“Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of he Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confessing and in worshiping the Lord their God.” (Nehemiah 9:2-3)
The entire nation gathered to worship. At the heart of that worship was the confession of their sins in prayer and the adoration and exaltation of God. Meditation on the gracious acts of God is a major component of worship.
This is an example of repentance by the Israelites in the days of Ezra. Genuine repentance manifests itself in reading and hearing the Word of God, confession of sin, and worship.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You give us the details of the Israelites and how they both prayed and worshiped, but the important aspect of confess of our sins. We are to have our minds focused prior to these very important elements of our worship, repentance, confession and our praising you. If our minds and hearts are not intent on our repentance of sins, then the rest is not acceptable to You, O Lord, for we must have penitent hearts and minds in order to truly confess our sins and then we are able to sing our praises of Your grace and mercy and all of Your deeds done on our behalf. Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you walk with the Lord, you’ll never be out of step.”
“Seek the Lord while he bay be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
God offers a free pardon to those who repent. Repentance is an inward reversal of life, a radical change of thought and conduct. The gospel of repentance does not contradict the gospel of grace. The Lord shows mercy to those who forsake wickedness and evil. Wicked conduct and evil thoughts obstruct God’s grace.
“Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. I have given her (Jezebel) time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.” (Revelation 2:16,, 21, 22)
The church in Pergamum and Thyatira were called to repent. Neither churches nor Christians are exempt from repentance. The New Testament clearly warns people who do not repent of evil that they will be punished. Physical and emotional suffering are means God uses to punish such people.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
Jesus had gathered His disciples for the final time and told them that all must repent of their sins, or suffer terribly. He told them to preach on Christ’s suffering on the cross, dying, and being resurrected on the third day. He began blessing them all, and He lifted up His hands as He was blessing them and He was lifted up into heaven. The disciples worship Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.