Refreshment Time

[Peter speaking to the crowd at the temple,] “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,… Acts 3:19 (WEB)

Too often I may think that the act of repentance is for “sinners”.  Those people who have turned their back on God and committed big sins, like murder or cheating on your faithful spouse of 25 years!  Repentance is a good thing, especially for those who commit sins that are not a temptation to me!

People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.  They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish.  They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again; No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.                Galatians 5:19-21 (CEV)

I am afraid that when I come, we won’t be pleased with each other. I fear that some of you may be arguing or jealous or angry or selfish or gossiping or insulting each other. I even fear that you may be proud and acting like a mob. I am afraid God will make me ashamed when I visit you again. I will feel like crying because many of you have never given up your old sins. You are still doing things that are immoral, indecent, and shameful.                             2 Corinthians 12:20-21 (CEV)

Uh, oh. Sins aren’t big or little, black or white. Anger, selfishness, jealousy, pride, and gossip?  Sin is sin and it separates me from God until I repent.

Repentance has two sides that are equally important in my life.  On the one hand, repentance is about acknowledging my sin.  Taking God’s commands and hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice that convicts me and bowing in submission saying, “Lord, forgive me.  I have sinned against You.”  Repentance is also about forgiveness.  God is holy.  He and sin do not mix.  But God is also a good Father.  He does not withhold His forgiveness from a repenting child.  It is not the number of the words I say but the condition of my heart that moves His hand in forgiveness.  Jesus has already paid for the ‘weight’ of my sins.  All that is required of me is the honest cry of my heart.

Remember what Peter says to the crowd: “Repent! Turn to God. Your sins will be wiped away like they never existed and – there is more! – God will send you refreshing!”  And there is the ‘bonus’.  When I come to the Lord, every day (yes, that is right, every day!), and bow before the Lord, talking and listening to Him, repentance is the good part of it.  It is through God’s forgiveness and my acceptance of His forgiveness that my spirit is refreshed with the healing power of His Spirit.  Our Lord is good.  He freely gives all that I need for a healthy, growing spiritual life.

Shhhhh. Quiet. I am letting the Holy Spirit bring my sin to Light, offering the opportunity to turn, be forgiven, and receive His refreshing. What a great way to start the day!

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