Wednesday, August 10, 2011

AUGUST 10 "I'M SORRY.....KIND OF..."

     HOW often are we sorry, but we don't want to have to change anything that we're sorry for. "Lord, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have bought and charged that on my Visa, I don't need this, it's just something I was lusting after and should not have bought"..., we insincerely pray.  However when a still, small voice says back to us, "I agree, so return it".  That's when God doesn't hear back from us.  This is the generation that will very easily cut a conversation short (although there is no such thing as actual conversations, it's all thru Text & Instant Messaging).  You will be texting or IM'ing back and forth until you ask a question or write something the other person doesn't want to answer or deal with and then it's as if they've disappeared and then sure enough you see the green light disappear, they're not even on-line anymore, they just left you sitting there in the middle of a conversation, how rude!  Well this is what we do in our conversations with God, we leave God in the middle of the conversation, next thing God knows, we are not even on-line with him.  The conversation seemed to be going great, you were saying how sorry you were, God agreed that you should be and then recommended you make it right and then there's no response back to him. This group of people in our text in Ezra actual mean what they say and say what they mean. I am amazed at these people. "Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my Lord".  Wow!  Now that's being sorry. Let your actions back up your supposed repentance! It may even cost you, but what is the alternative?  We pray, "God forgive me for being rude or yelling to my children or wife". Yes, for sure we want forgiveness, we don't want this held against us, but when God says, "then go tell your wife or children you were wrong, apologize to them" then what do we do?  We've heard many stories of an adulteress relationship, the husband divorces his wife for some young chicky, marries her, then months later comes to his senses (apparently), is now seriously considering what it will be like to stand before God with this stain, wants to come back to church, repent, "forgive me Lord".  So in the end we get what we wanted, the young chicky babe, and we're forgiven and we still got to get rid of the ol' cranky wife, sounds like a great scam to me. If you're sorry than make it right..., no? Is sorry staying with the young babe that you committed adultery with and divorced your wife for? "But we're married now, what am I supposed to do?"  These folks in our text, put their actions where their mouth is.  Later on in our text we read in verse 44 "all these had married foreign women, and some of them had children by these wives". What a mess!  But that doesn't dissolve them of their responsibility to follow through with actions that back up their repentance. John the Baptist wouldn't even baptize those that had just recently repented until they first went out and showed actions, fruit of their lives, that would show that they had truly and genuinely repented.  The old saying, "are we sorry for what we did or sorry we got caught?"  Are we sorry for what we did or are we more scarred of the punishment we will face at judgement? If you rob a bank and then realize what you did was wrong, do you simply ask God to forgive you, but keep the money? After all, the deed has already been done.  Or do you ask God to forgive you and also return the money showing forth, "fruits of repentance".  To many the answer is obvious, "return the money" but why in all other areas, do we simply have to ask forgiveness and not make restitution?
     Everyday we remain in our state of rebellion we are digging a bigger and bigger hole and mess, but does that mean the hole we've dug is so big that God says, "oh just stay in it".  Now these men have had kids with these women, it's complicated, nevertheless, he does not tell them to just "stay there". They say, "we're going to send these woman off and the children" and NEVER do we hear got scream out and say "STOP, don't do that!".  You're sorry? Are you? Then do something about it, have actions that match with your tears, have fruit that shows and matches your repentance, God is waiting and watching today.