Yesterday, we talked about how God convicts us of doing wrong. So not only does He wave His red, caution flag, He also gives us a chance to turn around. In the Bible, this is called repentance. In Greek, the word for repentance is "metanoia" and it means to change direction or change of mind. It's not just realizing, "Man, I messed up", it's "Man, I messed up. I'm not doing that again. I'm gonna start over. I'm done with that."
The Bible talks about repentance many, many times. Repentance is one of the most important themes in the Bible. We already know that we are sinful creatures, but as Christ followers, we should always strive to live holy lives, set apart from sin. Of course, we are gonna mess up, but that's where the beauty of it comes in. God gives us a chance, a do over, a restart. Instead of saying "Oops, my bad, well I guess I'll keep doing it", we should run to God saying, "I did it again, Lord. I'm sorry! I want to start over. I don't want to go back to that. Help me. I need you. " This isn't a one time deal either, because we are sinful we have to continually repent and turn around back to God. Thankfully, God doesn't turn His back on us and say, "Sorry, you messed up. I can't do anything for you." He says, "I'm so glad you realized that you were headed toward trouble and obeyed by coming to me. Take my hand and I'll lead you."
So whenever we mess up, He's NOT condemning us. He wants to redeem us.
I think one of the many lies that the world tells us about religion is that Christianity is all about rules and if you mess up, you'll be condemned, but that's not the case with Christ. He convicts us of doing wrong, but then He offers repentance. Once again, just like He doesn't have to convict us, He doesn't have to offer us repentance, because we certainly don't deserve it. In fact, He doesn't just offer us repentance, He pleads for us to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 (NASB) says, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." He wants us to come running back to Him, because if we don't, we will only get farther and father away from Him. He wants us to be near to Him. He wants to help us. He doesn't want us to get in trouble. He loves us.
He wants us to repent.
In Him we find repentance.
Do you need to repent today?
Today's scripture for read-your-Bible-in-a-year plan is John 7-8.
Have a great Monday!