In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
Back in my youth when I first became a Christian, I didn’t really understand what confession and repentance meant. I thought it was necessary to beg God’s forgiveness for every sin. That left me worried I might forget to confess some error—and even wondering if I was truly saved, since I kept doing wrong. But as I grew up in my faith, I learned the steps a believer takes to deal with sin.
Confession is the act of taking responsibility for sin and agreeing with God that we’ve violated His will. We acknowledge that we have grieved His heart by trying to get our perceived needs met in our own way and timing. Setting the relationship right begins with admitting where we went wrong.
Repentance is the decision to turn away from our sin. We make an honest evaluation of our life and see that our wrong choices neither honor the Lord nor fit who we are as believers. Then we focus our mind on God and commit to doing His will.
Gratitude is our expression of thanks for divine mercy. Forgiveness isn’t earned; confession, repentance, and feelings of guilt can never “purchase” a clean slate. We receive divine pardon only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which allows us to have a relationship with God.
After confessing, repenting, and praising God, we move on. To wallow in remorse doesn’t suit Christians. The Father has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west, and the way we live should reflect our freedom (Psalm 103:12; Galatians 5:1).
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