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Text Box: The 2nd Step: Grieve and Be Penitent!




Text Box: (Matthew 5:4 NIV) ďBlessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.Ē
(2 Corinthians 7:10 GWT)  In fact, to be distressed in a godly way causes people to change the way they think and act and leads them to be saved. No one can regret that. But the distress that the world causes brings only death.
(2 Corinthians 7:11 NIV)  See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done! At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
(Psalms 51:16-17 NIV)  You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Hebrews 12:15 NIV)  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
(Psalms 30:5 GWT)  His anger lasts only a moment. His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning.



Text Box: The second step we are going to take with Jesus is even more paradoxical than the first one!  Are you ready?  J
Here is evidence of how different Godís thoughts are when compared to ours.  Become poor and you will be rich -- weep, mourn and cry, and you will find comfort and joy!  Whoever thought that pain, sorrow and woe would produce true, lasting joy?  Doesnít the world teach differently?  You bet!  Thatís why happiness (Greek: makarios) cannot be found unless it is in Jesus Christ!
Letís look at our Master and follow In His Footsteps:  
(Isaiah 53:4-5 GWT)  He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God had wounded him, beat him, and punished him.  He was wounded for our rebellious acts.  He was crushed for our sins.  He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds.
Had God acted like us, we surely would not have any hope!  Jesus gave Himself up so that we may be healed.  He took pity on us, and mourned our condition before Him.  Godly sorrow always leads to love actions.  It leaves no regret ó it is not selfish.  
We often mourn in this world.  More often than not, it is the wrong kind of mourning ó one that leads to bitterness and anger: self-pity (James 3:14-15).  If we truly mourn for ourselves ó having godly sorrow ó the results would be joy and comfort in the Holy Spirit because of penitence (repentance).  This, in turn, leads us to develop sympathy and empathy for all those who are destitute as well.
This beatitude allows change to continue to come into our lives.  It doesnít allow us to close up our hearts to God, but to keep it open and soft ó ready for whatever grievance may come our way.  ďIf poverty of spirit is the confession of sin, mourning is repentance for that sin.ĒóTim Woodruff, The Illustrated Disciple.  This beatitude teaches us to remain sensitive to our conscience so that our hearts may not be hardened by sinís deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13).
Godís comfort only comes to those who see themselves as they are --and who are therefore crushed and contrite in their hearts about it, realizing that only God can save them and give them hope.
(James 4:8-10 NIV) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail! Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up!


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Text Box: The 2nd Step: Grieve and Be Penitent!




Mourning is a result of realizing our poverty in spirit.Discipleship begins by realizing our destitution and grieving it so much that we desire change to come into our lives.Read Romans 3:10-18.According to this passage, are you righteous?Have you come to understand God on your own, or did you have to be lead?Unless you turn to God and His Word, what do you become (verse 12)?People who follow their own way, what do they lack (verse 18)?Can we really understand our position before God if we donít fear Him?Does this list describe your condition before you became a Christian?List some things in your lifestyle that youíve realized are offensive to God.Put a star next to the ones you have changed drastically.Put a dash next to the ones you are still struggling with.Why do you think you struggle with these more than others?


Mourning has to do with grieving.Both of these words are powerfully connected to death.Death and dying tend to produce powerful emotions in us. We miss people, we crave for their good health, etc. Unless we have become emotionally numb to sin, we also become grievous when sin is present in us, since it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1,2).It is just not enough that we become aware of how short we fall of Godís glory; we need to grieve our condition to the point that we become penitent about it -- desiring change.Read James 4:1-10.What is the main cause of quarreling and fighting?If youíre involved in quarreling and fighting, are you grieving over your desires or are you giving in to them?What does God call those who are not grieving over their sins, but, rather, are giving in to them (verse 4)?Who are we making friends with when we are not mourning over our sin?Whom are we hating?Who is God opposed to (verse 6)?So, could we say that pride is involved when we refuse to mourn over sin?Are we allowing Godís grace to change us when we are not mourning over sin?Read over the list you made Monday.You put stars next to the ones you feel youíve had success over and dashes next to the ones you struggle with the most. Thatís good! You are aware of where you fall short.Now you need to work on grieving and being penitent about them. Are you mourning enough over the sins you still struggle with?If not, is it because of pride (idolatry)?Is it because you love the sin?Are you being selfish?Now you understand what James meant when he said in verses 9 and 10, ďGrieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom!Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up


Letís read about some examples of spiritual mourning.Read Luke 7:36-50. What were the womanís tears a sign of? Was Simon mourning over his condition?Why or why not?Can we really determine if Simon had more or less sin than the woman?Is the question here the amount of sins you may have, or the awareness and penitence over those sins?Her love for Jesus not only shows awareness of sin, but that she truly repented.Read Luke 22:33,34,60-62 and then John 21:7.What did Peter so boldly confess in verse 33?Do you think he was sincere?Do you think he really believed what he told Jesus? What eventually happened, though (verses 60-62)?What made Peter weep bitterly?Is weeping a sign of spiritual mourning?Look at his new attitude toward Jesus in John 21:7.He couldnít wait until the boat got to land to greet his Lord and Master! Did Peter just realize his condition, or did he realize, mourn and change? Look what Godís grace produced -- a changed man who allowed the Spirit to work powerfully through him throughout the Book of Acts!


Letís look at some more examples of spiritual mourning.Check out Luke 18:9-14. Why did Jesus tell this parable (verse 9)?Who had godly sorrow and who had worldly sorrow?What was the evidence?What was the Pharisee thankful for: what God had given him or how good he was?What did the tax collector pray for?Who was being exalted in each manís prayer?Can you exalt God when you are proud?Are you exalting God when you refuse to mourn over the sins that you hold on to?Which man feared God?Notice that sincerity has nothing to do with penitence.You can be sincerely wrong about yourself.Even when you may think all is well within you, beware!Follow Davidís example in Psalm 139:23,24.He was called a man after Godís own heart (Acts 13:22) because he sought to exalt God and not himself.He had godly sorrow.He was blessed because he mourned.Tonight, meditate on Psalm 6:1-6.


Perhaps one of the greatest parables illustrating poverty of spirit and penitence is the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32). We can see in this parable the first two steps of the way of the cross being illustrated and contrasted between the older and the younger son.You read it last week and saw how the realization of poverty in spirit brought this young man back to his father.This week, you see how the motivation was grief over what caused him to be separated from his father.Read Isaiah 59:1-3.What separates you from your Father?Read 1 John 1:5-10.What keeps you pure and clean from sin?


The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. -- Psalm 51:17


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