“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,
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Men’s Bible Study Fellowship starts THIS Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30pm in the MCC Library. This year they will be studying “Acts and Letters of the Apostles”. BSF provides an in-depth, international Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church. Contact Tom Young.
Women’s Community Bible Study begins this week; September 10th and 11th! The evening group meets Tuesdays at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall beginning September 10 and the morning group meets Wednesdays at 9:15am beginning September 11! Childcare is provided for the Wednesday study only. Contact Pam Cravens.
The Women’s Peacemaking Study is Thursdays at 10:00am in the Conference Room beginning September 19. This study offers a meaningful, lasting message to lead you out of conflict and into a state of peace where you can live as a representative of Christ to other women and unbelievers. Contact Christine Leggett.
MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.
With winter coming the Wood Ministry is already getting calls requesting wood but we need men, women, and couples to serve as sponsors! For those interested in learning about Wood Ministry sponsorship, there is a training Saturday, October 12th at 9:00am in the conference room. We would love to share what it means to be a sponsor and how sponsorship through the wood ministry changes lives by helping people see their own value and build their own support systems by sharing our time and a few cords of wood. Contact Sarah at the church office.
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Are you interested in being a witness for Christ in a remote part of the world? Have you wondered if a short-term mission trip is right for you? If so, join us for an informational meeting to discuss our Spring 2020 Bolivia Mission trip with Food for the Hungry next Sunday, September 8th after 2nd service in the Youth Hall. Contact Jennifer Ward.
Sisters in Stitches is meeting Wednesday, September 11 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Halll. All SIS and interested women are encouraged to join us to fellowship and discuss on-going plans for this ministry. Snacks will be provided. Contact Davra Clayton for more information and to RSVP .
ABQ Biblical Counseling is hosting "A Biblical Response to Mental Health Conference” September 13-15 at Desert Springs Church. Registrations will be accepted until September 12th! Visit abqbcc.com for more information.