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Monday, November 24, 2014

The Most Precious Gift of Repentance

If you have made a mistake (which, God forbid!) … King David made one, in fact two--adultery and the sin of murder to cover it up; he feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin and heaven was closed to him forever, because he cried out in near despair, "Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11).
But if you have indeed made a mistake, your heavenly Father does not cast you off as worthless or hopeless. He is deeply wounded and sorry, but He redeems and re-builds broken, ruined souls.
How does He do it? He gives the most precious gift of repentance.
No one can repent on his own; you have to open your guilty heart to receive it from Him: "Him [Jesus of Nazareth] hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).
The realization of God's forgiveness: it's the most exhilarating experience we humans can know. It's the nearest to the overwhelming joy that Jesus must have known when after His resurrection He declared in triumph, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore!" And then that earth-and-heaven-shaking, "AMEN!" (Rev. 1:18).
You just want to shout for all the universe to hear you, "Behold! I am forgiven!" You've been carrying a burden that weighed a ton; now at last you are free. Such forgiveness is God's gift. It's not the empty, supercilious "pardon" that means nothing; it's a freeing from the burden of sin, the gift of a new hatred of sin, and the gift of a new love for righteousness.
You are born again. No more arrogance; you are like King Ahab, the murder-guilty king, when he was finally converted, we read that forever after he "walked softly" (1 Kings 21:27); he took a humble place from then on, and so will you. There will be no arrogant people strutting around in God's New Jerusalem.
No one can honor the Lord Jesus Christ and at the same time be proud of himself or herself.
--Robert J. Wieland

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