In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
I was thinking this morning about the power of repentance. Without repentance, my heart is dull and unreceptive to Jesus. Repentance has become a ’turn-off’ for many because society associates it with the red-faced pastors who yell about it. The message God wants us to hear today is ~ repentance is our friend! So, thoughtfully and slowly, I take in these truths. God wants to bless me. He longs to love me and watch me blossom under the umbrella of His affection. He wants to share Himself with me and make my soul tremble with wonder.
What stands in the way for any of that to happen is unconfessed sin. Sin clouds His voice, distorts my thinking, and damages my chances of living in blessing. The most powerful thing I can do at the beginning of any day is pray ~ “Oh God, I don’t want to live distant from You today. Show me my sin. Let me stand at the foot of cross and receive Your forgiveness.”
What does any of this have to do with Christmas? I’m preparing for the coming of the Christ-child. How did John the Baptist prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry? By preaching repentance. “Repent – for the kingdom of God is at hand.” To appreciate the arrival of a Savior, there must be an awareness of lost-ness.
The one who sees Jesus as beautiful is the one who knows they need Him. A Savior is only embraced by those who know they need saving. Repentance produces that.
The tender, holy God who asks me to repent is the one who knows that when I do, He’s finally free to give me everything He planned from before my conception. I don’t want to become an old woman and have missed it. So, why would I ever want to be defensive and self-deceived? Pathetic self-defenses are my enemy.
God, bring this message home. Prepare my heart for the manger scene! In Jesus name, Amen