John Wegter

Ps. 51:10 A very well known verse to Bible reading people. These are the words of David. He was a mighty king, a conquering general, a poet and musician; but his heart was not clean and his spirit was not right. So, all of his greatness, power and talent left him empty before God. We call these evening meetings at convention, "Gospel Meetings" . "Good news" more specifically, good news that we have found in Jesus. We are very glad tonight that people who realize they are not clean and not right, that all of us can be. All of us can be clean and all of us can be right. Verse 17 speaks of our heart and our spirit. The condition of heart and spirit that is mentioned in this verse is part of the key that can make our heart clean and our spirit right. Repentance. Matt. 4: His message was repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus preached this message. John the Baptist spoke this before. After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, His servants continued to preach the message of repentance. There is no Gospel meeting that will make us right unless it includes repentance. Sometimes we use these Bible words over and over and become so familiar that we fail to grasp just what they mean to us. When I first went to another country and we were working with a people who were barely literate, couldn't grasp some of these words. Some of the workers who had been there before, got a little book just of the Gospels that was very basic specifically for these people. I appreciated what it said about repentance. "Change your attitude." It was that simple. WE feel a large part of our coming together can do just that very thing -- that we could leave here with a different attitude than we had before. That we would have an attitude more like the Lord Jesus. We want to look at the attitude in the teachings of our Lord, because that is what is going to make us right. Look first at the attitude of our Lord towards His Father. That is an attitude we need to have -- God is near. God is looking down -- God is keenly interested in every soul and He wants to help us recognize that.

Serving God is not learning some theory about religion. Serving God is recognizing He is looking at "ME" and wants to share with "ME". Not only that He is near, but that His nearness has to do with His love and care for us. John 17 God loves His people just like He loves His own Son. Can we grasp that? Can we take it in? He doesn't have it in for us. Regardless of all the wrong in our past and every mistake we have made -- He loves us like He loves His only Son. People in the world are afraid of God. There is no reason to hide from Him. He is so great. It does us no good to think God doesn't know me and doesn't understand me. When we learn more about Jesus, we learn God is unlimited, He is all powerful -- there is nothing He can't understand and there is nothing He is not willing to help us. Repentance involves us changing our attitude about ourselves. Jesus said, "I didn't come to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." We learn that our will is not going to be profitable or pleasurable in the main scheme of things. We need to recognize God's will is better than my will. A young man that came to Jesus and asked a question -- "Good Master, what can I do to inherit the kingdom of God?" He was looking at Jesus as nothing more than man who was earning his way to heaven just by being good. And he thought he could win his way to heaven just by being good. "If I can just be good enough, God will accept me." No person has lived good enough to inherit eternal life. And the wages of sin is death. That is the only thing that will ever open the doors of eternal life to us -- being born again in the same spirit Jesus had and that we receive a new nature that is eternal. If we think we are good enough to inherit the kingdom of God, there are two outcomes. 1. Self righteousness - God abhors it and so do we when we see it in others.

2. They lose all hope for themselves and rightly so. "there is no sense even trying to serve God because I am not good enough". We are thankful God shares with us His nature so that we can inherit eternal life. Repentance involves changing our attitudes about sin. John 8:34 -

In our modern language we would substitute the word "servant" for slave. Whoever commits sin is a slave. WE can feel our human weakness is trivial. God says sin makes you a slave and a slave doesn't have a place in the house of God -- ever. When we hear and believe this message of Jesus, we not only understand that "I am a sinner"; but that"my sin is serious and is separating me from Jesus." When we believe in Jesus and exercise faith in Him, God wants to treat us as if this had never happened. Sometimes when we speak about repentance, one of the reactions for it is not good news -- we don't like change and we certainly don't like to hear that there are consequences if we don't. But the joy we have in having a clean heart and a right spirit -- then we want to change over and over and over again. Something peculiar about little boys is they don't like soap and water. Sometimes a bath sounds like the ultimate punishment. But somehow something happens and you parents of teenage boys find it hard to get them out of the shower -- they learn somehow that being clean is wonderful. The time comes when repentance is very, very good news to us. It isn't something we do once and then are clean forever. A brother made the comment about a broken and a contrite heart is a temporary inconvenience, but I have learned it is a daily necessity. No matter who we are, the message of repentance is always a current, applicable experience. We need to repent and change so that we can have an attitude like Jesus.