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James 4:8-10 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you double-minded. Cry out in sorrow, mourn, and weep! Let your laughter become mourning and your joy become sadness. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

turn_backGod doesn’t abandon you. It is you who turns away from God. It is your responsibility to come near to God. The more you seek Him, the closer He gets.

When you are in a place where you realize that you have fallen off the path of salvation due to your own alienation from God, you will realize how much you have grieved Him.

What you considered joy and happiness due to your own efforts and living in your will has hurt God because He wants only the best for you and that can only be found when you are living in His will.

Repentance is when you feel the hurt you have caused God because of your sin and feel the remorse of living a life separated from God. You should feel sorrow for hurting God, mourn for your time wasted pursuing your own desires, and weep because of your sins against Him.

water-streaming-over-handsYou must understand that God’s grace abounds. “He gives us more grace” so that we can be restored to a right relationship with Him. God showed His grace in that while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. His sacrifice washed away your sins. Once you repent from your way of living apart from Him, you can wash your hands of your past sins no longer having to feel guilty about them. You can purify your heart by turning a new leaf and living in the holiness that only God can provide.

This is the miracle of new birth. It is based on the grace that God provides. It is by your faith that you accept God’s gift of redemption through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It requires an act on your part.

Give up your own self-centered life. Humble yourself by confessing your sins to God and realize there is nothing you can do to earn God’s gift of salvation and redemption.

It is in this humility that God works to lift you up. By giving yourself up, by dying to self, God will work in you to make you what you were designed to be-a vessel for glorifying God.