Repentance - More questions than answers
When I commit sin, either by accident or in my own willfulness—I weighed the possibilities and made the decision—what do I do?
1 John 4:9 promises that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive.
Confess: To truthfully confess, I must agree with God that the action or wrong-doing is sin. If I knowingly committed the sin, do I really believe the Bible?
What is the difference between casually admitting a misstep and true repentance?
- The dictionary:
- deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
- regret for any past action
In the book of James, the church elder tells his readers to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts—draw close to God and He is faithful to draw close to them. (James 4:8) John goes on to describe true repentance.
“ Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:9 KJV
Afflicted –To afflict is to cause pain or suffering, mental or bodily pain. The English Standard Version of the Bible says to be wretched. (meaning miserable or pitiable)
To mourn – to feel sorrow or grief, as in grieving or lamenting the dead—and weep – to express grief by shedding tears.
Truthfully, I know that until I reach Heaven, I will sin. We all know this is a fallen world and temptations often come in unguarded moments. But how often do I mourn and grieve the sin? Have I shed tears for my willfulness? How often do I stop in the midst of the daily grind to take time to talk to God about it?
Some common excuses for sin:
- It’s one of those little sins that doesn’t hurt anyone.
- It’s my life, my choice.
- The world is changing. Everyone is doing it—it’s no big deal.
- Oops. I’ll try not to do it again.
Will I be satisfied to know that Christ’s blood has saved me from eternal spiritual death? Does my salvation mean subsequent sin is unimportant? Am I satisfied being at the back of the crowd or will I do everything in my power to draw close to God?
How do I draw close to God?
- Study God’s word. Ask myself, “How will the passage cause me to change?”
- Recognize and agree with God that sin is sin. If I don’t agree, ask God to help me.
- We are blessed to have a God who gives wisdom when we ask.
- Remember He is merciful, loving, and forgiving.
I’ll ask my Lord and Savior to give me sorrow when I’ve drifted away from His heart and mind– far enough that my own desire seems more important than His—symptoms of a hardened heart.
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Forgiveness , Precious in His Sight
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