Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Repent, Remove, Refresh


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I have heard it said that nobody wants to hear about repentance.  I even seemed believe that a bit myself.  This morning I am not to sure that is true.  Perhaps it is not the word so much as the way that the word is handled.  Repentance is a beautiful, marvelous, and glorious thing.  Lets consider some verses

Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.
Acts 3:19-20 (HCSB)

"So that you sins may be wiped out."   If there was a reason that people do not like to hear about repentance it is probably because it goes hand in hand with the other word "sin."  Again I think this is in part due to the way the word "sin" is handling.  The word sin seems to have been relegated to the most gross offences and immorality.  But the word is really simply missing the mark.  Remember that harsh word you spoke toward your spouse?  Sin.  Remember that coworker you gossiped about with your friends?  Sin.  Remember that time you got away with it by letting the other person believe something that was not true?  Sin.  Recall the time when you questioned everything including God?  Sin.  Remember the time that it was on your heart to do some nice act of kindness and you simply ignored it or forgot?  Sin.  I could go on, but I think you get the point.  Simply put sin is any time that we fail to meet the standard.  You simply do not measure up.  Something is missing.  What is interesting about the concept of sin is that I do not even have to include God in the discussion to create an awareness of sin.  Each of us is keenly aware of our own shortcomings long before we reach the place of turning to God. 

Note it is that you sins may be wiped out!  Not overcome, not worked through, not coped with, not reframed, not embraced, but wiped out.  Think of it wiped out.  Think of other things that could be wiped out.  Usually it is a horrible thing to have something wiped out.  For example a hard drive that is wiped out means that the data is irretrievable (gone).  If your house is wiped out, then it is destroyed and cannot be repaired.  Now jump back to sin.  What if your every mistake, short coming, slip up, doubt, could be wiped out.  It seems to me that would be a very good thing.  Some people are prone to say I wish I could go back and redo that.  I have something even better, "wiped out." 

As if that was not good enough then we add to this seasons of refreshing.  It is a strange thing that a person would trade the putrid waste water of sin to indulge some momentary gratification of the flesh over the refreshing that comes from the Lord.  Yet we have all been there.  I do not know what sin you have indulged.  Nor do I have the taste of the pleasures these sins may have brought.  I do know that all this world has to offer cannot compare to the overwhelming glory and refreshing that God has in store for us.  Indulgence or refreshing that is the choice that is set before us.  That is the route that we choose.  I for one am tired of indulgence are you ready for refreshing? 

When we turn Jesus is there waiting for us.  His very presence in our lives is what we are choosing when we turn.  He has been appointed our Messiah.  A deliverer in whom we can trust.  This is no fantasy flight.  It is no trick of the imagination or some chimera of the mind.  This is the very spiritual food that keeps you out of hell!  I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of others whom God has given me the grace to fellowship with.  God has a deliverance, that deliverance is a person, that person is the very Son of God, the Son of God is Jesus Christ.   

I think this through and I cannot but wonder why I or anyone else would not choose the fruits of repentance over the fruits of sin.  Sin give us heart ache, broken relationships, fear, anxiety, food that tastes good for a moment but turn our guts to wretch, and leaves us with no hope and no deliverance.  Repentance on the other hand gives us a clean slate, a new start, no condemnation, freedom, refreshing of the the Lord, and a savior that will carry us into the way everlasting, and fill us with love and hope.  To me the choice is obvious.  Will you Join me?

God Bless You

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