Peter Tan-Chi - True Repentance Brings Breakthrough
2018 has just begun, and the fact is: you will face challenges, and many of us will need a spiritual breakthrough. What do I mean by spiritual breakthrough? For example, how many of you struggle, don't raise your hands right now, how many of you struggle with this syndrome: sin, plead guilty, sin, plead guilty, sin, plead guilty, are you like that? Pornography: plead guilty, plead guilty, plead guilty. Immorality: plead guilty, plead guilty, plead guilty, plead guilty. What's the problem? I want to share with you the importance of true repentance, which leads to breakthrough. So what is today's topic? Please read this: True Repentance Brings Breakthrough.
I know you need a break. Some of you are stuck in old habits and feel stuck. Maybe you're in an inappropriate relationship, have financial troubles, all kinds of problems. The principles you will learn about repentance are universal and you can apply them to any situation in your life. So today I want to discuss Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is one of the few psalms whose background you know. After David went to bed with Bathsheba, the prophet Nathan came to him. He composed this poem and handed it to the chief actor. In other words, you know the context of this psalm, which is about David, but how many of you remember David's repentance? We remember his sin, but you and I don't realize, David's repentance. It's an amazing example. God's obituary about David in the New Testament doesn't say: This man was an adulterer, he was a murderer. No, if you look at the life of David, God was In Acts 13, David was a man after my own heart. God said David was a man after His own heart.
How could an adulterer, murderer, and conspirator end up with that kind of evaluation? "A man after my own heart". Many Christians fail at this point: they fail to learn how to rise again. When you make a tragic mistake, Satan will tell you: You are finished! Then you fail. Many of you have been stuck in a state of depression for a long time. God is saying, I want you to understand how to pick yourself up and jump back up. Repentance is God's way of restoring us. What's today's topic? Again, take note: True repentance brings breakthroughs. Now what do we mean by "repent"? How important is repentance? Before I tell you the answer, I want you to understand the context of Psalm 51. Do you remember what happened to David one day? David was a man of God, he loved God, and he had served the Lord for many years.
The story goes like this: 2 Samuel chapter 11 verse 2. One day, when the sun was setting in the west, David got up from his bed and paraded on the flat roof of the palace. He saw a woman bathing and she looked very beautiful. David's first mistake was that he got up too late. David was living a luxurious life. Remember that quote? Idleness is the devil's workshop. David had nothing to do, he got up very late, and life was so easy. Then he saw a beautiful girl taking a bath. My friend, temptation will come, and temptation is not a sin. But here's what David should have done: run away from temptation. What did David do? He looked. He should have said: That's not right. What did he do? He stared, and kept looking, without escaping the temptation.
Guess what happened next? 2 Samuel 11:3 So David sent to find out who the woman was. Some say she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Elion and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David would have known by now that this woman was married, not only to him, but to one of his key soldiers, Uriah. Uriah was one of David's faithful, brilliant, amazing soldiers and bodyguards. He should know this. What did he do? The Bible tells us, 2 Samuel 11:4 David sent and fetched the woman. When she came, David slept with her, and then her menstruation was cleansed. She went home. In David's mind, a thoughtless act was OK. You see, this is just a one-night stand, only once, and it's OK. There will be no consequences.
Ladies and gentlemen, you will learn from the Bible that sin is sugar-coated poison. The consequences are not immediate. But that's poison. It will definitely destroy you. David never knew what would happen next, which would lead him to plot, which would lead him to plot a murder, the murder of Uriah, the woman's husband. This brings disaster to his family. Because when you sin, you not only offend others, you also offend those you love. They saw his life. If you look at his family, it's a mess. That was the pit in David's life, and he was stuck in it, and he didn't know what to do. I remember this quote, Sin will take you further than you want to go, Sin will hold you longer than you want to stay, Sin will cost you more than you are willing to pay. many. OK, let me add: sin begets other sins. Sin not only begets other sins. Sin will eventually bear fruit, and you won't like the fruit. Some of you are in this predicament. You think sin is just a simple compromise, so you have this thought: This is OK, others will not find out. Some of us don't know how to repent, and that's why we fall into this trap.
