Refocus, Repent, Relish

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These are three words that I needed to hear today.  I sat in my chair this morning on a video conference in a weekly Bible study with close friends, and in the midst of conversation realized that I had failed.  I failed to take advantage of these past several weeks to do some things around the house that I wanted to.  I’ve failed to discipline myself into further and deeper study of the Word of God.  I needed a swift kick in the rear-end this morning, and the Holy Spirit was ready to give it to me.  As I sat under my conviction, one of my dear friends wrote this to me:

“Love you brother…Refocus, repent, and relish in His Joy that is ALL around you.  Celebrate each minute…You’ve got this!”

I was immediately drawn to something that I’ve taught on in the past called the Gospel waltz.  There are three elements to following Christ that are irreplaceable in the Christian life.  First, there is God’s grace, or the trusting of it.  John 1:16 says, “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  We cannot follow Christ if we can’t depend on the Grace of God that forgives us of our sin and helps us to walk in our weakness.  Depending on God’s grace should lead us, secondly, on a path of obedience.  1 John 2:3-6 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”  We are called to walk in the light as we are in the light.

Because we are still weighed down by our flesh and sinful desires, we will certainly fall short.  We cannot obey Christ perfectly, and we will inevitably sin against Him in some way or fashion.  This is where I was today.  I was focused on all of the sin I had committed, all of the guilt that I had, and every missed opportunity to draw closer to the Lord.  What I needed to do was refocus (determine what it was I had done wrong and seek to understand how I could’ve done better), repent (go before the Lord, seeking His forgiveness and righteousness in my life to help me obey Him better), and to relish (relish in His grace, His mercy, His loving-kindness, and His saving grace).

Repentance is the third step of the Gospel waltz.  This is what needed to be done today.  However, I can’t stay in repentance mode, because repentance always leads me to grace, which will always lead me back to obedience, in which I will sometimes fall short and need to repent…which leads me to God’s grace…which leads me to obedience…

Whatever you’re doing today, whatever has you down, whatever worries, troubles, anxieties, fears, failures have been on your mind…remember the Gospel.  God calls us back to Himself constantly and consistently, not so that your troubles will go away, but so that you can rest in His eternal grace and walk in obedience.  Don’t let yourself slip into a pattern outside of this waltz with the Lord.  Refocus (What have you done in disobedience to Christ?), Repent (Communicate with God, through prayer, your wrongdoings and seek forgiveness), Relish (remember the Gospel, that Christ died and rose again to save sinners like you and me).

Don’t wait until later, don’t put it off.  Cast your cares upon the Lord and seek Him in a time when He may be found.

Be Encouraged <><

Pastor Chris

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Pastor Chris Ridler

Pastor Chris is married to his beautiful wife Becky and has a precious son named Noah. Chris received his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University and is currently working on his Master’s of Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary. Chris has served in full time ministry for over 13 years – as either a Youth Pastor, Worship Pastor or House Parent and is passionate about seeing people grow in their walk with Christ and disciple others for the glory of God’s kingdom.