Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Comforter Has Come"1 (Lyrics)
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. (NIV)
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 as 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 point of this devotional 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 Yourself, humbly and respectfully; allow us to confess our mistakes and repent of our sinful ways. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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So true John.
Amen John. Thanks.
Hear! Hear! Well written John. God Bless.
Thank you John this is an excellent devotional. A topic that we don’t like to talk about in the Church, as well as money. Very blessed by this today. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your words today. They were extremely applicable to me in my current faith predicament. I pray that this message fully takes root within me and that it can start to produce the necessary changes in my life. Thanks!
You really have the ability of telling it as it is and I appreciate it no end. The way you present it is exactly how I feel. In almost a year of waiting for surgery, what you wrote is so typical of the way I react some days. Hopefully there will not be so many emergencies bumping themselves into the line-up. The medical system is not for the weaklings…but strength for today is the watchword.
God bless you for this submission.
A few thoughts regarding today’s 8/15/13 devotional.
I am reminded that the literal translation of the work repent is: turn around. The word repent is one of those words that my first theology teacher would push us to question the meaning of in order to fully understand it in our modern world. She would insist that we wrestle with the meanings until we were able to grasp the essence. It has stayed with me for many, many years and pushed me to continue to deepen my understanding over and over.
Thanks for your thoughts, John. Repentance has certainly fallen on hard times these days, as we hear so little about it in the Church today, yet it was the first message that Jesus preached- “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.””(Matt 4:17)…it was the summary of John’s preaching- Peter’s first message in Acts was the same subject. And Paul’s message was the same, as quoted in the verse that started your devotional…but, while it’s easy to criticize others, the real issue for each of us, as you point out, is to repent of our own sins to enable us to be closer to God. Thanks so much for that reminder!
Everlasting life is for those born of God’s Spirit, and they are His children for ever. Sealed for His own Joy in the time to come! God is well pleased, by the work of His Son Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
John, this is your Statement.
“I guess the point of this devotional 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.”
I do believe with you, that the Christian should be quick to confess their sin to the heavenly Father, all through Jesus, who paid the price of judgement that was due to them that believe in the only begotten Son of God. Caution must be applied in this manner of gathering.
John – what a great message for us and the world around us. Thank you for bringing us to the place to face the reality that we need repentance from Him for our “mistakes.” If we don’t have forgiveness from Him, we will have difficulty in giving forgiveness to others whom we feel have harmed us.
Dear John Stuart,
Thank you for your devotional.
Yes, John Stuart, we must repent, and turn to God (See Acts 3:19). And believe he has forgiven us … for ever!
At 1 John 1:9, we read, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness;” and at Romans 6:10 NIV; , “The death he died, he died to sins once for all….”
Peter says at 1 Peter 3;18, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God”
Indeed, “God so loved the world …”, including you and me.
I have put in the quotes (all NIV) for further re-assurance.