2 Samuel 12:1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. I praise God for Nathan. David fell into a trap and couldn't extricate himself. He was in a bad mood. He didn't know what to do. He's covering it up, protecting his reputation. God sent Nathan, and Nathan took a risk. Please imagine talking to the king, so Nathan told a wonderful story. Nathan said, King, let me tell you a story. One day there was a shepherd who was very rich. He had many lambs, many sheep, and many goats. Next to him was a poor shepherd. He was very poor and had only one lamb. He fed the sheep and took care of it. Then one day, a guest came. The rich shepherd decided to take the poor man's lamb, his only lamb. He killed the sheep to entertain the guests. When David heard this, he was very angry. He said: This is really terrible, and the person who did it deserves to die! He should pay back four times!
Then Nathan said: You are the one! When David heard this, I praise God that he did not kill Nathan. He was shocked. He repented. My friends, you and I need to take orders. I don't know about you, but I see people blind to their own sinful nature. They are blind. Is there a Nathan in your life? I praise God that I have many Nathans in my life. I have a group of pastors that we meet with every week. They are my D12 members. I have a group of businessmen and we will get together and we should be like Nathan. I praise God for my family, my wife, my children. We have accountability partners. Do you have a bill? Nathan is such a person, he is not afraid of you, he tells you the truth. Some of you are living lives that are going in the wrong direction, and you are stuck. Today's information will help you. You need to break through. You have lost your joy. You lose your intimacy with God. You lose your enthusiasm. You need to break through. Especially breaking out of sin.
What is repentance? Do you know that the first message John the Baptist sent was repentance? Matthew 3:1-2 Then John the Baptist came out... saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This is the first recorded message given by John the Baptist. The first recorded message of Jesus, guess what? Matthew Chapter 4 Verse 17, from that time Jesus began to preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and you must repent. The first message recorded by the apostles in the Book of Acts is Chapter 2, Repentance; Chapter 3, Repentance. Let me give you an example, chapter three, please read: Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that days of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Repentance is not an option, it is a command. The Bible says, repent. Let me give you an example.
What is repentance? God is here, I turn away from Him, I go in one direction, what is repentance? I was told that I discovered that what I was doing was wrong. That is sin. It affects my mind, it affects my heart, it affects my spirit. Now I change direction. When I change direction, I go toward God. What is that called? repentance. You see, repentance is more than just feeling sad. Let me give you an example. The Bible tells us, in 2 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 10, that sorrow according to the will of God produces remorse without regret. This is sincere repentance. There is also counterfeit repentance. to be saved. What is counterfeit repentance? But worldly sorrow kills people.
What is counterfeit repentance? You feel bad because you got caught. Some people are in a bad mood because they feel embarrassed. Their sin is obvious, so they feel bad. That kind of repentance is not true repentance. Pharaoh, every time he was in trouble, if you read Exodus, do you know what Pharaoh would say? I'm guilty. Please tell God to remove this plague, so God removed the plague. Satan will rebel against God again. Then he got into trouble again, I sinned, please tell God to get rid of the plague, and God got rid of the plague. Then he would say that he would disobey God. Judas felt bad and committed suicide. That kind of repentance is counterfeit repentance. I am not talking about this kind of repentance. I'm talking about true repentance.
What is true repentance? It will lead to your salvation. "Repentance, as we know it, is not lamentation and remorse at all, but turning and changing". — J. I. Packer. In other words, it's not just feeling bad, but more than that, changing direction. "Our Lord Jesus desires that the believer's life be a life of repentance". - Martin Luther. What do I mean? Repentance is not a one-time thing. I know someone who, when he first came to Jesus, was converted from the obvious sins that condemned him in his heart. Looking for flowers and asking willows, he changed. But as years passed, he discovered that he had not treated his wife correctly. The way he spoke to his children, the way he spoke to his wife, and his quick and hurtful tongue. He repented, and he said, Lord, that's not right. Then he discovered there were more problems in his life.
You see, repentance happens more than once. When you walk with God, God will tell you what is wrong and you need to change. For example, there are people here, like I'm going to talk to wives right now, wives, you may feel that it's okay to be rude to your husband, you may feel that it's okay to disobey your husband, and then as you walk with the Lord, you realize It would be wrong to get there. Gentlemen, you may think it's okay to yell at your wife, you may think it's okay to just give her money, but you're not showing love, you're not prioritizing your family, and you need to repent in this area. I know young people, I know teenagers, they are very busy in the CCF church, but at home they don't respect their parents, they don't obey their parents at home. That, my friend, is not right, and that is something that requires repentance. Once you know it's wrong, you need to change.
