The Gift of Repentance
. . . Return to the Lord your God,
for He is gracious and compassionate.
We do not often think about repentance as being a gift from God. Nevertheless, repentance, like faith, is a gift from God. In the Old Testament book of Joel, God called His people to true repentance for their sins as He welcomed them to return to Him wholeheartedly (Joel 2:12). God did not seek outward acts of remorse, but rather that they would soften their hard attitudes: “Rend your heart and not your garments.” Joel reminded the Israelites that God is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (v 13).
We might find confessing our sins difficult, for in our pride we do not want to admit our sins. Perhaps we have fudged the truth, and we justify our actions by saying it was only “a little white lie.” But when we heed God’s gentle yet firm prompting to repent, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all our sins (1 John 1:9). We can be free of guilt and shame, knowing we are forgiven.
Lord Jesus Christ, You died on the cross, so I would be able to live in harmony with You and the Father. May I accept Your gift of love as I speak truthfully. Amen.