A Special Series!

Dear Followers,

Here is the first of a series of posts from my friend Amanda Davis. She is writing excerpts and encouragement from her life and applying if to the commands of Christ from Matthew 5,6,&7.
I hope you enjoy reading about how God has worked in Amanda's life.
Let me know how this impacts you in the comments section.

Love,

Elanee

Hello everyone,

So here it is Command #1, can you guess what the very first command was that Jesus gave???

Matthew 4:17 says, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Christ's very first commandment was to repent. Why did Jesus command us to repent before giving His other commandments?

Repentance means that we are sorrowful over a broken relationship with God. Oftentimes we feel sorry about what we did or know it was wrong, but the sorrow is really only over the consequences it brought. Repenting is turning away from ways that disgargree with God's ways, and turning to follow Him. My first time of truly repenting before God marked the beginning of my new life in Christ...

Growing up I was a pretty good kid, I even read my Bible every day and prayed! However, as I grew up, the things of the world became more important to me than God, and soon Bible reading and prayer were a rare event. God was not in many of my thoughts and my life was lived based on whatever I wanted to do and whatever felt right. But I thought I was a Christian, because I believed God existed and went to church some Sundays. The truth was, however, that I had not come to the realization that I NEEDED God to save me from the sure destruction of hell. My life was characterized by wrong activities, immodesty, bondage to sin, and dishonoring attitudes.
My dad did not want me to go to college--he didn't think I was ready and didn't want me to go into debt. Of course I thought he was trying to ruin my life and decided
that I would do whatever I thought was right. Which violates God's command 'Thou shalt honor thy father and mother...", but that is for another email. : ) I had registered for school, found a roommate, went to orientation, and was all set to be 'free' from my parents. My parents relationship was not healthy either and my rebellion was causing a lot of stress. Finally, out of desperation my dad took me to a Christian conference to learn about principles from the Bible. I agreed to the week-long event hoping somehow God would convince my dad that he really needed to let me go to college. God had other ideas, however, and as I sat and listened to how I had completely violated God's Word, yet called myself a Christian, my heart changed. God showed me that I did not love Him, nor did I desire to live a life for Him. At that point I saw my need before God and realized that I had a broken
reltaionship with Him and my default destintion was eternal turmoil in hell. I needed Christ to save me...to cleanse me from my sin. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) I remember driving home from the conference on the last day and just weeping. I tried to hold in my tears, but I could not. At home I continued to cry, God had showed me my need and I was truly sorrowful over my broken relationship with Him. I decided to honor my parents and not go to OSU and from then on my life has never been the same. God has CHANGED MY LIFE. It wasn't because I was a good person and deserved to go to heaven, it was because God showed me my sin and guilt and I repented before Him. My whole family has changed and I could write pages and pages of how God has restored my family and blessed us beyond what we would have ever thought possible.

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised HIm up from the dead"( Acts 17:30-31).

If we have never repented, then we are separated from God and cannot fully understand and obey His commandments. That is why God called us to first repent.

Repentance is a total change of heart and a total change of mind. Have you repented over your broken relationship with God and realized you needed a Savior? Is there sin or something you know God does not want you to be doing that you need to repent of? What things is God bringing to mind that you need to change to be in a right relationship with Him?

Now this e-mail may have taked longer than five minutes to read, but the next e-mails will not include such lengthy stories...I don't think.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Christ's first command to us! Keep on the look out for Christ's second command to us.
Blessings,
Amanda


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