The Christian life is a series of repentances. I don't know what your life is like today. But what I do know is that God has been convicting me of my sins over and over again recently and telling me to be careful with my tongue. I need to repent. But if you ignore sins, especially sins that gain respect, what do I mean by sins that gain respect? gossip. Do you know why some women don't change? Because you think it's a small sin. What other respect-earning sins do you need to understand and repent of? Gossip, complain, grumble, be disobedient, lose your temper, get angry... Why do some people seem to not change? You always lose your temper, you always yell at people, you always lie, let me tell you: you need a breakthrough, you need to repent.
In Psalm 51, you will learn five aspects of repentance. Which five aspects? First, you will learn that true repentance is drawing close to God. Second, you will learn that true repentance requires taking responsibility, not blaming others. Third, you will learn that true repentance involves accepting God's forgiveness. Fourth, you will learn that repentance is about accepting the consequences of your sin. Finally, repentance is asking God to change your heart. What's the takeaway today? True repentance brings breakthrough. Repentance is about drawing closer to God, not turning away from God. This is very counterintuitive. Psalm 51:1 Have mercy on me according to your steadfast love, O God; according to your abundant mercies blot out my transgressions. Do you know?
Here's the first thing you need to learn: When you sin, don't run away from God. God is not angry with you, you need to understand the theology. When you make a mistake, you have to draw close to God. That should be your first action, not running away from God. Many people today turn away from God. You may not be able to accept this. You may be angry with God because you feel that God is angry with you. This theological belief is wrong. I want you to know that when David repented, look at his prayer: Have mercy on me according to your mercy. You see, forgiveness is based on God's grace, not because I deserve it. Listen, you and I never deserved forgiveness, so you come to God and have mercy on me, God, have mercy on me according to your mercy. The word love comes from this Hebrew word: Chester. The meaning of Chester is God's promise, God's covenant love.
You see, God made a promise to David, and God made a promise to you, that He will love us, right? So you come to God based on His character, His love, and His grace, not because you deserve it. Today's world rejects losers. We don't like those who make mistakes. We turn away from them. But God is different. God is saying, you know what? You have to come to me. That is repentance. You need to get closer to God. I don't know what your spiritual status is right now, I don't know where you are now, but I have good news for you. Come back to God, notice, according to your abundant mercy... notice, the emphasis is on God. He loves you, turn to Him. Notice the word used here: blot out my transgressions. So repentance is: first, you have to get close to God and don't run away from Him. Don't believe what Satan tells you, you know what he tells you? You are so bad, God no longer wants you. Second, you have to take responsibility.
What is responsibility? Look what he said. Psalm 51:2-3 Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. I want you to count how many personal pronouns appear in verses two and three: Wash away my sins and cleanse me from my sins. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. This was taking responsibility for himself, David could have blamed others. Do you know what David might have done? The reason I sinned was because Bathsheba bathed in my presence. David, what's going on? Because Bathsheba stripped naked while bathing, and that was her fault. She shouldn't take off her clothes when bathing. You see, we love to make excuses, don't we? What am I talking about? Friends, do you want to repent? Just take responsibility. Don't blame others for your sins. We have this amazing habit of blaming others.
Notice how he describes sin, using three different words. He said first, my sin, the word sin has a perverted connotation, David is saying, I am a perverted person, I am a pervert, sin, I am crooked and rebellious. The second word he uses for sin is this word, which comes from the word hamarsia, which means: I'm not living up to your standards, Lord, I'm not being the person I'm supposed to be, a good person, a good person. King, I am not what I should be. The third word used for sin is my transgression. The word transgression has the connotation of rebellion, I have crossed the line, I have disobeyed your commandments, deliberately. Notice what David did. Not making excuses, not blaming others, is my fault. Friends, do you want to experience a breakthrough? Just take responsibility. Don't blame others.
I remember this couple and we were helping them. I've noticed that between couples, when they have a problem, they blame each other. The reason why you blame each other is to absolve yourself of responsibility. When you do this, you will not make progress. Why? That's your fault. I remember this young man who was addicted to gaming and he didn't want to admit it. I was kicked out of school three times, busy with ministry, and started blaming my parents. That, my friend, is not repentance. That's why a lot of young people can't get over it... that leads to you... I don't know what's tying you to death, I don't know what your problem is. But this crime, plea, crime, plea syndrome won't be resolved until you take responsibility.
