A CALL TO REPENTANCE

Scripture Reading:  Acts 3:17-20

“Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.” (Acts 3:19,20)

These verses describe the results of true repentance in a person’s life.  Repentance always leads to a changed life.  In fact, repentance by definition means a change in direction, a change in thinking.  Thus Peter said, “Repent, and turn again.”  He was saying in effect:  stop running from God and instead turn again to Him.  When we repent, we have a change of heart, a change of mind and a change in direction.

When true repentance occurs, our sins are blotted out on the basis of Christ’s work on our behalf.  David experienced the blessing of forgiveness.  He wrote these words:  “I acknowledge my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).

When we repent, we find a deep sense of refreshment:  “That times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”  When we experience the forgiveness that God grants to us, we become spiritually refreshed.  David wrote about this:  “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1,2).  How refreshing it is to know that our sins are gone forever; they are blotted out!  We then can have a fresh encounter with the living God.  The joy of His salvation is restored to us and we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in His fullness.

David prayed for the refreshment of the Lord’s presence after his fall into sin.  Perhaps his prayer should be ours:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12)

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