Luke 15:10 Jesus concluded: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Every day, I do something wrong. I say the wrong thing or forget to do the right thing. I break a promise that I made or neglect an obligation I meant to fulfill. I break one of God’s commandments or I deliberately go against Christ’s Word. In short, I am a habitual sinner who needs to repent every single day.
When I’m made aware of my mistakes, I get defensive at first. I don’t want to claim the sin as my own or take the blame for what is wrong. I’m just like a quarterback that I watched recently on television who threw a terrible ball which his receiver could not catch. As he ran off the field, he looked to his coach and I lip-read his words: “It wasn’t me,” he said. He didn’t want to take ownership of his mistake and, unfortunately, his attitude permeated across the entire team. Needless to say, they lost the game.
After initially being defensive, I later realize that I’ve made a mistake and seek forgiveness for what I’ve done wrong. This process is called repentance in the Bible and it involves letting go of my pride by humbly asking for God’s pardon. So long as I recognize that my sinful behavior, misdeed, or mistake is wrong, I can repent. If ever I believe that my sinful behavior is acceptable, then even God cannot help me and His grace can never be applied to my life.
That’s why there is a lot of rejoicing in Heaven when a sinner truly repents and returns to God. The free will choice to do as we please can either be a blessing or a curse. When we choose to repent, we are restored to God and Heaven rejoices; that’s also when the beauty of God’s grace can positively change our lives forever.
Questions for personal reflection
When have I ever truly repented before God? Is there something that I am still reluctant to confess to Him?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we were created to worship God and enjoy Him forever. Sometimes we worship our lifestyles and idolize our choices. Keep us from harming our souls and prevent us from following spiritual paths that lead to dead ends. Help us to see the need to repent and release us from our unconfessed sins. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is John’s latest Fall drawing called “Autumn Delight” and features the Glade Creek Mill in the Babcock National Park of West Virginia. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8182/7993843085_4173874080_b.jpg