Category Archive

Do Not Be Discouraged, Dearly Beloved

Robert Murray M’Cheyne, in one of his pastoral letters, puts his finger in the wound and reveals what is often upon us in our sorrows… we pray for breakthrough, but it may be long time in coming,

“Do not be discouraged, dearly beloved, because God bears long with you- because He does not seem to answer your prayers. Your prayers are not lost. When the merchant sends his ships to distant shores, he does not expect them to come back richly laden in a single day: he has long patience. 'It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.' Perhaps your prayers will come back, like the ships of the merchant, all the more heavily laden with blessings, because of the delay.” 


Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, Andrew A. Bonar, Banner of Truth 2014, p.231

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance Continues Throughout Our Lives

Is repentance a one-time act?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that repentance is a change of mind that brings about a change of direction. It is an about-face, a 180-degree turn. One example of repentance comes from the life of the prodigal son, who confessed that he had sinned against God and his father and rejected the sinful life that he had lived. 

Repentance involves the turning to God and a rejection of sin and naturally is at the heart of the Gospel. It is not a one-time act. We are called to continually repent of sins. We repent and believe at conversion but the remainder of our lives is characterized by repentance.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 (NKJV) – “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”

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Work, For I Am With You

Our text brings us to a moment in the lives of the people of Jerusalem when the Word of the Lord came to them, to disrupt their lives and change the course of their labors. These were the years of distraction and wilderness. Only God could shake them. In this message you will hear the voices of two prophets of God who awakened the Old Testament church out of its self serving routines that had become ingrained for sixteen years.

The prophets call out to the people to ask them to re-allocate their time and their money.

  • How is the maintenance of my life getting in the way of building the kingdom of God?
  • How are my affections distracting me from a greater work?
  • How, in my daily routines am I neglecting building the temple of God?

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Fear of God Devotional: What Repentance Can Be Compared To

What can repentance be compared to?

Paul Thompson explains in this video that repentance can be illustrated by a vehicle driving in one direction and then making a 180-degree turn. Repentance does not involve continuing to live the same life that you used to live and following the same, sinful patterns. 

Rather, repentance is marked by a complete change in action and in thinking. Repentance involves the taking of deliberate action as opposed to aimless, purposeless action.

Mark 8:34 (NKJV) – “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What are the Components of Repentance?

What are the components of repentance?

Mike Davenport explains in this video that there are two elements of repentance. Repentance first involves a turning to God and a subsequent turning away from sin. You cannot serve both God and indulge in your sin.

There cannot be an association or connection between God and sin. Repentance involves the understanding of how sinful you are and a turning to God. A mere turning away from sin is not sufficient.  

1 Thessalonians 1:9 (NKJV) – “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Difference Between Worldly and Godly Sorrow

How is worldly sorrow different from godly sorrow?

Don Hart explains in this video that every person has experienced worldly sorrow, but only Christians have experienced godly sorrow.

Worldly sorrow involves regret or remorse over committing sin, but there is no sorrow for grieving a holy God. Worldly sorrow does not involve sorrow over the sin itself – rather, it involves sorrow or sadness over the earthly consequences of the sin.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV) – “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Source of Repentance and Its Effect on a Christian

What does repentance look like?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that the source of repentance begins with God – it is a gift of God. God allows a man to see himself for who he is in the light of who He is.

Once that person is saved, his ideas of God are changed where he begins to align his life with God’s ways that are laid out in Scripture. He forsakes his old, sinful practices and pursues godliness. 

Isaiah 55:7 (NKJV) – “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Are We To Continue Reforming Today?

How do we continue reforming even today?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that one of the themes or mottos of the Reformation was, Semper Reformanda or, “always reforming” in accordance with Scripture. Today, we stand on the shoulders of the Reformers. We are called to hold onto these great truths of the Word of God.

Reformation for the Christian does not stop at conversion. Rather, the Christian is continually being sanctified, growing, and maturing spiritually. Christians should not pursue change merely to be “different” – rather, everything must always be based upon Scripture.

James 1:22-25 (NKJV) – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

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Repentance Conference

Our national conference in 2017 is taking place just a few days before the 500 year anniversary of the reformationand Luther’s 95 Theses nailed to the Wittenberg Door October 31, 1517. This is why we are directing our attention to the doctrine and the fruit of the Protestant Reformation.

The heart of the Reformation was repentance. This is the source of all times of refreshing. At this conference, we will be hearkening back to some of the great doctrines of the Protestant Reformation but it will be even more focused on the reformations of church and family that are in motion today as God continues to reform His church.

We will be bringing preachers to Ridgecrest from all over the world to speak of the times of refreshing that they are experiencing in their areas. They will be explaining the great doctrines that lead to refreshing and the fruit of repentance they are observing.

