Note: This is a guest post from my good friend, Kathy DeGraw, founder and president of DeGraw Ministries, a prophetic healing and deliverance ministry. I want to encourage everyone to read her new book coming out in early April called Speak Out: Release the Power of Declaring Prayer. It’s powerful, and you won’t want to miss it.
Repent and forgive while there is still time. Be love in this world.
By Kathy DeGraw
I was recently grieved as I read the book of Revelation at the number of people that didn’t repent. With everything that was happening, the bowls poured out, and the plagues being released upon the earth, the people did not repent and change their behaviors.
They had seen the hand of God released and still chose not to follow Him. The thought that entered my mind was how this parallels to what is happening now. We are not so different than the seven churches. We are living in sin, ignoring the signs of the end times, and not repenting.
I think we are living in the best of times! We are seeing the very word of God manifest in front of our eyes! How exciting! We are seeing the manifestation of the end times and the good news is that we have been forewarned and still have time to repent and change our ways. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
I believe we can make the greatest impact for the kingdom now if we take the signs we are seeing as warnings and change. As believers, we need to purge the sin and unforgiveness out of our lives.
The Bible says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12) and “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matt. 6:22). “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go on your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 6:23-24).
Repenting and seeking forgiveness is not always easy. It can hurt to self-examine and to see where you have been at fault, where you need to look inside and seek forgiveness for what you have done. The good thing about it is that it brings forth freedom! When we forgive ourselves and others, it releases something inside of us that empowers us, strengthens us and enables us to be used effectively for the kingdom. The kingdom of God is inside you! You have the ability to release it through repenting, changing and forgiving.
We don’t have to be like the virgins who didn’t have their lamps ready and filled with oil when the bridegroom came (Matt. 25). We see the signs of the times, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Mark 13:7) and “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious day of the Lord comes” (Acts 2:20). We don’t know the hour or the day, but we are being given warning.
When we put on love we can be God’s love to a lost and dark world. They will desire what we have, the God of love.
Repent means to turn around and change. Repenting is acknowledging the mistakes we have made, receiving the forgiveness Christ purchased at the cross, and then extending that forgiveness to those who have wounded us. We want to be found diligent by Him, in peace, without spot and blameless when He comes (2 Pet. 3:14). That is accomplished through forgiving ourselves and forgiving others.
Forgiveness releases ourselves. It releases us from the bondage we are holding ourselves in, the grudges, offense, hurt and pain. When we forgive, most of the time the other person doesn’t know we are still holding a grudge. It is ourselves who we are holding in bondage. Christ extended forgiveness to us, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). It is an act of God’s great love that He gave to us when we extend it to others.
He loves us so much that He doesn’t desire to leave us where we have been on this earth, full of turmoil, but He is coming back to share eternity with us. That excites me! Shouldn’t we get excited that He is coming back to deliver us from the powers of darkness so we can live forever with Him in eternity?
He is coming back, but are you ready? Are you truly ready for what He has for you? Are you ready to sacrifice your life? Are you ready to give up what you want (the comforts of this world) for what He wants (total surrender to Him)? When we are surrendered to Him, we are changed. We are made new! When we are surrendered to Him, we can effectively be used for His kingdom.
The end times are drawing near. You cannot avoid the facts. Jesus is coming. How will you be found? I want to be found prepared, ready and alive, living fully for Him! I want to be found bringing in the harvest! We can’t bring in the harvest when we are living in sin, when we have our own agendas and are selfish. Our primary focus should be on loving and serving God and people. When we remove sin from our lives, when we forgive those who have offended us, it is then and only then that we can effectively be love to those around us.
When we are surrendered to Him, we are changed. We are made new! When we are surrendered to Him, we can effectively be used for His kingdom.
In the end times, the world grows dark. We are seeing the signs of the times of people in sin, homosexual marriages, babies being destroyed, and Christians being persecuted for their faith. We need to root out the sin and inadequacies in our lives, so we can be love, as the world grows dark. We need to ask God to remove everything in our lives that is unproductive and unfruitful.
In the book of Revelation, people saw the sin and did nothing. They remained in hatred and they kept rebelling. They saw the hand of God and they did not repent and turn from their wicked ways. We have the word of God right here in front of us. It is our great instruction book. When we read this book we are warned of things to come. We are also told of the blessings that those who follow Him will receive. The word of God says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). I want to see God. I want to get to heaven and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23).
As we repent, change our ways and forgive others it allows for more love to come into our lives. As we remove ungodly things from our lives and things we are involved in that are contrary to the word of God love will saturate us. In order for love to come into us at the measure that God desires we must remove what is not love, things such as, bitterness, resentment, anger and offense. These are not actions of love. The more unloving emotions and actions we purge from our lives the more we can be filled with His great love.
As we stay in perpetual relationship with our Father, he will show us areas of our lives that need to be cleaned up and purged. As He purges us, He fills us with more of His love. We should want to be saturated in his love, pouring it out all the time on other people. As the end times continue to manifest, people are going to need to know the love of God. That is why as Christians it is important we repent and turn from our old ways, our old selves and our old natures and put on Christ. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14). When we put on Christ by repenting, we are putting on love. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Col. 3:14). When we put on love we can be God’s love to a lost and dark world. They will desire what we have, the God of love.
Repent and forgive while there is still time. Be love in this world.
Kathy DeGraw is the founder and president of DeGraw Ministries, a prophetic healing and deliverance ministry releasing the love and power of God. She travels internationally, imparting into believers and igniting them to release their full potential. She is passionate about empowering people to serve and love God and people in every action. She brings her Be Love prophetic tours around the U.S., ministering through street evangelism and empowering believers to release the prophetic and be love.