You drive by an ordinary yard sale and perhaps you see something that interests you, perhaps you don’t.
Let’s talk about getting rid of some things.
From the owner’s perspective, the story behind what they have put out on the yard, closely contrasts our lives as Disciples of Jesus. Everything they put out for sale or are giving away, is something that at one point fostered or kept treasured memories and contained value. Because of the changes in their lives they are letting go of the item and divesting.
Let’s look at this process deeper and consider how we can and should do this in our effort to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
That which once held value to us when exposed to the Light of the World diminish in luster. They become less and less important to us. Most times we do not have room to have them in our lives.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
That spiffy new refrigerator has come, and the old one even though it continues to have function, has to go. We replace our library of books detailing hobbies, interests, and passions for that which we grow to develop a passion for God’s Word.
He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3 (CSB)
Our food source has change, we no longer require the sustenance we once did. Now we have a desire to feed on “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” The Word of God becomes our primary source of nourishment.
The storage device for this new food for our spirit has different storage requirements.
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11 (NLT)
Broken and damaged
As we prepare for selling off the things we’ve used in the past and no longer need or want, we run across things that have become broken or damaged. We also find things stored away in the corners of our lives having no value anymore or may even be harmful to ourselves or others.
Instead of putting them out for others to take hold of, we determine that these need to go. Instead of selling them off, it is better than they are tossed in the burn pile and destroyed, so as never to cause harm to ourselves or others.
I parallel this to repentance in our lives as believers. The association of value to the things we owned before and the things we did, now diminished to where they are of no value to us, and we wouldn’t want to be an impediment or danger to someone else, so instead of passing these things on, we discard them so we can seek that which is good and right.
Repentance is a two-sided action. It involves the turning away from evil and a turning toward good. The most interesting thing about repentance is that while this is a conscious decision to abandon the old and seek the new, it is a decision made based on the alteration of our thinking to be in alignment with God’s consideration of a matter.
Not switching positions for political expediency or because it is the in-thing to be doing. Instead, we are convicted and convinced of something God has shown us. This demands the relinquishing of the old practice and adopting that which He has laid before us.
Repentance is crucial to salvation
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Mark 1:15 (CSB)
Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.
Acts 3:19-20 (CSB)
The false gospels that are being propagated today focus in on faith and love. Both are key and even critical components to walking alongside of Jesus as His Disciple. Faith saves us, but like repentance, faith isn’t something we put on to get something we want. The faith Jesus calls us to results from a heart that has turned from its evil and seeks the will of God.
This kind of faith results in repentance, not just altering course because it is expedient, but altering course because it is right in the eyes of God, we agree with God’s position on the matter, adopting His perspective for our own.
The love component is an outgrowth of that redemption that transpires when we give our lives over to God’s direction for us. Love and a multitude of other fruits of the Spirit and Spiritual Gifts.
So, both love and faith figure tightly into our divestiture of sin. In both, repentance is the action behind the manifestation.
I want to toss in obedience too, but it really goes without saying that if we are repentant, we will also be obedient. Jesus told us that if we love him, will obey His commands (John 14:15).
Then the giveaways
Speaking of love and faith, in our divestiture we find ourselves giving away things of value too. Just as we might at the preverbal yard sale, giving away certain things, we give away out of the abundance that God gives to us. This also parallels our walk with Jesus.
He floods us with His grace, love, forgiveness, peace, comfort, and provision. So many things He gives us and gives us in abundance.
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10 (CSB)
This is what Jesus was driving at, not the cars, houses, and trappings of wealth and prosperity. Those things are not bad in and of themselves, but they are only that, things.
What is imparted to us as Disciples of Jesus is so much more and He doesn’t just portion out a little at a time, He floods us with this abundance and the only reasonable thing for us to do is to share that abundance with everyone around us!
You should show grace to those don’t really deserve it. You should shower love on those who are loveless. You forgive the unforgivable, give peace to those who are troubled, comfort those who are suffering and provide for others less fortunate from our abundance.
Our charge by the Lord Jesus Christ was to spread the Good News to everyone. Part of that process is to give away all the things He gives to us. We do this because He is constantly restocking us with more as we distribute what He is providing us. Divestiture is an awesome thing when it results from our repentance and obedience to the will of God in our lives!
In His Grace,