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Sunday, June 18, 2017

5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance

5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance
The Bible describes insincere repentance and gives us the examples of Cain, Joseph's brothers, and King Saul (Genesis 4:1-16; Genesis 50:15-17; 1 Samuel 15). 

People who insincerely repent: 

1. Are sorry for getting caught and suffering consequences, not sorry for their sin (Genesis 50:15-17). See I Doubt They Genuinely Repented and  Three Motives.

2. Believe they should get off easy (Genesis 4:13).(1) See Anatomy of An Insincere Repentance. 

3. Blame-shift, excuse or minimize their sin (Genesis 4:9; 1 Samuel 15:24). See Good Sins.

4. Demand forgiveness and/or preferential treatment despite their sin (1 Samuel 15:30). See: He Apologized for His Affair, But Didn’t Repent.

5. Think it's wrong for people to judge them even though Scripture commands it for their own good (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:9-12).

(1) An article called Consequences of Forgiven Sin explains that God may give penalties for forgiven sin “(1) to demonstrate the exceeding evil of sin, (2) to show that God does not take sin lightly even when he lays aside his punishment [eternal consequences], (3) to humble and sanctify the forgiven sinner.”

Bible Study

5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance
1. What truths can you list from this passage from 1 John? What do we lose when we fail to confess our sins?
1 John 1:5-10: This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

2. Note what motivated Joseph's brothers' apology.

Genesis 50:14-18: After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.

If this message was actually from Jacob, why didn't Jacob mention it to Joseph before he died? It is highly unlikely that Jacob knew what the brothers had done to Joseph or he would have mentioned it when he gave his final blessing. He mentioned other sins his sons had committed (Genesis 49:4-7). 

In addition, if Jacob knew of his sons' guilt, he also knew how fairly Joseph had already treated them. He would have no reason to question Joseph's future handling of them. 

I believe the brothers were judging Joseph based on their own character and how they might handle such a situation.

Joseph's response in Genesis 50:19-21 is all the more incredible knowing his brothers were probably lying about their father's message.
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Sunday, June 11, 2017

6 Characteristics of Sincere Repentance

6 Characteristics of Sincere Repentance
The Bible describes the process of genuine repentance and
King David is an excellent example (2 Samuel 12:1-23).

David suffered punishments and consequences for his sins, but his genuine repentance, beautifully expressed in Psalm 51, restored his relationship with God. 

If we don't genuinely repent, we lose our discernment and distance ourselves from God. 

Those who genuinely repent: 

1. Know the gravity of their sin and feel genuine sorrow (James 4:7-10).  

2. Know they deserve punishment (Hebrews 12:6).  

3. Know they’ve sinned against a holy God (Psalm 51:4).  

4. Are grateful they're forgiven and delivered from eternal punishment (Psalm 103:10; Romans 6:23). 

5. Understand forgiveness does not free them from earthly consequences and punishment (Psalm 51:12-13(1); 1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:11; 1 Peter 4:17).(1)   

6. Make restitution and confession when possible and necessary (Matthew 3:8; Luke 19:8; Acts 19:18-19; Acts 26:20; James 5:16).

Those who genuinely repent don’t minimize what they’ve done by calling it a “mistake” or making excuses. They understand the high price Christ paid for their forgiveness. 
See also: David’s Key to a Healthy Faith 
Short List
(1) For more explanation, see Consequences of Forgiven Sin by John Piper

Bible Study

6 Characteristics of Sincere Repentance
After David's repentance, God referred to David's faith several times in Scripture:

1 Kings 11:4: For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been

Some people question why King David, an adulterer and murderer continued to receive such high acclaim from God after his sins. 

It was due to the fact that King David completely accepted God's verdict. He sought God fervently despite the fact that God said he would suffer serious consequences and punishments for what he'd done. More than anything else, David wanted to restore his relationship with God.

How many, knowing their punishments, have this attitude toward God? That is what set David apart.

God knows He doesn't have perfect children, but those who value their relationship with Him will always be closest to Him.  

Read through David's Psalm of confession and sorrow, written after knowing that God would take his infant son (2 Samuel 12:13-14).(1)
Note David's attitude toward his sins. When we sin, we should remind ourselves of his attitude.

Psalm 51- For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. 

 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. 18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

(1) Some might consider this a terrible thing for God to punish the infant son for David's sins, but the son would not actually be punished. The Bible does not directly state it, but it implies that children before the age of accountability go to be with the Lord. That means this son of David's would be spared the sorrow and unhappiness of David's household, so he would not suffer. But David would suffer for the loss, knowing it was caused by his sin. It's important to note that this was a punishment, not a consequence. Children born out of wedlock do not normally die in infancy.
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Creativity is Part of Our God-Given DNA

Creativity is Part of Our God-Given DNA
Do a Google search for “benefits of coloring for adults” and you’ll find a plethora of articles about coloring to relieve stress, overcome grief, add creativity to your life, keep your brain active, and more. 

It’s more than just a fad. It’s part of being human. We have an innate desire to be creative, and it's healthy for us!

Creativity comes in many forms: photography, writing, building, gardening, decorating, baking, cooking, etc. 

God emphasized the spiritual aspects of creativity when assigning craftsmen for the temple. Bezalel was filled “with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” Exodus 31:3

The Bible also highlights a New Testament believer named Tabitha who used her sewing skills to bless widows in the church (Acts 9:39).

We're made in the image of the ultimate Creator, so creativity is in our DNA.

Grand or simple, I challenge you to do something creative for the Lord this week. It's healthy for you!
For more about Tabitha's method of lifestyle evangelism: Lifestyle
For some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
A Creative Way to Share Your Story
Bible Journaling
Think Inside the Box
Stones of Remembrance 

Bible Study 

Creativity is Part of Our God-Given DNA
1. God could have made a plain, black and white world. But He didn't. I encourage you to read "The Firefly."

Genesis 1:31: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.  

Revelation 4:11: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

2. Never underestimate how God can use something creative that you do in His Name.

Luke 16:10: "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.

1 Corinthians 10:31:So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Colossians 3:23: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
Creativity is Part of Our God-Given DNA

You might enjoy these creative posts:
Photography: 100 Year Old Farm 
A Memory Collage
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, Bite Size Bible Study

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Creative Posts
Jesus Journaling
Scripture Drawing
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