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Faith That Pleases God, Pt2


“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10, ESV)
When we hear the word repent, it may have a negative tone; in other words, it must be assumed someone is doing something wrong. The word repent actually means to change course, or, turn around and go the other way. But what would prompt such a response? I would propose a change of heart.
Many Christians today live in a bubble of Christianity – they have Christian friends, go to Christian-themed activities and generally protect themselves from anything worldly. To resist sinful behavior is good and I believe we should. But many Christians like to hang out in Christian-only circles, and that wasn’t Jesus’ message to us.
Churches even tend to struggle getting out into their own communities to take the gospel, figuring instead that, “if we build it, they’ll come.” This, too, misses the mark by a mile. In a parable, Jesus said, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23, NKJV).
It takes faith to look past the building of our own empires and set our sights on building the Kingdom of God. And yet, Jesus promised that if we would go, we would see His power: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18, NKJV)
The believer who steps out in faith, seeks something greater than their own good. If you are a believer reading this column right now, you were made for a higher purpose than merely existing; surviving. What kind of faith does it take to change a society?
In Acts, chapter 2, we see the followers of Jesus in a room praying for a gift Jesus said would be given by the Father: The Holy Spirit. They didn’t know how or when He would come, they simply knew He would. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came. Peter preached a powerful message from which approximately 3,000 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Word spread quickly and the world was turned upside down. (See Acts 17:6)
That is what faith does. It begins with prayer, a time of getting priorities straight, forgiveness and unity. In that environment, the Holy Spirit will move, and revival will come.
If you don’t know Jesus today, please know that He loves you. He died for you and wants to have a relationship with you. Your future depends upon it. Simply ask Him into your heart. I also want to invite you to church this Sunday to begin your life as a Jesus follower, to learn about the great plan He has for you.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.

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