The Awkward Reality
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Peter and John had gone to the temple to pray, and along the way Peter healed a lame man “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” This miracle naturally drew a crowd, and Peter took the opportunity to tell the Jesus-story and call the people to repentance and belief. Do you know how hard it is to tell religious people to repent? He’s standing on the Temple Mount, speaking to people who have gathered to pray. Their whole lives are defined by observing religious rules. But Peter looks at them and says, “If you don’t repent, if you don’t turn to God, you will miss His Kingdom.” The Jesus-story is an awkward story. It’s good news, because He’s made it possible for us to participate in the eternal Kingdom of Almighty God. But we have to grapple with the awkward reality that we’re not going to do this one on our own. We’ll never deserve it, and that message is uncomfortable in every generation. We need Jesus to participate.
Heavenly Father, I do not want to be a religious person. I want to be a Christ-follower, one following after Your will over my own. I repent of all my sins. Today I choose to specifically repent for ________. I ask for Your forgiveness, and I thank You that You do forgive me. May my life be a reflection of Your great power. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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