Notice the next verse, Psalm 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and have done this evil in your sight, so that you may be righteous when you rebuke me. When you judge me, I will appear righteous. David finally understood that sin did not just offend man, it offended God. He said: Against you and against you alone have I sinned. Do you know what David is talking about? Ultimately, it is God who is sinned against. David sinned against the husband of Uriah, and he sinned against Bathsheba's family. Elion was the son of Ahithophel, and Ahithophel was David's counselor. David sinned against all these people, but in the end he still said: I have sinned against you.
Why is this so important? Let me tell you why. When you think of sin only in horizontal terms: sin against my husband, sin against my wife, sin against each other... ladies and gentlemen, your repentance will be shallow. Because when you think you can get away with it, your wife won't know about it, your husband won't know about it, or others won't know about it, you will repeat the crime. But when you realize that sin is serious because it is against God. David said: I have sinned against you, and you alone. I have sinned against you and done this evil in your sight. Let me tell you, why is this so serious? I struggled with this: sin, confession, sin, confession syndrome, and then I discovered that repentance is God's work. Repentance is God's grace upon us. He opened my eyes to the seriousness of sin. I remember my friend who committed adultery and was caught by his wife. He said, Peter, when I saw what this was doing to my wife, I saw her curled up in her bed, whimpering, sobbing, because I had committed adultery. When I saw the pain I was causing my wife, I realized adultery was so bad because he loved his wife.
You see, sin ultimately violates God's love for you. More than just hurting each other, that's why the Bible says, don't grieve the Holy Spirit. He said a prayer. You know what my friend told me? I prayed to God: Lord, if I commit adultery again, kill me first, but do not allow me to commit adultery. Because I don't want to see what my wife went through. Friends, many times you don't take sin seriously because you think it just offends people. Think of the impact on the Lord. Do you know why sin is so serious? Because you have sinned against the God who loves you. You have sinned against a holy God. You have sinned against God who died for you. So to me, sin is serious. It offends not only man but also the Lord. Once you take sin seriously, repentance will happen. When you ignore sin, you don't take responsibility, and you blame others, my friend, you will never change.
Look at his humility, David said... He took responsibility, he said, Psalm 51:5 I was born in iniquity. There was sin in my mother's conception. David did not say that it was a sin to conceive. He is saying that I was born with a sinful nature. what does that mean? Let me ask you a question, how many of you teach your children: when you go to school I want you to cheat, I want you to lie, how many of you teach your children how to cheat and lie? Please raise your hand. So how come our children cheat and lie? Please answer. We have this sinful nature. Until you accept the fact that sin is serious in your life and mine, my friend, you will not take repentance seriously. Then David said, Psalm 51:6 What you desire is the truth within you. Because David knew, he was good at manipulation, David needed to be sincere, he was dishonest, he was manipulative, so Uriah died on the front line. There is just no honesty in me.
Wow, what a candid confession. You are in my secret place and you will make me wise. Lord, I need you to help me make decisions. Then notice what he says. But when you repent, you must also accept God's forgiveness. Not only do you have to take responsibility, you have to accept His forgiveness. Look what he said. Psalm 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Look at this grammar, cleanse me with hyssop. What is hyssop? Hyssop is a plant from Israel in the Middle East. They used to dip it in blood. In Exodus Chapter 12, they dipped it in blood and used hyssop to smear the blood on the doorframe. God said, "When I see this blood, I pass over you and I will not judge you".
So David understood that forgiveness comes from the blood, and this foreshadowed what Jesus would one day do. We are forgiven because of Jesus, not because of us. So when David used this language, he understood that the principle of forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament is: The sacrifice will take the place of sin for you. Do you know why? Because God is holy, sin is serious. So David said, Please cleanse me, please wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Many times we are unwilling to accept God's forgiveness. You know why? Satan tells you, what do you know? It's not that simple, God will not forgive you. My friend, sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself. I tell you, when you come to God with a repentant heart, and you come to Him and take responsibility, you must accept His forgiveness. Do you believe God's promise to forgive you? He will forgive you. How many of you believe that God will forgive you completely? Please raise your hand.
