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A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

Repentance? Is it still needed?

If  location is the key to successful ministry, he was doomed for failure.

He lived and ministered in an area that was a cross between our western prairies and the desert.  Yet, the city came to him.  There were no roads or public transportation so they walked.

He didn’t wear the latest fashions but clothes that were considered strange even in his day.  Yet, the crowds listened with an intensity that demanded action.

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Even his dietary habits were suspect.  But the words that flowed from his gut compelled people to return again and again, seeking God’s favor.

However, it was his message that would be the most repugnant to our modern ears.  His message was “Repent!”  He didn’t shyly request but demanded that the entire nation of Judea turn from their wickedness and return to their God.

Studying the history of the nation of Judea, it would seem that his message of repentance was misplaced.  This was a people who had learned their lesson through the hard displacement times in Babylon.  These men and woman were faithful to Temple worship.  Synagogues had been established so that the study of the scriptures could be maintained between the prescribed feasts and worship times.  Even though no prophets had been heard for more than 400 years, these were a people who adhered to the law of Moses and strictly observed the precepts demanded by the religious leaders of the day.

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As I shared these observations with the Special Gathering members who are mentally challenged (intellectually disabled), I asked if they didn’t get tired of people who are continually giving them correction.  Do we like always doing the wrong thing at the wrong time?  Their heads bobbed up and down in recognition.  “It’s hard to take,” one member observed out loud.

However, I shared with our members that this isn’t a problem merely within the disability community.  It is a universal problem.  It seems that every person on earth is caught repeatedly “a half-hour late and $5 short.”  When we are honest with ourselves, late at night or when we look into the mirror shaving in the morning,  we must admit that there is no hope for us without the mercy of a loving God.

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John, the Baptist, was preparing the hearts and minds of God’s people for the emergence of the Messiah, Jesus.   John said, “Turn from your sin.  Confess your faults.  Get ready for the arrival of the Messiah.”

Too often, John’s message is lost to me because I’m too busy doing good works.  Sadly, I identify too much with the Jews who lived in this pivotal time in history.  I am “a good person.”  But God desires people who are holy and fully seeking Him.  Replacing “goodness” with repentance is my favorite Christian hobby.

There is always a need for honest self-examination that is ready to turn from our selfish and wicked way and return to a loving, forgiving Lord.

Previous Posts

Explaining Grace
In the past weeks, I’ve been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God with the members of my community who are intellectually disabled.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace. Most of us have ...

posted 5:55:58am Jan. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Holidays and grief
Today, I heard again the Christmas song about the little boy whose mother is dying on Christmas eve and he wants to buy her shoes to wear as she goes into heaven. He doesn’t have enough money to buy the shoes and a person in line gives him the ...

posted 8:29:32am Jan. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Can You Come?
Maddie is one of those people within the mentally challenged community whom everyone loves.  She is friendly and happy.  Maddie makes everyone feel as though they are her "extra-special friend."  Several years ago Mattie and her husband ...

posted 12:20:34am Dec. 29, 2014 | read full post »

The Choice that Changed Everything--a sermon for the mentally challenged community
The choice that changed everything Nehemiah 9:17 Central Theme: Man choices to sin and God chooses to be gracious. A ream of paper has 500 sheets--not more and not less. A foot is 12 inches--not more and not less. There are many absolutes in ...

posted 10:48:30pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Friendship Evangelism
For many years, I taught a seminar called "Friendship Evangelism."  The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you.  We all have a knowledge of the ...

posted 9:12:04am Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

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