Good morning Jesus, this morning I again start my day at the foot of your cross, which restored me access again to the embrace of the Father, and the healing waters of the Holy Spirit.

“And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins…In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:5,9

Mark’s gospel states, “In those days Jesus came” (v.9).   As a leader embracing my call to make disciples of Jesus, my main goal is to get people into a place, a situation, or an atmosphere where they will encounter Jesus.  So when I read the phrase, “In those days Jesus came” my mind goes to, “What were “those days”?  What was going on and happening; the place, situation or atmosphere that was conducive for Jesus to come?  “Those days” recorded in Mark were a time when people were coming together and confessing their sins, and seeking repentance and forgiveness of their sins. (v.4).  They were coming together and confessing on a massive scale!  It says all of Judea and Jerusalem where coming.  The passage does not state if they were confessing their sins to John or to God, however, it does say they were not just stating problems or concerns, they were confessing their sins: their deep, personal acts, attitudes, choices and lifestyles that were keeping them from God.  They were repenting of all these personal acts, deep sins, and seeking forgiveness to “prepare the way” (v.2) for Jesus to come into their hearts.  It was this into atmosphere of confession that facilitated “These days” that Jesus came.

My daughter and I went to The New Room Conference in Franklin, Tn last Thursday.   It was a conference on returning to Wesleyan roots of Holiness, Scripture, and discipleship.  During the conference we attended a break out session on Living in reliance on the Holy Spirit.  There were over 300 people attending this break out session: pastors, bishops, church leaders and members.  Now I know this may not seem like something proper “Methodist” do, but the presenter, named Mark, asked everyone in the auditorium to seek a space they could and lay face first on the floor before God.  And the whole assembly did.  And Mark led us into a worship time of confession and repentance of everything; actions, attitudes, choices, programs and plans that we have chosen as leaders in the church that we have put before simply loving and knowing the Father. 

And face first on the floor I confessed all the strategizing, white-boarding, and striving I have put in place of simply loving God.  I found myself with tears running down my face, listening to my daughter sobbing face-first on the floor next to me and other around me.  And the Spirit fell on the room and it became “ in those days Jesus came.”  I, my daughter and others experienced the love and the presence of Jesus and we laid there, sat there, prayed over each other, and rested in His presence for almost 2 hours.

It is in a “Those days,” an atmosphere of confession and repentance of sins that leads to an awakening, that leads to a revival, that leads to “Jesus came.  I have attached a 30 minute video of a “those days”, a revival that took place at Asbury College in 1970 in which “Jesus came”.  It began with a time of confession of sins.

My family, I pray today that we together as a community, starting with you individually, will confess your sins: your deep, personal acts, attitudes, choices and lifestyles that are keeping you from God.  May we come together today in repentance as a church to create an atmosphere into which we can experience “Jesus came.”  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

 

Gary Liederbach-Lead Follower

One Direction community

 

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