Now how many of you can tell the person next to you that I am completely forgiven? Tell the person next to you: I am completely forgiven. But you know, some of you are not sure, you know why you are not sure? You have not repented. I want to teach you: Forgiveness comes from God, and He promises to forgive us, right? Do you know that He promises to forgive us? If you come to Jesus Christ, He has promised, because of Jesus, because He died on the cross for your sins. I will forgive you because of Jesus. Because of your grace, because of your love, Lord, please forgive me. That is what repentance means. You need to accept His forgiveness. But do you know? And accept the consequences. You know, many times we want forgiveness, but we don't want to repent, we don't want to accept the consequences. What do I mean by consequences?
Psalm 51:8-9 Give me the voice of joy and gladness, so that the bones that You have broken may leap for joy. David is not saying that he actually broke his bones, he is talking about the pain he experienced. David was miserable when he was in sin. In fact, to show you the pain of David, this is what he said in another Psalm: Psalm 32:3-4 When I kept silent, my bones withered because I groaned all day long. Night and day, your hands are heavy on me. My semen is drained like a summer drought. You see, David said, when I concealed my sin, when I kept my mouth shut, when I did not repent, my body wasted away, and some of us, some of you were in pain, you had lost your The joy of salvation. Can I tell you why? You need to break through. You need to repent.
What is repentance? First, get closer to God. What is second? Be responsible. Don't blame others. Third, accept God's forgiveness. Fourth, accept the consequences. Many times people are unwilling to accept the consequences. Let me tell you a story about a pastor I counseled. When you commit adultery and you ask for forgiveness, will God forgive you? Will do. What are the consequences? The consequences can be painful and your children will no longer respect you. That's painful. Your company may fire you. Your wife's pain won't go away anytime soon. You see, there are consequences to what we do, but you know what we want? We want forgiveness without consequences. This is not in the Bible. God will forgive you. But accept the consequences. You need to be humble. True repentance is when you say: Lord, it was my fault. Young man, if you don't learn, what will happen to you? You will drop out.
If you take drugs, you become addicted. What happens next? You will have a hard time finding a job. When you have a hard time finding a job, financially, financially, you're going to have trouble, you're going to have a hard time getting out of it, those are the consequences. And then our problem is, we blame God, Lord, you are not fair! Lord, why did you allow this to happen to me? Hello! That's our own fault, right? Accept the consequences. You know, David said, Hide your face from my sin, and blot out all my iniquity. This is a point he reiterates, Lord, please forgive me. Then you accept God's forgiveness of sins, and the Bible tells us, you now pray for a new heart. O God, please create in me a pure heart and restore a steadfast spirit within me. Notice, pure heart, that the word "create" is the same word used in Genesis Chapter 1: In the beginning, God created... The same word is used. Create something new.
My friend, you and I need to come to God and say: Lord, create in me a new heart. Because repentance is not superficial, but deep. Do you know why you keep sinning? Matters of the heart. You need God to change your heart. And only God can change our hearts. So David prayed: Lord, create in me a pure heart and restore a steadfast spirit within me. Do you know what he's talking about? Note: David's heart wanted intimacy: Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from your presence. Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me. This is not a logical debate. The emphasis was on God's manifest presence, and David wanted an intimate relationship with God. Lord, I want you, I want your Holy Spirit. I want your presence in my life. Friend, it is important that you understand the importance of true repentance. You know why? True repentance brings joy. Look what he prayed for a new heart.
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of salvation, and give me a willing spirit to sustain me. When you repent, you will continue to have breakthroughs. What are the breakthroughs? First, a clean conscience. Most of us do not have a clean conscience. You are not sure you are forgiven. Another breakthrough for me: the joy of the Lord. Please allow me to still have the joy of salvation. Why is this so important? Listen to me, when you sin, you lose the joy of your salvation, right? But the other side is also true: the joy of salvation will prevent you from sinning. Think about this. For David, the joy of adultery was greater than the joy of the Lord. You see, when you ignore the joy of the Lord in your life, when you don't hold on to that, when you don't appreciate the joy of the Lord, you inevitably tend to disobey God. I've reached a point in my life where I don't want to lose the joy that comes from the Lord. And because of the joy that comes from the Lord, temptations become fewer and fewer, and temptations become weaker and weaker.
