Journey with Jesus – Repent

Have you ever said to your child, “Now tell them you are sorry”? Have you ever wondered how a friend could go without apologizing to you when they have wronged you? God expects the same from us. We may live under the grace of God that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ, but God still expects us to say we’re sorry when we disobey Him.

The command to repent can be found at least 60 times in the Old Testament and more than 15 times in the New Testament. 

In the Old Testament, David and Solomon wrote about repentance. It is clear from the first verse of Psalm 51 that David understood forgiveness is an unmerited act of mercy on us because of God’s unfailing love for us. David continues to say that when he did not confess his sins, he was burdened by them. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon said, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Proverbs 28:13).”

In the New Testament repent was Jesus’ first command. At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, before he called his disciples, before he did any of his miracles, and before he preached any message, Matthew’s gospel records that Jesus preached, “… Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near (Matthew 4:17).” 

We all have a propensity to sin. The Bible says we have a sin nature. Because our sin is always before us (Psalm 51:3), there is a good chance you have unrepentant sin. David said when he had unrepentant sin, he lost the joy that he was meant to experience from being saved by Jesus (Psalm 51:12).”

Do you feel a distance between yourself and God? If so, you may be living with one or more sins that you have never taken to God with a repentant heart. God wants to restore the joy to you that is your birthright as a Christian. Do as David did. Ask God to reveal sin in your life. None of us knows our own heart as well as God does. Begin by praying something like David did asking God to reveal your sin to you. David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24).”

David prayed asking God to cleanse him of his sins and to change his heart’s desires which is the root of all sins. End your time of confession with a prayer similar to David’s prayer in Psalms 51 or 32. Then, rejoice that Jesus made it possible for you to be spotless in the sight of God.

The second beatitude says you are blessed when you mourn over your sins (Matthew 5:4). If you want to be blessed, take your sins to the Father. Repent and let them be washed completely clean by the blood of Jesus.

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

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