News and Updates
David Copeland · September 1, 2022
Newsletter · Volume: 22 Issue: 9
Acts 3:19 “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…” NKJV
Continuing with the theme of change we have been discussing the last couple of months in our newsletter, I want to look at this word “converted” as it’s used here in Acts 3:19. We know what repent means; we hear messages on it almost every week. It means to make a 180 degree turn; a turn around. A change of heart that results in a change of mind & action. It means to think in a different way that is expressed in the way we live. While many translations leave out the word “converted” because some scholars think it’s a redundant word, yet I love the way Peter states “repent & be converted”.
The word “converted” takes it deeper. The word means properly to “turn; to return to a path from which one has gone astray; and then to turn away from sins, or to forsake them.” It is a word used in a general sense to denote “the whole turning to God.” We would say, to be totally changed into a new creature with a new way of thinking and acting.
Again, so often when I speak about change, people accuse me of trying to change the Word of God. The Word will never change! But true and lasting change in our lives can only take place when we allow the Word of God to change our thinking which will lead to a change of action.
There are several things about change that came into my heart recently that I want to share this month:
1.Change is important. If you are not changing, you are stagnating. A river is a river because it is constantly flowing, moving forward. If a river stops moving it begins to die. The greatest example of course is the Jordan River in Israel. As long as it is flowing southward from Mt. Herman in the north, through the Sea of Galilee, past Jericho, it is full of life and produces life everywhere it goes. When it gets to the Dead Sea, the life stops because the Dead Sea has no outlet.
Our God is a moving God. We must keep flowing with Him because He is producing and protecting His life within us!
2. Change is inevitable. Change is unavoidable. It is certain, foreseeable, and unescapable. No matter what you do, how much you exercise, no matter how well you eat, change is happening in your body and in your life. Eventually you will die. Sadly, many Christians fail to allow the Word of God to change their thinking and understanding, which in turn will dramatically change their lives. So, they live defeated, discouraged and beat down when Jesus has already done everything the Father sent Him to do on the earth to guarantee our victory on this earth. You will either change for the better, or for the worse.
3.Change is imminent. It’s close by. Jesus’ message was “repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand…” What He was saying when He walked on this earth is, the Kingdom of God is within reach. It is close by.
Change is always closer than we expect. How many times have we heard someone say, “if I had known he or she wasn’t going to live, I would have done more, I would have changed some things…” Sudden change always seems to catch us off guard because we think that kind of change only happens to other people. How will you respond when there is a sudden change in your life? Have you developed your faith so when a change comes, you won’t fall? Will sudden change shake your faith? HAS a sudden change brought bitterness into your heart toward God, His people or the church? How will you respond to a loved one’s death, a marriage situation, or sudden job loss? Change is always closer to us than we expect.
4.Lastly, change is necessary. Again, methods change. Styles change. But the message of the Gospel never changes. If you change your message just to make it “relevant” you have automatically disqualified your relevance to the Kingdom. Any movement that doesn’t experience renewal and revival by the fourth generation begins a rapid decline into obscurity.
There has never been a time in history in which the message of repentance, restoration & revival are more relevant. We may not see a lot of Sunday through Friday campaigns or long term meetings in the coming days, but we need revival, renewal and reformation like never before. God help us to not be “addicted” to the emotion involved in repentance. May God bring us into a clear focus that He is waiting on us to repent and be changed…..so that the times of refreshing He has already scheduled for our lives (and the earth) can come quickly!
Even so, come Lord Jesus!!