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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Keys to Powerful Living: Repentance

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How a Change of Mind Can Change Your Life

If you have ever changed your mind about anything, then you understand the basis of one of the most important spiritual principles in the Bible: repentance.

What is Repentance?

Repentance implies a change in direction, a 180-degree course correction in our relation with God. It begins with a decision to turn from sin and surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. And it's vitally necessary for anyone desiring to draw near to the Lord and walk with Him every day.

That's because every person is born with a sinful nature that finds expression in sinful actions. This sin creates a chasm between God and man that cannot be bridged by our human efforts (Romans 3:23, 6:23)

Our sin, however, is not the end of the story. In fact, God works through everything that happens in our lives, including our sin, to draw us to Jesus (John 6:44, 45; 14:6; Romans 8:28, 29).

No matter what you have done, God has made a way home -- through his Son, Jesus Christ. His death on the cross and triumphant resurrection secures for you all the blessings of God, including forgiveness. All you have to do is repent and turn your life over to Jesus (Acts 3:19)

This is what the Bible calls being "born again" of the Spirit of God (John 3:3,5). We enter into the born-again experience by repenting of our sin, yielding our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusting in faith that He will forgive and cleanse us from all sin (Romans 3:23; 10:13; 1John 1:8,9; John 1:12).

A Daily Walk

Repentance is also the key to growing daily in your relationship with Christ. That's because the Christian life is a journey -- we are not perfected in an instant. For the rest of your life, you will contend with the sinful and selfish tendencies of your flesh. The only way to overcome this ongoing struggle with sin is through repentance.

Some attitudes and actions are obviously sinful. The Bible calls these the "works of the flesh" and they include: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissension's, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, etc. Such works of the flesh, if not repented of, results in spiritual death (Gal. 5:19-21; James 1:15).

In fact, anything that is not a faith-filled response to our circumstances and relationships is sin (Romans 14:23; 1 John 5:17, James 4:17). Anxiety, worry, fear, bitterness, depression, pride, resentment and anger all have their roots in sin. Also, anything that takes the place of trusting in the Lord -- such as fortune-telling, psychics, horoscopes, numerology, astrology, -- needs to be repented of.

Finding Faith to Repent

If you have been struggling with a besetting sin, repentance may seem like a difficult thing. But consider that the Bible says "the kindness of God leads you to repentance" (Romans 2:4). Another verse lets us know that God is patiently waiting for us to repent (2 Peter 3::9).

Your heavenly Father is not looking for ways to punish you. Yes, God is just, but He is also a loving Father searching for the lost coin or the one lost sheep -- willing to leave 99 in the safe pasture to find the one that has gone astray.

One of the most powerful portraits of God's love can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son. After the son changed his mind and headed home, the Bible says, "while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). This is God's heart toward you when you come to Him in repentance.

As You Pray

God is patiently waiting with open arms, for His sons and daughters to come home. All it takes is humility on our part and faith to believe that a loving Father will hear our honest pleas and cleanse us of our sin.

Take a moment right now to repent -- to change your mind and turn from whatever is separating you from God and those around you. "Father, I believe You love me. Your Word says that it is your patience and kindness that leads me to repentance. So I come to You humbly, and confess my sin. I thank You that You forgive me by the blood of Jesus, and ask for a fresh cleansing of my body, soul and spirit. Teach me how to walk honestly before You in repentance every day. In Jesus name. Amen."

We must trust Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and determine to obey Him for the rest of our lives. That way we can know God and find peace again.

The Bible says:So you will be saved, if you honestly say, Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with all your heart that God raised Him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this. (Romans 10:9-10)

Is there any good reason why you cannot turn your life over to Jesus Christ right now?

Scriptures For Study

Romans 3:23
Who has sinned?

Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30, 31
Who needs to repent?

2 Peter 3:9
Repentance and God's patience

1 John 1:8-10
God's promise if we repent

Luke 15:7
How repentance brings joy

Psalm 51
David's example of true repentance

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