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Cape Cod Sacred Assembly preparation, Day 15
 

  Heart Preparation (Week 3)

Every sin is grievous to the Lord and must be confessed and repented
for. However, some sin has more serious consequences than others,
bringing defilement to individuals, the Church and the land where we
live. Most sin is connected to three major root sins:

Idolatry

The Ten Commandments explicitly forbids all forms of idolatry. Exodus
20:3-6 states, "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not
make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in
heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water
under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I,
the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those
who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and
keep My commandments.

God permits no rivals to His supreme place in our lives. Individuals
and communities are equally forbidden to participate in idolatry. We
don't have to physically worship a graven image to be guilty of
idolatry. The Bible mentions "setting up their idols in their
heart" (Ezek. 14: 3). The New Testament refers to covetousness as
idolatry (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5). Hence, idolatry
involves forbidden or misdirected desire. Other things that can be
idolatrous are the pursuit of pleasure (often involving parties,
alcohol, illicit sex, drugs), idolizing heroes and celebrities,
success or status, sports, psychic activity, or occult pursuits. God
admonishes His people, "Repent, and turn yourselves from your
idols..." (Ezek. 14: 6).

Idolatry will bring us under God's judgment, for our own good, calling
us away from our idols and back to Him. For God to truly be our first
love we must let go of any possessive attitude toward the gifts He
gives us. The antidote to idolatry is a surrendered life that loves
God wholeheartedly and longs foremost for intimacy with Him.

Immorality

God's people are called to be morally and sexually pure (2 Co 11:2;
Titus 2:5; 1 Pet 3:2). The word "pure" biblically when referring to
sexuality means to be free from all that which is lewd, and related to
lust. Sexual purity involves refraining from all acts and thoughts
that incite desire outside one's marriage covenant or one's virginity
before marriage. Purity involves controlling one's own body "in a way
that is holy and honorable" (1 Th. 4:4) and is the opposite of
"passionate lust" (1 Th. 4:5).
The Bible clearly regards adultery, sexual intercourse before
marriage, forbidden sensual activity short of intercourse,
homosexuality and lesbianism, and degrading passions as grave sins in
God's sight, since they are transgressions of God's moral law and
wisdom. These sins intrude upon the covenant of marriage and defile
the participants. These sins are not only condemned in Scripture, but
also place one outside God's kingdom unless repented of and turned
from (Ro 1:24-32; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21).
Our culture and society is pursuing behavior and lifestyles that are
clearly condemned by God and in clear violation of His moral law and
wisdom. Alternative sexual lifestyles to those revealed by God in
scripture are vigorously promoted by Hollywood, TV and news networks,
authors, artists, public schools, universities, the courts, and even
many churches. This new "liberated lifestyle" has produced legal
abortion and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, moral
chaos, and is leading our nation down the road to moral suicide.

Bloodshed

God makes it clear in His Word that He will "hide His eyes" from us
when we pray because our "hands are full of blood"(Isa. 1:15).
Violence and bloodshed are primary reasons for God's presence
remaining at a distance from His people. The shedding of innocent
blood defiles the land and cries out for justice. Our human
institutions cannot deliver us from the impact of such serious sin on
society.
God looks for righteousness and justice in His people. When He sees
bloodshed and hears cries of distress, He waits for His people to
respond in righteous intercession and mediation before He can respond
in restoration and transformation.
Judgment and devastation are the inevitable consequences of the land
being full of bloodshed and the city being full of violence and
injustice.
"Prepare chains, because the land is full of bloodshed and the city is
full of violence. (Ezek 7:23)

Day 15 - What is
Repentance?

"Search me, O God. . . . See if there be any wicked way in me, and
lead me in the way everlasting."(Psa 139:23-24 )
Repentance is a free decision, made possible by God's enabling grace,
to confess and turn from sin as we hear and believe the gospel (Acts
11:21).
The definition of "saving faith" as "mere trust" in Jesus as Savior is
wholly inadequate in the light of God's demand for repentance.
Defining saving faith without including a radical break with sin
dangerously distorts the Biblical view of repentance.
The repentance that God's grace makes possible through the cross
involves grief, a genuine regret for sin, and a decisive turning away
from sin.
Biblical repentance honestly confesses sin, renounces and turns from
sin, and turns to God through the Lord Jesus. Saving faith is a
repentant faith!
Prayer Points:
· God forgive me for thinking salvation doesn't require repentance!
· I repent for my current & past sins and I turn to You with all of my
heart. Help me to see the sin in my life that separates me from You.
· Show me the depth of my sin so that I would also see the depth of
salvation that You have made possible.


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