Confession and repentance

Introduction Sibongiseni Khumalo
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank the Lord that He has allowed us to meet today and be revived through His Word. Satan hates it when God’s people meet but God loves it. The devil makes people dislike attending church and being with the brethren which results in their love growing cold. Be diligent in meeting with God’s children. It keeps you sharp and the Lord can speak to your spirit. We must continue meeting with fervour so that God can work. We invite everyone to the rock which is our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us build on this rock so that we will have mental clarity.

We thank the Lord for Radio Khwezi and His servant who initiated the station. We have just celebrated 28 years of broadcasting. It is amazing how souls are reached. Continue praying that many souls will still be helped through the broadcasts.

Dietmar Joosten
I stand here with a thankful heart. Recently I just wanted to hold Rev Stegen’s hand. He is the Reverend, but he was also my big friend. If it would not have been for him, and other co-workers, I do not think I would be here. Pray and hold the Lord Jesus’s hand in prayer and see the blessing that will spring from that.

Yesterday I spoke to Mr Gert Labuschagne who works with the avos. He loves KSB and Rev Stegen. He usually calls me to find out how things are going. He said, ‘Dietmar, listen carefully to me. Woe to the person who touches the anointed of God. Never say anything against that man.’

Do you know what it means to be anointed? Is there an anointing on your life? May the Lord help us that we never say one word against the man whom God has anointed and selected. Grandchildren, be careful. Walk in obedience. Do what the Lord expects of you and blessings will flow. We may not realise it now but one day we may see it. Every day we see what God does. Blessed is the man, woman and child who walks this way of the Lord. When things are difficult, and there is pressure, opposition and attacks from the devil, you may not understand now but one day you will. You will thank the Lord for keeping you on the way.

I receive photos and reports almost weekly of school children who have planted vegetables. Christians like to preach and talk but people on the outside are diligent and they reap good fruit. Christians like to hold onto their positions but with positions we will not get anywhere. Be faithful in the small things that have been given to you by the Lord. Start small and things will grow. One image I received was from a young man close by. He had such beautiful vegetables. He said that he and his friend used to hang around, also at the taverns but then they decided to plant vegetables. These are the people we want to help. We pray that God will bless His work. It is important, brethren, that we pray for these people. God works in a man’s mind and changes a person’s attitude. People can preach until the sun sets but when God works, people change and there is hope for our country and the future.

There is a German saying: ‘Where there is order, discipline, cleanliness, God can work.’ Even at the workplace I have seen this principle in action. Where there is order and discipline at work, God helps. Why? God built the whole earth on order and discipline. The sun stays on its path. Everything He created maintains order. But people cause confusion. If there is rubbish around your house and plastic bags, do you think God will be with you? Do not expect God to work in your heart, life and household if your house is not clean. Clean your yard so that your heart can also be clean. What you see on the outside reflects what is going on inside. Begin planting flowers, fruit trees, avocados. Do not call it ‘bad luck’ start doing something. God came to save us and set us free from the things that chain us.

This morning I thought I would preach the shortest service ever, but you know what God does. He does not work as you want. Yesterday I received a phone call from a person who told me what was on her heart and asked me to preach about it. Recently something troubled me and when I heard the request from this child of the Lord (she wasn’t the only one), I thought I’d like to combine the two thoughts. It is not easy. I cannot say, ‘I heard God’s voice.’ I am afraid of that. I can only pray and say, ‘God, if it is Your will – may it be done.’

We often think that if we do something wrong, we will confess it and that’s it. Martin Luther said, ‘I need a counsellor to whom I can speak and with whom I can pray.’ He was a man of God, and it is no wonder he climbed the heights he did. Such people are prepared to humble themselves and allow other people to help them.

The theme for today’s message is repentance and confession. These two things are inseparable. Martin Luther said, ‘Repentance is like a plank on the sea. When the seas are rough and the storms are howling, you must grab it and cling to it with all your might.’

Why is it that we live in circles and never seem to get out. One thing is sure. Never give up. Never give up which is what the devil would like you to do.

The first text for today is 2 Corinthians 7:10

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Godly grief. Grief means that there is pain involved. A hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world is dead. Godly sorrow means it is hard and difficult. Godly sorrow leads to deliverance from evil.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelations 2:5

God removed King Saul from his lampstand and endless heartache resulted from that. Repentance means to make a 180º turn. It means to turn or to return. In Greek it means to change your mind; to have regret and remorse; to change the way you think. It has to do with your mind. You cannot repent if your mind does not change. Change the way you think is repentance. It is a change of mind.

