A Lifestyle of Repentance

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Jesus completed the will of the Father by being obedient to death on the cross. Then God the Father raised Him from the dead. All this was accomplished so that all people have an opportunity to be reconciled to the Father through Christ.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (John 14:6 ESV)

Jesus is the only way to the Father.

In order to come to the Father through Jesus Christ, we must repent of our sins.

John the Baptist, the forerunner to Jesus, preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2 ESV)

After His baptism and the wilderness temptation, Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17 ESV)

Then after Jesus’ resurrection and before His ascension, Jesus instructed the disciples to go proclaim that all should repent for the forgiveness of sins. (See Luke 24:47)

To repent means to “change one’s mind; feel remorse, repent, be converted.” (BDAG)

When we repent, we change the course of our life. We stop saying, “Not Your will, but my will.” And our prayers begin to sound like Jesus’ prayer, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”

When we repent, we choose to forsake our selfish lifestyles and seek a godly one. John the Baptist described it like this, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever ” (John 14:15-16).

After Pentecost, the disciples received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:38-39.)

We have the same promise and power available to us today. God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit who teaches us how to live according to His will.

We experience true joy and freedom when we turn away (repent) from things that offend God and ask for forgiveness.

I found that the more I get to know the Father, the more I want to know Him. And I know Him more through a lifestyle of repentance.

When my son was sent to prison I fell into despair. It was not the life I dreamed or envisioned. Yet the Lord began showing me areas in my heart that were not like His.

For years, I worked as a paralegal, an investigative assistant to federal agents, and my husband was a federal agent for over 20 years. We worked and lived a lifestyle to put criminals behind bars. To have my own son sentenced to prison opened my eyes to an area that I must confess I never gave any thought to before. I never thought about the families of those I saw arrested and the pain they experienced.

The Lord led me to repent for my haughtiness. My heart began to grieve for those who broke the laws of the land and for their families. I began to feel God’s heart and how He has not forgotten those in prison.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them…” (Hebrews 13:3).

When my son went to prison, I felt like a part of me went with him. Before this happened, I skimmed over the prison passage. But now, it is real for me. I remember my son. And I remember others and their families too.

Keeping my heart in tune with God’s leads me to repentance. There’s plenty that I’ve done that is displeasing to God and I’ve learned to bring it before the Lord quickly when I stumble.

A lifestyle of repentance keeps us in close relationship with the Father. This relationship through repentance fills us with freedom and joy.

The promise of the Holy Spirit is available to each one of us who repents for our sins to be forgiven. The promise is for us, our children, and all who are far off.

Receive Him today. Let’s pray:

Lord, I come to You today and admit that I need You. I desire to repent and turn from my sins which are all the things that displease You. I believe that Jesus Christ Your Son, lived a life without sin, died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and that Your raised Him from the dead by Your mighty power and He is now seated at Your right hand. I desire to have a relationship with You and ask You to give me the gift of the Holy Spirit who is my Helper, my Teacher, and my Comforter. I ask You to empower me to live a life that is pleasing to You. In Jesus name, Amen.

For more inspiration for those whose lives have been impacted by incarceration, visit ShondaSavage.com.

© 2017 Shonda Savage

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