Let me prove to you, how many of you are participating in our prayer and fasting this week? Please raise your hand, raise it high. What do you notice when you pray and fast? There are fewer temptations, right? Why? For the joy of the Lord will protect you. But if you don't have the joy of the Lord, you tend to sin. Couples, let me tell you something: If as a couple, if you enjoy the pleasure that each other brings, and your marriage is happy, you will be less tempted to commit adultery. But if a husband and wife don't have a good relationship, and there's no joy in that relationship, I can almost guarantee you: the temptation will be very intense. The joy of the Lord is the wealth of those who belong to God. You need to learn, you must hold on to, preserve, and cherish the joy of the Lord. I praise God and the joy of the Lord is in my heart. I thank the Lord and praise God every day when I wake up. Do you know why? I have discovered a great joy in walking with Jesus! Because I find this to be a great joy.
Why should I settle for false happiness? Is the temptation real? Yes. But when you understand the joy of the Lord, you will be inclined to sin less. Then notice what He said, Give me a willing spirit to sustain me. You see, you can't do it on your own. Repentance is a work of God's grace. Then notice the effect, a change of heart. A change of heart has the following effects: Psalm 51:13 I will teach the transgressors your ways. Sinners will submit to you. You become a blessing. A changed heart... When you experience God's forgiveness, the result is a new thing within you, a desire to help others. David said, I will teach the transgressors your ways. You can't teach something if you haven't experienced it. You can teach, but your teaching will not be effective. We come to welcome Van Alcazar as he shares with us his journey of repentance.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says, Therefore whoever thinks he is standing must take heed lest he fall. As a follower of Christ, I read this warning many times, but I didn't really pay much attention to it until it was too late. 15 years ago I was living a comfortable life, I had a great family, a successful career, and a thriving ministry, I was leading my small group, or D12, I was the worship leader, Bible teacher, and Camp instructor. I feel like I'm already solid in my faith because I've been a believer for a long time. But, I let my guard down and everything fell apart. One day in the office, I discovered that a woman I had been in a relationship with had joined our company. I wanted to tell my wife about this development, but I couldn't muster the courage to tell her. So I'll keep it a secret. At first I kept distance from this office colleague because of our past and the fact that she was already married. But soon we started interacting and one thing led to another. My sinful nature took over me and I fell into an adulterous relationship. I knew it was wrong, but it seemed like I was too weak to stop. Even though it was a secret affair, I destroyed my relationship with my wife, my children, and most importantly, my relationship with God.
A few months later, God intervened and my wife found out about my affair. I admitted it to her and we went to seek help from our discipler and take responsibility. I needed help to rebuild everything I had destroyed. When I was in sin, I never really paid attention to the harm I was causing. When the time for accountability came, I saw the tremendous hurt and pain I had caused to so many people. My wife, my children, my D12 discipleship partners, our friends, my brothers and sisters in CCF, I betrayed all of them. Our discipler, who is also our district pastor, has helped us in the healing and recovery process. First, I must stop this immoral relationship. Second, I had to step down from my position as leader of D12 and from any ministry in which I was a leader or a teacher. I also had to beg forgiveness from my wife and our children. What broke my heart was seeing the hurt and hatred in their eyes. After I admitted everything I had done.
Then I personally begged for forgiveness from my D12 upline and downline, as well as the forgiveness of those I was responsible for. Of course I have to confess my sin before God and ask for His forgiveness. I also have to take practical action to ensure I protect myself from falling again. This required me to ask the president of our company to send me on a mission to another company so that I would not have to work or interact with the girl. I was advised to do everything possible to repair my relationship with my wife and children. After I confessed, our eldest daughter refused to talk to me and ignored me at home. She doesn't reply to my text messages, but relays them through her mother. When she leaves home, she says goodbye to everyone except me. As a father, this is a severe punishment. But I know it's nothing compared to my sin.
One day she texted me asking for directions, how to get somewhere, and that was the only real message I received from her in a few months. It was a trivial question, but I saved the message on my phone and read it again and again when I thought about her. My sin also affected my personal relationship with God. It robbed me of the joy and peace within me. Sometimes I can feel God's disappointment in me. I know God is a God of mercy and forgiveness, but sometimes in my prayers I am actually ashamed to ask Him for anything. Many times, during my spiritual practice, God's words would cut into my heart, seeming to remind me again and again of the seriousness of the sins I had committed. This recovery process took several years of regular counseling, accountability training, and prayer time. I hold myself accountable to my wife, kids, and several accountability partners at D12. It was a very difficult journey because I had to show my wife and children that I truly repented of what I had done. I am also taking every step possible to protect myself from falling back into sin.
