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First United Methodist Church * Thomasville, NC
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 Strolling With Stratas

   Now is the need to repent!
    When is the last time you have heard this statement in the church? If you have, that is good.  For now is the time to repent!
    Lent is that time to do away with bad habits and form new habits, the habits of Jesus Christ. We carry around our bad habits as if they were old clothes we refuse to throw away.
    They fit us like comfortable old snickers. They fit us like that comfortable house dress or sports coat from college.  Our sins fit us, so we refuse to rid ourselves of them. They are comfortable. They are wrong, but they are comfortable.
    Our sins fit us so well, we make them part of our every-day life. They fit us so well, we no longer consider themselves wrong.
     Preachers can read verses like Luke 13: 1-9, where the fig tree owner orders it cut down, and the listener will not comprehend the meaning.  The cut-down fig tree could be people who refuse to bear faithful fruit.  The cut-down fig tree could be those who refuse to recognize their sins.  Recognition of sin is the first step toward repentance.
     You should never reach the point where you refuse to bear faithful fruit.  Our Lord is a loving Lord and will wait for His children to cast aside sin and accept Him, but we must cast that sin aside.
    Too often we become so willful, we refuse to recognize the will of He who created each and every one of us. It is at that point, we become barren. It is at that point, we stop bearing fruit.   But we can always turn to He who gave His life at Calvary.
But the urging for that initial turn must be there. That is where His will takes over and our will is cast aside.
    What is all this repentance talk about? It is about life eternal with He who gave His life at Calvary.
--30--    
Jack

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