Repentance isn’t fashionable these days. Many people want the blessing of having their sins forgiven without turning from their sins. But faith in Jesus involves a change of mind about our sins and a renunciation of them. Faith and repentance cannot be separated.
Much so-called repentance is telling God we will change if He will get us out of a tight spot. But its insignificance comes to light when pressure is off.
There once were two shipwrecked sailors who had been drifting on a raft for days. In desperation, one began to pray, “God, I know I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve lied and cheated and done many things I’m ashamed of. But if You save me, I promise I’ll --- “Hold it! The other sailor shouted. “Don’t say another word! I just spotted land!”
When John the Baptist preached repentance, he called for right action. Soldiers, for example, were not to intimidate anyone, and were not allowed to accuse people falsely, and to be content with their wages (Luke 3:14). These actions would prove the sincerity of their response to John’s message.
The basic condition for being saved is to recognize that we cannot save ourselves. But when we turn to Jesus for salvation, we also turn our back on sin. If our faith is genuine, then repentance would have follow-through.
If You’re Really Sorry About Your Sins, You’ll Want to Give Them Up.
On The Battlefield
At the beginning of this year, many newspapers and magazines will publish a list of notable people and celebrities who died during the previous 12 months. The name of a person we admired may stir up memories that touch us in a special way.
From the past year, a list will also be written deep within our hearts. How we mourn the loss of those whose names are there – a father, a neighbor, a sister, a friend. In all of life, perhaps no greater pain is felt than when someone we love dies.
When the loss and the hurt seem too much to bear, where can we turn? Psalm 147 declares that it is the Lord who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (v.3). With a physical injury, the wound is treated immediately but the healing takes time. God heals our grief in a similar way.
Psalm 147 can help us during that process. The psalm begins and ends with the words: “Praise the Lord!” In between, it celebrates the attributes and works of God. As you read Psalm 147 today, write down one thing for which you can praise God. With each new day, add another one to the list. As you focus on the Lord, He will heal your heart, and you will be able lift your voice in ever-increasing praise to Him.
Praise Can Lift The Burden Of Grief