Acts 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
We all make mistakes, but it’s what we do about them that counts in God’s eyes. There’s a creeping a-moralism in our churches and society right now that says “it is okay to make mistakes, God understands, so there’s no need to repent or change our ways.” We’ve become so addicted to ourselves and our own understanding that we’ve sadly forgotten how to repent.
Now I am just as guilty of this than anyone else. Some days, I slack off in my prayers; I abbreviate my requests; I take God’s mercy for granted, so I end up justifying myself and setting aside my guilty feelings. I suppress any inward call to truly confess and personally repent. I try to shut God out, but only end up isolating myself from Him. Eventually, I have to come to God and speak to Him about what I have left unspoken or unprayed. I get no peace until I do this; I have no healing from within until I confess to God.
Repentance is for real, folks. It’s something that we must do in order to be Christians. It’s not an optional extra with regard to our faith. If we don’t repent, then we have no everlasting relationship with God. Christ came to save the world from sin, but even He cannot help an unrepentant sinner.
I guess the substance of this devotion is to make us all aware of our mistakes and to come to Jesus with them. If we’re too proud to do this, then we’ll end up perishing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and maybe even physically. We may not want to read, think, or accept this, but unless we understand, acknowledge, and embrace our need to repent, we will never be restored to God through Christ.
Questions for personal reflection
Is there some mistake in my life that I still regret? Have I truly repented of this sin?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are sinful people who often make mistakes and take Your mercy for granted. Forgive our foolish ideas, especially those that would separate us from You and Your Father in Heaven. Bring us to You, humbly and respectfully; allow us to confess our mistakes and repent of our sinful ways. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask a question of today’s message, please send him and email to email@example.com.
Today’s image is from one of John’s psalm drawings. It’s a depiction of a confessional verse from Psalm 123. If you would like to see a larger version of the drawing, please click on the following link: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7085/7207536214_02e9f5ee64_b.jpg