“My brother, have you confessed your sins today? Have you seen the cross of Christ today?”
These words are from Kefa Sempangi, a believer in Uganda. He is quoted in C. John Miller’s small-but-powerful book Repentance: A Daring Call to Real Surrender. It is a reminder of the refreshment that comes when we get to unburden ourselves before the Lord. It is a reminder of the joy and richness that is mine when grace meets me in my specific and troubling sin.
In college, my life was changed when someone took the time to begin to teach me how to confess my sins specifically, and regularly ask for God’s help to walk in the Spirit. Before that, repentance was just a heavy religious word; a nebulous concept of weight and guilt. But after that, repentance came alive to me as a divine gift, an invitation to receive and experience God’s love in fresh and real ways.
I have been trying to practice and grow in the gift of repentance ever since!
Coming in at less than 100 pages, Repentance is the kind of book that can be read and re-read many times. It has been a continual reminder for me of the life-renewing power of this practice. When I bring my sin to the Cross, and agree with what God says, then I receive His mercy afresh each day.
Miller has helped to encourage me in this. In fact, his biblical emphases - poured through the experiences of his own life and pain - have been a treasure store of God’s truth. Miller helps us think through repentance vs. penance, the right role of conviction, and how we apply the finished work of Christ. He walks us through biblical guilt and confession, to bring us out into freeing forgiveness and the Spirit’s power.
“In the great invitational passages of Scripture, the exhortation is not to thirst, i.e., to acquire a conviction of sin. Instead, the command is for sinners to drink of Christ (Jn. 7:37, Is. 55:1-2). Scripture does not say that the way of salvation is to make yourself heavy with your sins. Instead, the invitation from the Lord is, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden’ (Mt. 11:38).”
If you are ready to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Ptr. 3:18), and in the timeless practice of preaching the Cross to yourself regularly, than this book will be rich for you.
And if you pick up a copy, and start reading, I would love to hear about it. You can expect that I will be reading it, too!
For His glory in us,
MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch this Sunday, January 12 after second service in the Fellowship Hall. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! No RSVP needed. Contact Sarah with questions.
It’s time for The CareNet Baby Bottle drive! Please take a bottle off the table in the foyer, fill it with your spare change or cash, and return it to the table by January 19! Contact Joann Tallant with any questions.
The MCC Missions Team is hosting "Missions in Focus" Tuesday, January 21 and Wednesday, January 22 at MCC! It is a family-friendly, interactive event celebrating what God is doing locally and internationally! Enjoy a cultural meal, hear speakers active in local and foreign missions, and participate in activities for a chance to win prizes. Each night will be unique, educational and fun! Contact Emily Gray to RSVP or get involved!
The Women’s Community Bible Study resumes Tuesday, January 14 at 6:30pm AND Wednesday, January 15 at 9:15am with Max Lucado’s “Unshakable Hope” study. Childcare is available for the Wednesday morning study only. Contact Pam Cravens for Wednesday mornings or Sharon Albonico for Tuesday evenings.
Praying with others in community is rich! Join us any weekday morning for prayer at 6:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Contact Scott Walker for more info.
We are updating the church directory and will be taking new directory photos January 19 and 26 in the Fellowship Hall! Please make sure to update your contact information and your photo if A) we don’t have it in the current directory or B) you look different than you did 3 years ago! Either way, we’d like a new photo and updated contact for you so please stop by and update your info!
Looking for some Biblical financial tools for 2020? Come join us for the Living Debt Free Workshop on February 1 from 9:00am – 3:00pm in the Fellowship Hall! Practical topics including what the Bible says about money, how to set up a spending plan, saving, debt payoff, and more! Lunch and child care provided! Sign up in the foyer or call Elisa Trullinger.