Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV) 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
I fear we have become a generation of people who somehow believes that to “repent” means we simply say we are sorry and hope that we will do better. The result is doing something we shouldn’t today, apologizing to God (and possibly others) and repeating the same thing tomorrow.
That is not true repentance. It is impossible to master anything without true repentance!
To repent is to turn your back on something. It means you take it seriously. It means you choose to do life differently. It means you don’t continue to buy into your own excuses. It means taking steps to find support in your walk with God…even accountability.
Whether we belong to God or not, our actions multiply and so do the penalties or rewards. But with God, our purposes are greater…more rewarding…lasting.
Is it real to you that you are living in eternity now? Remember, our eternity doesn’t start the day we die. In Psalm 139, God tells us that our eternity started before the day we were even conceived. Then…our eternity changes the day we are born again. Interesting how society has made “born again” sound foolish…even cultish, when it actually represents a fresh start.
Who of us hasn’t wanted a second chance…a redo? But predictably, the enemy of our soul distorts that truth…makes being “born again” seem foolish…even laughable. The enemy (with generations of our cooperation) continually distorts the meaning of powerful words.
Repentance is a powerful word. It isn’t simply a way to salve our conscience or give us temporary relief and approval from God or those around us.
When we think of repentance, it should encompass our view of a mighty and loving God. It is our heart recognizing who we are in the light of His amazing purity and His loving mercy and grace. Repentance is an integral part of being born again and gaining a powerful new start. It means tenaciously turning away and turning toward.
Repentance is reconfiguring, recalculating…changing our direction and then with His strength and love…choosing to do whatever it takes to stay on the path.
John 3:7 (NIV) 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:16-19 (NIV) 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.