“Repentance is not a one-time action but is the continual posture of a disciple of Christ.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 19, 2022
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:19-21, ESV
Repentance is not a one-time action but is the continual posture of a disciple of Christ. Of course, discipleship begins with an act of repentance, surrendering your own life and desires to the rule and reign of Christ, yet a single moment of repentance cannot sustain you for the whole of your life. That single “yes” is the beginning of a daily “yes” to Christ that must be sustained and nurtured in every way.
Far too often, we have an overwhelmingly negative view of repentance, seeing it as a spiritual version of a childhood visit to the principal’s office or paying off a debt, such as a speeding ticket. God’s default posture toward us is one of anger or disappointment, we assume, and so repentance turns away his anger and gets us off his radar. However, how might our view of repentance change if we truly believed that God’s fundamental emotion toward us was unconditional love? What if God desires for you to repent, not for his sake, but because in love he has given the gift of repentance as a medicine that leads to our healing?
In Acts 3, we find an explicit connection between repentance and refreshment. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20). Repentance is not a morbid obsession with our shortcomings but is an honest appraisal of our soul’s sickness and a willingness to check ourselves into the hospital of Christ’s care. Every time we express genuine sorrow for our sins, we take a step deeper into the life of God’s kingdom and begin to live more fully in his refreshing presence. Though death may be the source of our sin, repentance is the way to life.
As such, cultivate a habit of daily self-examination, looking back upon the previous day and asking the Lord to reveal ways in which you lived out of step with his Spirit. Were there times that you were overly concerned with your own pleasure, your personal needs, wants, or desires? Confess these to the Lord, resolve to turn away from them tomorrow, and set your heart and life fully upon the path of repentance, for it will lead you into a time of great refreshment and renewal.
Father, thank you for the gift of repentance, turning us away from ourselves and toward your refreshing presence, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consider ways to make daily repentance a more consistent part of your life rhythm.
Matt Maher feat. Audrey Assad: Lord, I Need You
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