Repentance

We believe in repentance − recognizing our sin and turning away from it with the trust that the Spirit will not only comfort us, but grant us mercy and grace. As we explore this concept, let us turn to what Scripture has to say about repentance.

Monday – 2 Chronicles 7.14. The first few times we read this, we tend to read it incorrectly. You see, God is not calling us by name in this passage… rather, in this Old Testament scripture, God had claimed His people by giving them His name. In the same way, we are given the name “Christian” to be reminded of that which we are − followers of Christ. Consider this: how are you as a Christian being called to turn from your ways so God might turn toward you with His Spirit of grace and forgiveness?

Tuesday – Psalm 32.5-6. One of the most powerful things about repentance is that when we act in humility and confess what we know to be wrong, God is faithful to turn toward us in His gentle character. This God, that we sometimes consider to be violent in the Old Testament or that we think of as this massive creator involved in the dealings of the entire universe, is the one that, through His Spirit, turns toward humanity with a gentle hand to forgive and guide those who turn toward Him. Think about the implications of this − how does your view of God change by recognizing this?

Wednesday – 2 Peter 3.8-9. Repentance is a changing of ways − it is not only the ceasing of our worldly ways, but jumping tracks to follow the way of the Lord. If we believe that God is loving and that to be loving one must be patient, then God is the most loving and most patient of all. The desire of God is that all would come to know Him through the grace and peace of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we strive to become more like Jesus, how can you mimic in your life the patience that God has shown to His creation?

Thursday – Jeremiah 3.12-14. The Old Testament can sometimes feel like a broken record. God’s chosen people (Israel) disobey him, God explains the wrath that will come upon them, and then Israel repents and turns back to God. In this passage, it has happened again, and God speaks to the heart of Israel, likening Himself to the husband of these people. What a beautiful image to know that God − even in our rebellion and disobedience − has married Himself to His creation and is committed to us.

Friday – Acts 2:37-39. Repentance is an act of the heart. This passage of scripture explains to us that when we finally open our eyes and see the grace and love of God, our hearts are turned to Him. This then requires that our lives reflect the posture of our hearts − our lives must be turned to Him. The Holy Spirit is then gifted to the heart so that we might be guided and led into eternal life with God − a gift for all people, because God calls all of us into relationship with Him. Spend some time today praying for someone who deeply needs this gift.

Saturday – Luke 18.9-14. Repentance requires humility. This parable clearly explains the differences in the ways that people approach communication with God. For us to be justified with God, we must repent and recognize the distance between God and us − knowing that Jesus is the way to a relationship with God. As you spend time in prayer today, approach communication with God in total humility, as His creation.