By the grace of God and the help of people who truly cared about me, I eventually recovered and was gradually reinstated into my role in ministry. My role as leader of the D12 discipleship group was returned to me. Later, I was given another opportunity to lead worship and teach the Bible. When I came back to God as a broken and repentant man, I experienced His grace and mercy. God is truly a God of redemption who gives us a second chance when we fall. He is still at work in my life. Only He deserves all the glory, honor and praise! You know, when you have a new heart, breakthrough becomes more than just teaching others and a life of worship. Look at this breakthrough: Psalm 51:14-15 Deliver me from bloodshed. O God, you are the God of my salvation. My tongue will sing loudly about your righteousness. Lord, open my lips so that my mouth may declare your praise. Did you notice this sequence? Once you experience forgiveness, because you humble yourself, the next step is that your lips will praise Him.
Now let me ask you, how many of you have experienced the Lord's forgiveness to the point where you can't stop talking about it. The reason many of us don't publicly declare and praise God is simply that maybe, just maybe, you don't fully understand what forgiveness means. What's stopping us from publicly proclaiming God's goodness right now? You see, a changed heart, a renewed heart, you want to serve Him. This is exactly what happened to Van. Then you want to please Him. A renewed heart, a changed heart only comes from God, and He alone can change our hearts, so I want you to sincerely pray and sincerely repent today. After taking responsibility, accepting forgiveness, and accepting the consequences, I want you to say: Lord, I want a new life, a new heart. Psalm 51:16 You do not love sacrifices. If you like it, I will offer it. Nor do you take pleasure in burnt offerings. In other words, he is not saying that these things are bad. David was able to sacrifice thousands of cattle and thousands of sheep. He was very rich. But he said: Lord, that's not what you really want.
My friend, God wants your heart. David said, Psalm 51:17 The sacrifice God requires is a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. At some point in my life I was broken. I have found that if your heart is broken, you stop focusing on other people's sins. When others criticize you, it's no longer a big deal. Because when your heart is broken, it doesn't matter what anyone says about you. What matters is God and pleasing God. David said, Lord, what you want is my broken heart, and I give you my broken and contrite spirit. You know God has given me a promise. Why is brokenness important? Some of you have not experienced brokenness, I guarantee you, you will not be used by God. The process of maturity is a process of breaking that God initiates and works upon your heart. Don't be surprised if someone betrays you.
Don't be surprised if you feel disappointed in life. That's part of the brokenness process. At that time you will say: Lord, it is no longer about my plans, I am no longer the point, it is no longer about my reputation, it is no longer about my rights, it is all about you. The promise for broken hearts is simply this: Isaiah 57:15 For thus says He who is called the Holy One, who is high and high and endures forever, (The Eternal God) I dwell in the high and holy place, and I am contrite with my soul. The dwelling together of the humble will revive the spirit of the humble, and the heart of the contrite. Let me tell you, why do I keep experiencing revivals? I come to God and I say, Lord, here I am, and when the presence of God fills my spirit, I am revived and I am filled with energy, because God will never despise a broken and contrite heart.
Have you been broken by sin today? Please practice repentance. Let me end today's sermon with the story of a man named Ron. His name is Ron Bronski. He wasn't once a pastor, Ron was once a gangster. At the age of 8, he wanted to kill his mother with a hammer. He took drugs at a very young age and started running in the wrong direction. So he became the second-in-command of a gang in Chicago. One day one of his friends was attacked by another gang, and he decided to kill the guy who did it. He decided to kill the leader of the other gang. He grabbed his gun and lay in wait for them. When they came out, he found that it was not the ringleader, but the ringleader's brother in the restaurant. But you know what he decided to do? He still wanted to kill the brother. Because if he kills the brother, the leader will show up in the mourning hall, and when they go to the mourning hall, he will kill the leader.
Can you see how twisted his mind is? This man is very sinful. As he chased the brother of the leader, he aimed and shot, and he shot the man in the back, and the man fell. When the man fell, he turned his face, turned his body, and the man Still alive, the man was bleeding, "Please, please, don't kill me"! He put the gun to the man's head and pulled the trigger. But there are no more bullets. So he has to run away because he hears the police car coming. He ran away to Canada to be with his girlfriend. Then he returned to Oregon, in the northeastern United States. Chicago is in the west. Do you know what happened? His colleagues in the factory were all Christians, many of whom were Christians, and he came to know Jesus. When he came to know Jesus, he repented. His life began to change. He became active in the church and he began to serve the Lord. But one thing bothered him: I was still a wanted criminal.
