Andre is so choked up and sobbing that it is hard to hear what he is saying at first, but he keeps repeating over and over again, “I’m so sick of my life, I want to change, I want to change...” Do you ever feel that way? So many people want changes for good in their lives, but they lack the power. However, there is great news. Jesus came to give us the power to change. Let’s discover how He wants to change our lives.
Over and over again Jesus said, “Follow Me.” We are called to be disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ. Read Matthew 16:24. If we are to be true disciples we must understand what it really means to be one of his followers.
1. The Apostle Peter is one of Jesus’ devoted followers. One day, while he is preaching the good news (the gospel), the people are so moved that they ask, “What shall we do?” If you have heard the gospel, you may also be asking, “What should I do now that I’ve heard?” Read Acts 2:37-38. What does Peter tell them to do if they are to receive forgiveness of their sins?
What does REPENTANCE mean?
REPENTANCE = CHANGE
“To turn about, to have a change of mind”
2. Jesus Christ also preaches the good news. His message is very simple. He asks all people to do two things. What are those two things according to Mark 1:14-15?
Is believing the same as repenting? No, but no one can truly believe without truly repenting. True belief leads to true change.
REPENT --> BELIEVE --> CHANGE
3. Read James 2:14-17 to understand true faith (belief). Can faith that brings no change save a person according to verse 14? True faith will always bring change in our lives. If it does not, what kind of faith is it according to verse 17?
Many people believe in Jesus, but most are not willing to repent. Imagine you’re walking toward the edge of a cliff. Just before you step off the edge, you turn around. That’s what repentance is like. We are headed the wrong way because of our sins, but then we believe and decide to turn around and follow Jesus. That’s repentance. Repentance always brings about change in our lives.
4. In 2 Peter 3:9 God tells us that He does not want anyone to be lost (or perish). He is patient with us. What is God giving us time to do?
5. The Bible tells us we should turn away from acts that lead to death (spiritual death). Can you list some of those acts we are called to repent of? See Galatians 5:19-21 for help.
What warning does the Apostle Paul give in verse 21 to those who do not want to change?
What areas have you personally had to repent of in choosing to follow Christ?
6. The Apostle Paul preaches a clear message wherever he goes. True repentance must be distinguished from false repentance. According to Acts 26:20, the gospel message has three parts to it. List the three parts and how these work in your life.
7. Many people say that they “believe”, but as we see, true belief must lead to change. Write out Matthew 3:8, and then describe what you think the fruit of repentance is.
8. Read the parable in Luke 13:5-8. (a parable is a story that illustrates a message). To understand it let’s look at the characters in it. The owner of the fig tree is God. The fig tree represents people and the fruit represents the good changes in our life. Now in your own words, summarize what this parable is saying.
What do you think happens in our lives when we do not show fruits of repentance?
9. We’ve discovered that we must believe, repent and be baptized. Baptism is the first command Jesus gives us to follow. It is a public statement that Jesus washes our sins, that our old lives are buried and that now we will live for Christ.
Do you think a person can honestly say he or she is a follower of Christ if he or she is unwilling to follow the first command
According to John 14:15, if a person truly loves Christ, then what should he or she do?
10. A person can be sorry, yet not truly ready to change. Have you ever seen someone who is sorry but not really repentant? Describe the difference. What does godly sorrow lead us to according to 2 Corinthians 7:9?
Fill in the blanks according to verse 10.
“Godly sorrow brings ___________________ that leads to _____________________ and leaves no ________________ but worldly sorrow brings __________________.”
11. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. If anyone is in Christ (a disciple), he is letting go of the old (repentance) and taking hold of the new (trusting). How would those around you describe the changes they see in you?
Is there something God is seeking to set you free from? If so, take time now to repent (turn away) from those things which may be hindering you from being a committed disciple of Christ. Write out your prayer.
Keep in mind that there are sins you must continue to repent of as long as they keep showing up in your life. When you do sin, what should you do right away according to 1 John 1:9?
If you have never repented and received Christ as Savior and Lord, then maybe it is time. Ask Him to save you, by repenting and receiving Him as Lord of your life. It’s the best, life-changing decision you will ever make.
Complete your Daily Bread calendar in the front inside cover of the book you downloaded. Record the scriptures that speak to you each day.
Practice your Memory Verse for this week. Memorize it to hide God’s Word in your heart.
Review your Prayer List in the back inside cover of this book. Ask God who you can pray for and share with this week.