Grace + Forgivness

What is repentance?

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Acts 3:19-20

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:7-11

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

It is turning our hearts and minds away from sin and towards God who can forgive us and make us new.

Most of us have heard of the idea of repentance, but what does it actually mean? What did Jesus mean when he talked about it?

Jesus’ native language was a form of Hebrew called Aramaic, and in Aramaic the word for repent is shuv, which means turn around and come home. So, for example, when Jesus walked around ancient Palestine and repeatedly told people to repent (and the gospels tell us that Jesus often did this), he was essentially telling people to turn around and come home. Or, in other words, he was saying, “Stop walking away from God and walk toward him instead!”

So, repentance is a good word, a word full of potential for healing and hope. It carries with it the promise that there is still such a place as home, a place where we can be loved, where we can be honest, and where we can be cared for. And it carries with it the promise that the Father is  at home, and he’s full of love and forgiveness.

Of course, the hard part of repentance can be turning away from sin. On the surface, sin can seem so good, so attractive. But maybe you’ve experienced the devastation it brings. It’s so much better to go home, to turn around and walk to God. That’s where life, joy and restoration are!

Whatever is going on in your life, remember that God is  home. He’s one prayer away, and everything that you have been searching for and longing for is found in him. He loves you.

Spend some time in prayer confessing your sins to God and reminding yourself that he deeply loves you.

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