Summary: God is always with us. He is often seen through the people around us by their words and actions. There is a great expectation from us that comes through repentance. As God makes a total commitment to us, we must make a total commitment to Him.

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“Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Intro: God chooses us not because we deserve it but because God loves us and wants us. Just like His covenant with Abraham and Israel, we the people of the church today are God’s representatives in the world.

When Israel failed God and turned to idols and admired and loved other worldly things, God allowed them to suffer the consequences of their actions. God permitted Israel to be sent away into exile and captivity. This pattern is repeated many times throughout the Old Testament. God’s chosen people would forsaken Him. They would go through a period of oppression. They would come to their senses and repent. Then with greatness and power that only God would have He would deliver them from tyranny and raise them up to a place of peace and prosperity. This cycle or theme is repeated over and over again in the bible. This was not an act of punishment. This was not an act of affliction but an expression of “freewill” and the ultimate principle of love.

One of the most wonderful words in the bible is the word “repentance.” A lot of people don’t think of it as a beautiful word because one of the meanings of repentance is guilt. I don’t know anybody who thinks guilty is pretty word. But it is really God pouring out His love, grace, and mercy upon us. The Greek word “repentance” in Strong’s Concordance μετανοέω (met-an-o-eh'-o) means more than just guilty it has this beautiful meaning to “think differently or to reconsider as an afterthought, one changes their mind for the better.”

Kitchen Nightmares is a reality television show where Chef Gordon Ramsay is invited by the owners to spend a week with a failing restaurant in an attempt to revive the business. The first thing Ramsay does is order three or four items from the restaurant’s menu. Most often the food is terrible. It is overcooked. It is greasy. I have seen him take his hands and squeeze the greasy out of the food. He will ask, “Is this fresh sea food?” They will say, “Yes, it is fresh frozen and then thawed in the microwave.”

The restaurant owner and the restaurant’s cooks are shocked when Ramsay sends the food back. They are like, “we love our food.” They are shocked and offended that Ramsay has insulted their food. The restaurant is failing. The seats are empty. They are losing four or five thousand dollars per week but the owner and the cooks think they have the best food in town.

Sometimes it takes Ramsay going through the refrigerators, throwing out old freezer burned food, stale and molded bread, and rotten vegetables. How long has then be in there? Would you eat that? No! Then why would you serve that to your guest? Then Ramsay asks them to take the one test question, “How has that been working for you?”

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