Rev Stegen said that God had to teach him to listen and do what He said. He reached a point where he realised his common sense, his mind, was his worst enemy. He asked the Lord to take his mind and shoot it to the moon because it was a hinderance in the Lord’s work. The heart and the mind go together. Your mind fools you. It reminds you of the past and what others did to you. Nothing grinds you as much as your mind. Your mind deceives you and you ask questions like: Why does he speak to me like that? Your mind will lead you to evil.

Confession of sin is both commanded and frequently illustrated in the Bible. You confess it in the way you did it. Confession belongs to repentance. Some things God will take away bit by bit, however, at other times it will need God’s grace to work in you and that will take time. This will stop you from going around in circles. If you do it with God’s help and all your heart, it will change the course of your life. Salvation changes a person’s life 180º. I remember when we came to the mission as young people, we repented from a sin with all our hearts. 50 years down the line, one still harvests the reward of stopping that thing. But you hold onto it. Why hold onto something, how will it help you? If you simply rattle off your sins, how will that help you? I don’t know if any prayer will help you unless you repent. Repent. If you do not repent, you will go in circles. Repent from that evil eye. The Bible says remove it. Repent completely. If your cell phone is a problem, repent from it. If you are not consistent and hard on yourself at times, you will not make it.

 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”1 Samuel 15:2 – 3

Utterly destroy the sin that entangles your life. Do not play with it. This is a clear instruction, and we receive these instructions every Sunday.

The Amalekites were descendants of Esau, the family of Isaac. It is interesting that the worst enemies are often those from your own family or relatives. The Amalekites were fierce, powerful and untameable people. They cruelly attacked Israel but God’s condemnation of them had been expressed long before. God is not slow in what He does. God has His time. We think He is slow; we think things are going wrong, but God has His time. God spared Amalek until they had filled up the measure of their sin then God said enough was enough.

Sin is like Amalek. It’s fierce, it’s powerful, and it comes to destroy. This is what the devil tends to do.

On your own you cannot do it. That is why God said, ‘Now Saul, make an end of these people. Destroy them with My help.’ If there is one Amalekite that is fierce, spiteful and evil, is the mind of man. God gave Saul such clear and strict instructions. Anyone could have understood it.

11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 1 Samuel 15:11

Do you see how seriously God takes things? God said, he has turned back from following me. He stopped following Me. We may think we have done something wrong but God takes it more seriously than we realise.

12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:12

God no longer spoke to Saul. It wasn’t God’s victory anymore. Saul built himself a monument. Do you see what enters your life? Pride enters and closes your spiritual eyes to what is wrong.

13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 1 Samuel 15:13 – 14

How could Saul lie like this? Do you see what happens to a person who deviates from the way? How many lies have you spoken at school or to your parents? Pride and such things go together. Have you ever seen the ugliness of your pride, or who you think you are?

15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 1 Samuel 15:15

The next step is blaming others. Things are the way they are, not because of me, but because of others, because of that person. Saul lied. He said that the people wanted to keep them. That was rubbish. He used the people as an excuse as you also do when things go wrong. When you find fault with others it is a red light. Saul said it was the people, but Saul was the problem. ‘The people do not understand. The people have seen these things wrongly.’ Saul was the problem, not the people. Nowadays, complaints are similar, ‘The people are unhappy. There are many things going on on the mission.’ Where is Saul? Saul could have stopped it with a word. But we are quick to blame someone else. Do you see the mind of man? It will catch you out one day. It will catch you red-handed and what then? Saul should have fallen to his knees, but he blamed. ‘It’s my husband. It’s my wife. It’s her fault.’

22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22 – 23

Where did it all start? When you were insignificant in your own eyes. Saul did not see himself. He did not recognise what he had become. If he would have had godly remorse, it would have been better. Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 1 Samuel 15:24. What a lie! Saul wanted it. God spoke to him, not to the people. He wanted it, not them. God took Saul’s lampstand and removed it. What a state. If Saul would have just recognised his evil and pride there and then, God would never have rejected him.

Many people are the opposite of Saul. They only see themselves in a lost state where there is no hope. For such people there is great hope because at least they see that they are lost. That shows that there is something alive in their lives. Saul was completely opposite.

God sent Samuel to anoint David as king. David must have known about Saul because when he sinned, his repentance was completely different because he knew what had happened to the previous king. David did not blame the woman. He said that he had an evil heart, not the woman. David never pointed at someone and said, ‘It is the fault of this one or that one.’ But he said, ‘God have mercy on me – I have a wicked heart.’ He did not blame others as Saul did. But David, a man after God’s heart, learnt a lesson. He did not let pride find a footing. Suddenly and without any cause, David became Saul’s number one enemy. God’s people become the enemies of this world. This world will hate them and hunt them, but God is victorious.

