that scary step and give it to another, give it to YOU. Take up residence on the throne of my heart, Lord, I am willing to surrender to you, my Creator, the one who loves me with a perfect love. Bring me first to repentance, Lord, and I will follow. "'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,' says the Lord, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13


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