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What is Repentance?

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

What is repentance?

The definition of repentance means – the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse; to turn away from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to change one’s mind.

Repentance is not only to express regret for moral shortcomings, but to choose to turn away from repeating that offense again.

I remember when I first heard the word ‘repent’. It was a churchy word to me. One that theologians, pastors, preachers, and religious clergy members would speak about when presenting the bible to their congregation.

I had heard this word often, and yet I did not feel any real connection to it or understanding of why I would need to conjure up feelings of guilt and shame.

It wasn’t until I had an experience with Jesus for myself.

Jesus is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. When I welcomed Him into my life as my Savior and Lord, His light then permeated and seared my darkened conscious.

I had become dull, room temperature, desensitized and passive. I didn’t think much of my little white lies, gossiping with the girls, and getting drunk on the weekends. I didn’t think twice about the slew of curse words I was unleashing into the direction of others, and surely didn’t consider that I could possible reap the consequences of what I was sowing.

But, the light shown on those areas. It revealed that life and death were in the power of the tongue and I was destined to eat the fruit of it.

It showed me that there was a God who was truth, justice, righteous, holy, and loving…. And there was a demonic force that was the father of all liars, the creator of chaos and destruction, the dealer of division who plotted for families, friends, marriages and communities to be completely destroyed.

When the light came into my life and showed me that the course of my life was leading towards a slow path of death – moral and spiritual death – it stirred within me those feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and hopelessness for my position.

But, it pointed me to the solution. It pointed me to the cross of Jesus Christ who had been pierced for my transgressions and killed for all of my iniquities. He knew the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end. He knew me while I was steeped deep in my stench of sin and decided that He would pay the price I deserved of death, in my place. He offered me forgiveness before I understood that I was in need of it.

His death and resurrection was the promise for me. A promise that yes though I was walking about carrying, speaking, and perpetuating death every single day, I had the ability to repent. To change my mind. To ask Him to provide me with the same Spirit that was in Him to come in and abide in Him.

The Holy Spirit carries within His DNA counsel and might, revelation and insight, wisdom and understanding, and the fear of the Lord.

Why do we need to repent?

We repent because all of us have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s calling for purity, righteousness, holiness, and loving living. We have decided to cast beautiful and precious pearls before the swine of this world, instead of honoring Him with them. When we repent, we come into agreement with His original design and nature. We turn away from the wicked order and conformity to this world, and we yield ourselves to what is true, noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy and lovely.

Not by our own strength, but by believing and receiving the forgiveness and grace that has been made available to us through the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Over this next week, we will focus on repentance. We will take time each day look considers soberly that thoughts, words, and attitudes that have been shaping our lives. We will invite the Holy Spirit in to ‘put His thumb’ on the areas that we specifically need to repent of. And, even if we are uncomfortable for a short while, we will yield to those promptings, surrender them in prayer, and ask the Lord to come in those areas and strengthen us for victory to overcome them.

We will not be discouraged, but encouraged, because we understand that we serve a loving Father, whom only disciplines and corrects those whom He loves.

Prepare Your Heart:

1. Have your pen and journal ready. Begin by thanking God for the option to repent from sin, guilt, and shame.

2. Ask God to reveal to you all throughout the day things that require repentance and a change of mind, speech, and direction about.

3. Before bed, journal any thoughts and feelings you have about the way. Cast your cares and worries onto God and lay down anything that the day has brought about. Tomorrow is a new day. Remember His grace and mercy is new every single morning.

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