How is that for a topic few want to read about?
If you will just hang on with me a little bit, you might be pleasantly surprised.
It’s a word I’ve heard since I was knee high to a duck…really young!
Accompanied by stern looks, hushed tones…and pointed fingers…especially the pointed fingers!
More recently a friend told me, “It’s my favorite word!”
I was astounded… because of all my baggage.
I now know others who love this word…and concept.
It is an important part of our faith, both for our initial salvation and our day-to-day salvation from sin!
But it is one of those ethereal words we have used for so long that we don’t really know its meaning in
Concrete, everyday, gut-level terms!
When we became believers, if we can remember when it happened, we knew we needed to repent.
We need to stop in our tracks,
Be truly sorry for our sin in such a way that
We are willing to do whatever it takes to go in the opposite direction and change our ways!
Stop in our tracks,
Be sorry for our sin
Change our ways!
It has to take a miraculous intervention from GOD for this to happen. Romans tells us that our natural desire is away from GOD. If GOD doesn’t intervene, we will not move toward Him. In many ways, it is a gloomy picture of our situation…except that just as the doctor who gives a gloomy diagnosis, He has a cure! He has to intervene first to bring life to our spiritually dead hearts.
Then He has to intervene to bring us to the point of repentance and the desire to have Him change us. This is what happened when we came to Him in the first place…and what has to happen on a daily, generally more often, basis.
A broader aspect of repentance includes daily repentance. Now that we have a new heart indwelt by the Holy Spirit, sin shouldn’t be a problem anymore should it? It isn’t as much the daily asking him to forgive me for my sins…certainly not doing it generically. You know the “If I have sinned today, forgive me…” kind of prayers?
How would you feel if someone apologized to you that way when they had horribly offended every aspect of who you were? That is how offensive those generic prayers are to GOD! At times we pray them in ignorance, but I personally can’t plead that at this point in my life!
When we compare the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ interpretation of them in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, we can see how we have offended repeatedly all the way down the list! If there is any doubt, we certainly can see how we have offended the summaries of the 10 Commandments. That is Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself. There is no question we have failed that one…utterly!
Where do you need to Repent? This word is full of the concept of change. What change needs to happen in your life by GOD’s grace?
Next time we’ll talk more on the how of repenting. I’m not an expert for sure, but I’ve found some help that I will pass on to you.
**Our teacher, Wade Skinner helped me with them and he was helped with ideas from Tim Keller along with training he had in seminary. I don’t know where one stops and the other starts. I just know I need to credit Wade for his help.