A Repentant Heart

On Good Friday the Christian world celebrates the good news of not having to bear the penalty of our own sinfulness toward God.  Thankfully, we did not get what we deserved for our rebellion against God.  Christ paid the price for our sin and became sin for us, so we could be restored to relational union with Him.

Amazingly, because of Easter, when we spit in God’s face and do our own thing, we can quickly confess our wrong…turn from our sinful ways (repent)…and He draws us back in tight once again.

Sarah Young in Jesus Today says:

“Confess your sins to Me.  Don’t be afraid to face yourself honestly….don’t try to run away or shift blame.   Instead, agree with me (Jesus) about these matters and leave them with me.  Rejoice because I have already paid the penalty (for them) – and taken the whole punishment for all your sins.”

For me the key phrase here is “leave them with me“.

Yet, we find this hard to believe.  Leave the nasty junk I did a few minutes ago or yesterday with Him?  With God?  Then rejoice?

Not me.

For some reason, we feel we have to hoard all our sin and shame….keep it close-by, like an old friend.

I used to kick myself silly over all my sins and mis-deeds.  I’d walk around like Pig-pen in Charlie Brown with a cloud of shame and guilt around my neck all day(s) long.  I think subconsiously I may have believed that this was supposed to be part of my penalty – feeling bad all the time.  As though this were my lot in life.  Dread, misery, shame, remorse, head hung low….

Do you ever feel down, sad, upset, guilty about all your sin and sinfulness?

Ok.  Me too.

But once we come to God with a repentant and humble heart, we simply must choose to accept what He says about us and move on in joy.

Really?  Is it that simple?

He says He’s already paid the penalty for our waywardness.  So when we decide to act overly-pentitent and overly self-condemning about our sin, we are actually taking on the role of savior and Christ on Cross with Woman at His feet - Innercomm.netburden-bearer.  It’s as though we feel we need to do something to “pay God back” for His free grace-gift.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free? Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8: 31-36

Holding onto our sin and remorsefulness is not our job.  Our job is to draw near to Him (James 4:8), to delight in Him…to move on in His grace, His joy, His life.

Holding onto our shame and guilt keeps a shroud of gloom over us – imprisoned by the desires of the evil one.  It’s not right and it’s time to stop.

Will you joni me today to turn to Him, receive His FREE gift and just say thank you with a joyful heart toward a giving God?

I want that.  Do you?

Prayer

Oh Lord, help me to fully receive Your free gift of unconditional grace.  God release me from the lie that I have to wear remorse and shame around my neck after I’ve repented to You.  I don’t want to deny what You did on the cross.  I desire a repentant heart…but I then want to fully embrace Your free grace, Your love, Your joy.  Help me not to take back my sin and try to work to redeem myself.  Thank you for Your work on the cross.  Thank you for new life, for resurrection life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

~~~~~

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  – Luke 24: 45-47 (NIV)

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