amy courts: en route

Repentance and Refreshment
August 23, 2009, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (Acts 3:19)

“Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” (Luke 5:31)

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (1 Corinthians 7:10)

There are things I do, sins I commit on a regular – some might say habitual – basis that burden me. I often find myself in a perpetual state of repentance.

For flipping the bird at unsuspecting fellow drivers who are committing some of my personal favorite road sins, but because it’s them doing it and not me, it’s bird-worthy.

For thinking ugly, mean thoughts about other people and their situations; thoughts born of jealousy and insecurity, and which have no basis in reality.

For being human, and often choosing to embrace my fallen humanity rather than to “excell still more” and “press on toward the lofty goal” of righteousness.

There are little things. There are big things.

There are things I do which I know hurt God, but which I deliberately do anyway.

There are things I wouldn’t even think to confess and repent of without God’s willingness to discipline me by bringing them out.

And sometimes, when He does, I have to repent for cussing Him out about it. Because I don’t want to know how sinful I am. I really don’t enjoy the humiliation. And I don’t want to believe – as true as I know it is – that He draws it out like poison from a wound to save me, not to harm or humiliate me.

Sometimes I fight Him, but He is perfectly consistent and faithful in His refusal to let me go. He will draw me to repentance because in the humility of brokenness, I will find comfort and mending in His limitless long-suffering and kindness.

Which is what He wants in the first place: for me to repent and find peace and rest, beside Him.

It really is that simple.

Repent, and be forgiven, so that refreshment may come. Repent so that forgiveness can be received. Repent so that freedom can be enjoyed to its fullest.

I’m grateful God deals in mercy. And that by His great mercy, I am able to enter His presence, fully aware of (and humbled by) my great unworthiness, and find a King willing to have me anyway.

I believe that’s what repentance is for: to keep us ever mindful of our great need and His infinite capacity to meet it.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)


1 Comment so far
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Amy, Great post!

This is one of the best explorations I have seen of the phenomenon referred to in Titus 2 – that the process of receving grace actually propels us away from sin, not toward it:

Titus 2:11-13

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

Comment by Bill Russell

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