I need to get back to Chicago. He knew what was going to happen, and the minimum sentence for this kind of cold-blooded murder was 20 years. He told his wife, told his family that this was OK. I want to do the right thing, not do it for convenience. Repentance is about accepting the consequences and God's forgiveness of sins. But wanting to please God, that's the new intention. So when he went to court, there was this lawyer named Lee Strobel. Now Lee Strobel is an atheist, and he was surprised because in his reporting, everyone in the courtroom asserted their innocence, their innocence. They all want to get out of jail and they say: I am not guilty. Only this man goes to court and admits his guilt: Honorable judge, I am guilty. I committed a crime and I have no excuse. But dear judge, something happened in my life and the Lord changed me. I am ready to accept the consequences of my sin. This is possible.
Lee Strobel, a godless journalist, said: How could anyone do this unless Jesus is real. What would make someone come all the way from Oregon to Chicago to plead guilty and never actually get arrested again, and you know why? Because no one was looking for him anymore, and he was far away in Chicago. He could have lived free for the rest of his life. But you see, when you have a new heart, you want the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is doing the right thing, never taking shortcuts. Do you know what the judge said? The judge said: Based on what you have done, you are a cold-blooded killer. I should sentence you to 20 years. But I have studied your case, I know your life, I know your changes, so I want to pronounce the sentence, you go back to your family, go home! Praise God! go home! You were given a suspended sentence.
When Lee Strobel was talking to this man, this man said to him: Lee, I know you're an atheist. But what the judge did to me was show me grace and have mercy on me, and I've experienced this with Jesus. Lee Strobel said that was the pivotal event in his life that slowly but surely led him to Jesus. My friend, a broken heart does what is right, not what is convenient. Please bow your head, if God has spoken to you, He wants you to repent. I want you to realize that God is waiting for you to turn back to Him. How many of you are willing to respond to God's voice and be willing to repent today? Please raise your hand. Praise God and lift high! There are things in your life that need repentance, take responsibility. Please accept God's forgiveness that you have been troubled. Please pray privately to yourself, wherever you are now, please lift your hands high. Then pray yourself to accept the fact that you are guilty. Please repent, you tell Jesus: Lord, I bear my responsibility, I have sinned against You, please forgive me.
Will you talk to Jesus? Raise your hands, this is between you and the Lord. Today is a very important day because repentance lasts a lifetime. The day you stop repenting is the day you stop growing. Is there anyone else? God is convicting you of sin and your need to repent. The Christian life is a process of God breaking our idols, and that is something you need to seriously repent of every day. Is there anyone else? Well, if you're humble enough to admit that you need to repent, let me tell you, God is looking at your heart and I want to pray for you, so those of you who have raised your hands, this is between you and God...
Please stand up, I want to pray for you now. Please stand up and tell the Lord: I am here. You're accepting your responsibility, you're accepting God's forgiveness, you're accepting the consequences, and you want to ask God to give you a new heart. Then you stop sinning, confessing, sinning, confessing, and you no longer have this syndrome. Learn to see sin as sin. Please stand up! Praise God! So many of you, I want to pray for you, I know you're struggling, but the reason you're struggling is because repentance is a work of the Holy Spirit, and only God can make you repent, and you can't even repent on your own. Are you willing to humble yourself and others in response to the Spirit of God? Today will be the beginning of the rest of your life, praise God! I know God is speaking to some of you and you are struggling. Don't dwell in your sin. Don't pretend it doesn't exist. Listen to His voice.
Father God in heaven, I want to thank you for these men and women, especially those who are standing up. Lord, please allow them to experience spiritual breakthroughs, breakthroughs in conscience purity, breakthroughs in joy, breakthroughs in spiritual renewal. Serving You and praising You, Lord Jesus, allow each of us, myself included, to experience repentance. , true repentance, repent every day, for you, for your glory, please bless everyone here. Please renew our lives and renew our hearts so that our Christianity will not be superficial. Forgive us for hoping to be saved without repentance. Lord, repentance is not optional, it is Your will. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen, amen!