“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 KJV).
Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.
There are many who fail to understand the true nature of repentance. Multitudes sorrow that they have sinned and even make an outward reformation because they fear that their wrongdoing will bring suffering upon themselves. But this is not repentance in the Bible sense. They lament the suffering rather than the sin. Such was the grief of Esau when he saw that the birthright was lost to him forever. Balaam, terrified by the angel standing in his pathway with drawn sword, acknowledged his guilt lest he should lose his life; but there was no genuine repentance for sin, no conversion of purpose, no abhorrence of evil. Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, exclaimed, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” Matthew 27:4.
The confession was forced from his guilty soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. The consequences that were to result to him filled him with terror, but there was no deep, heartbreaking grief in his soul, that he had betrayed the spotless Son of God and denied the Holy One of Israel. Pharaoh, when suffering under the judgments of God, acknowledged his sin in order to escape further punishment, but returned to his defiance of Heaven as soon as the plagues were stayed. These all lamented the results of sin, but did not sorrow for the sin itself.
But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. The “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” illumines the secret chambers of the soul, and the hidden things of darkness are made manifest. John 1:9. Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sees the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the plan of salvation, which reveals Your amazing love for me. Please bless me to truly repent, hate sin, love You, and be saved in Your kingdom. This I humbly pray in the name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.
NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed Feb 2023. Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who will receive them and to her family in honor of their mom.
It is a prayerful process that may lead me to share from my personal study a Bible verse or passage and suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song.
Lately, I have begun featuring consecutive chapter portions of a select Bible-based book.
If you agree to continue receiving them, then this is my personal gift to you and in this way, I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss.
These are posted at baiom.org and shared on FaceBook and LinkedIn. I also text to my family, other loved ones, and contacts that add up to more than 120.
My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift, so that we all may be encouraged to be found faithful in the sight of a Holy God, whenever Christ returns or our eyes are shut in the sleep of death.
So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.
Also Note! If at any time you prefer to stop receiving these as texts, then simply reply “Stop.”