Tuesday, October 13

The joy of repentance

Scripture: Nehemiah 11-12, Psalm 1, Acts 3

Acts 3:15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!

Acts 3:19–20 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.

Acts 3:26 When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.”

Observation

After healing the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, Peter seizes the opportunity and proclaims the gospel to the amazed crowd.  

V. 15 is the story in a nutshell: 

      • You killed the author of life, Jesus.
      • God raised Him from the dead.
      • We are witnesses of this.

Death, resurrection, appearance/witness.  See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.  This is the gospel, what is “of first importance.” 

And what should they do in response to this message?  Very similar to yesterday’s reading (Acts 2:38-39): repent and be refreshed!  

To repent was to change your mind and direction, to turn—specifically, to turn away from your sin and turn toward God.  You can’t become a Christian without repenting.  You can’t keep going your own way and follow Jesus.  You must repent!

And you can’t live like a Christian without a lifestyle of repentance.  Just like steering a car requires constant adjustments, following Jesus requires the same.  Whenever I’m aware that I’m off, I adjust back to Jesus.  I turn from my sin and selfishness back towards Him.  

The good news is that when I turn toward God, “times of refreshment” come from the Lord.  The Greek word for “refreshment” meant “relief from obligation or trouble, rest, relief, relaxation, breathing space.”  I love that!  Repentance produces rest, relief, breathing space!  This is the joy of repentance!  Repentance isn’t a negative, but a positive.  It’s change for good! 

Application

Today, I will ask the Lord to correct me when I’m off, and happily steer back towards Him, and enjoy the refreshment that comes from following Jesus. 

Prayer: Lord, please show me anywhere in my life where I’m steering off course, and I’ll steer back to You.  Renew and refresh me!