The apostle Peter spoke of this in his sermon, when he declared, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19).

The first of Luther’s 95 Theses reads this way, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt. 4:17), He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

It is in this spirit that we will be conducting our national conference in 2017. 

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He Is Good, for His Mercy Endures Forever Toward Israel

Is the journey harder than you thought it would be? Is the trial lasting longer than you thought it would? In Ezra 3:8-13, it is very clear that the returned captives walked out of one difficult situation into another – 70 years of captivity, and into another situation, that had it’s own challenges. Has that ever happened to you? the Lord led you out of one difficulty, and it was clear that He was delivering you, but then when you arrived at your new destination, everything was not perfect. This story is for anyone who wants to trust the Lord through the trials and tribulations of life. The reality is, when you get to certain times of your life, you realize it did not turn out like you thought it would. It is often harder and lasts longer than you anticipated. However, in this passage, we see how the people gathered together and declared “The Lord is Good and His mercy endures forever” (8:11).

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance: A One-Time Event in the Life of a Christian?

Is repentance a one-time event in the life of a Christian?

Curt Daniels explains in this video that repentance is not a one-time event in the life of a Christian – rather, it is something that continues throughout the life of a Christian. The first of Martin Luther’s 95 theses reads: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”

The Christian life starts with repentance at conversion and it is something that continues throughout the life of a Christian. In essence, it is at the heart of the Christian life. 

Mark 1:14-15 (NKJV) – “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What is Biblical Repentance?

What is true, biblical repentance? Is the mere shedding of tears sufficient?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that we might think that a person is repentant if they appear sorry. But, there are other aspects to repentance that go beyond the mere shedding of tears. Repentance involves both the confession of sin and the forsaking of it as laid out in Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV): “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” 

Accordingly, it is not enough to just hear the confession, witness the tears, and thereby think that there is repentance. How can we determine whether the sin is forsaken? While there might not be a bright-line test to determine whether there is true repentance, we can ask whether there is victory, in time, over that sin or whether that individual continually returns to that same sin. We can also look to Scripture to see examples of true and false repentance.

Luke 18:13-14 (NKJV) – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Sola Scriptura: One of the Most Helpful Reforms of the Reformation

What was one of the most helpful reforms that took place during the Reformation?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that one of the most helpful reforms was Sola Scriptura – the understanding that Scripture alone is sufficient. Acknowledging that Scripture alone was sufficient elevated Scripture to its most proper place. The Reformers understood that Scripture is our authority, that it is sufficient, and that it is not necessary to be an individual in the Roman Catholic Church to understand or read it.

Scripture is clear and authoritative in itself – not because the church says it is. God’s Word teaches us and it guides us. Ultimately, Scripture is the foundation of every part of our lives.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV) – “[N]o prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Relationship Between Faith and Repentance

What is the relationship between faith and repentance?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that the relationship between faith and repentance is straightforward. Faith is our complete forsaking the trusting in our own works and turning entirely to Christ for our righteousness. Repentance is the turning from sin and the understanding that the mere turning away from sin does not save or justify us. 

We turn from sin because God is worthy to be served. Repentance does not enhance our standing with God. Rather, Christ alone is the one who makes us righteous in the sight of God. Thus, repentance is a fruit of our faith. 

Luke 5:31-32 (NKJV) – “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’

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21st Century Battlefields – A Father Son Retreat

The devil is always waging war against the truth of God – “Has God indeed said…?” (Genesis 3:1) – and this year we are fixing our sights on some of the fierce battlefields that surround the church and the family. 

Foundational to our approach at the Father Son Retreat is that a father needs to bring his son into a wholesome world and engage him in spiritual training. For our purposes, a father should enter into a boy's world… the world of camping, canoeing, tug-o-war, fishing – the great outdoors! The retreat is being held in a wonderful “Ponderosa”-like outdoor setting with lakes, canoeing, pasture land, and hiking areas. We will fish, gather around a campfire, and look heavenward to the stars to drink in the majesty of God. Fathers and sons will be instructed in critical matters of manhood and leadership.

This year our instruction focuses on “21st Century Battlefields.” We will be speaking about the various battleground issues presenting themselves in this century.

Understanding and responding to the LGBTQ movement
Understanding and responding to the gay marriage movement
Understanding and responding to the challenges of technology
Understanding and responding to the growth of Islam 
Understanding and responding to Roman Catholicism
Understanding and responding to growing secularism
Understanding and responding to the religions of Hollywood
Understanding and responding to the religion of Socialism

This Father Son Retreat is a designed to encourage fathers and sons to learn how to work together to further the glory of God in their lifetimes. 

The Father Son Retreat is sponsored by Hope Baptist ChurchSovereign Redeemer Community Church and the NCFIC.

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