Isaiah says, the Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins. Isaiah 59:20,24 God will come. What about all your grudges? Heartache comes to a man, but grudges are not allowed. Such things are in your heart and mind and God cannot work in you. Grudges will destroy you. Do you want God to visit and dine with you? Grudges will keep Him out. Brethren, God wants to enter your life, He knocks on the door. He cannot enter with grudges in your life. The Creator of heaven and earth wants to come in and visit but that grudge will destroy you. God cannot work in your life.

When the time came to fight Goliath, Saul did it in his own strength. Saul forgot that God is in control because when David came, he put his armour on him and wanted him to do things in his own strength. Notice a person who has become carnal. You put on your own things to protect yourself. Are you a carnal person? You try to protect yourself. God does not protect you, you do it yourself. All he needed was 5 stones - not human strength, just 5 stones. Those stones are grace which is what it means.

In conclusion allow me to read Ephesians 4:22 – 23

22Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]…

Take it to heart, read it at home, read it until you understand it.

What is your attitude like? You must renew it and allow Christ to work on it otherwise you will see things through your own eyes and they go wrong. You see someone and interpret what you see and judge him. That is you, you are like that. What is your attitude like at work or at home with your parents? Is it always negative – always negative, always impossible? Why? It is not worth it. How you react will touch someone else. Make it positive and make it grow.

I have a book written by Joni Erickson Tada. When she was a young girl, she dived into shallow water and broke her neck. She was paralysed from her neck down. Her whole life has been spent in a wheelchair. She speaks from experience.

I wheeled into the house the other day and had a very biblical experience - I felt like Jonah entering the mouth of the whale. The house stank of fish. My fisherman husband and caught 22 tuna. I glanced into the kitchen and saw my dishes pushed aside to make room for mounds of tuna fillets.

My heart sank when I noticed tuna blood dripping between the sink and the stove where no sponge can reach.

I knew what this meant. Tuna noodle casseroles. Fried tuna. Grilled, baked and barbecued tuna. Souffléd and steamed. Poached and pancaked. And the rest Ken would freeze for later on. My anger began to well.

That evening, Ken barbecued his tuna, fixed his special sauce, cut lemons and parsley, and set my place before me with a big smile.  Even though I hate tuna and was still mad over the mess in the kitchen, I decided then and there that love was stronger than the smell of fish. As I forced it down, I realised it is far better to please my husband than to please my own tastebuds.

Love is lived out that way. Last minute choices the decide for someone else. Quick decisions to lay aside differences and cheer someone on.

Love covers a multitude of sins, the Bible says. If you love someone you won’t see what he does wrong – no, because you like that person. Skin-of-the-teeth, under-the-wire bits of love that say, ‘You mean a lot me.’ Always, love is a choice. Diamonds in the Dust by Joni Eareckson Tada p27

It is a choice you make. You mental attitude is the reason for not loving others. She knew the kitchen would stink. She knew what lay ahead of her, but she made a choice to smile and thank. How different it would have been if she had bombarded her husband, she would have spoiled it all. Think of what her husband had done – he gave his life to help her but here was the fish.

What is the fish in your life that makes you grumble? The Bible says, change your mind, change your attitude. Let it be renewed daily. We must sacrifice ourselves daily. Ask God. Pray for a godly repentance and then if you confess it, your life changes.

Conclusion Albu van Eeden

What this message has taught me is that repentance is not a split-second decision. It continues over a long period and there are many little roads that turn off the right road and spoil repentance.

Firstly, the opinion of the people Saul said was the reason why he kept certain cattle back; then he said he wanted to keep the cattle for the Lord.

I have sometimes been with a person who has confessed for years and then one day, the penny drops and the person realises that he/she has been beating around the bush and never reached the core of the problem they need to repent of.

I considered Judas recently. He had a very holy, religious attitude about Mary when she washed the Lord’s feet with the oil. Judas said that the money used for the oil could have been given to the poor.

Be careful when you repent. How will you know that there is something wrong with your repentance? You will have problems with people around you all the time. The reason being that you have not repented properly yourself.

Repentance is a long way. At times Paul said, ‘I have been saved,’ at other times he said, ‘I am being saved from day to day.’ He also says, ‘Ultimately I will be completely saved.’ May God be merciful us all.


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