Repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19
Do you ever feel weary and worn? And you just need to feel rejuvenated and alive? I think we all do. No matter how much faith we have, we can sometimes just get worn down by life.
Isn’t this the most wonderful thought that our Lord could empty our hearts and souls of all the heaviness we carry around and clear our minds and refresh our spirits! It is something we all definitely need and something we would be most grateful for!
In today’s world, the word “sin” is rarely ever spoken or heard! It is not a popular subject, and if it is, it is used by someone who is thought to be much too judgmental or intolerant. We tend to think in today’s world that anything we do is fine as long as it makes us happy, doesn’t hurt anyone else, or doesn’t cause any problems. We would probably prefer to use “evil” or “wickedness” to describe those undesirable traits we find in someone.
But shouldn’t we – from time to time – take inventory of our hearts, behaviors, thoughts, shortcomings, and even our wrongdoing? Wouldn’t it be a good thing for us to do and think about?
The answer is a resounding “Yes”, for God expects us to search our hearts, our motives, and our actions, and see if they align with His Word and His truths. We all need to do so for it is only through inner reflection and inspection that we can truly see ourselves for who we are. And as much as we don’t want to admit it, we all fall so short of God’s expectations for our lives.
A good place to start might be the “fruit of the spirit” found in Galatians 5:22. Do we find in ourselves, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Are we honest, free of envy and jealousy, do we love our neighbor, and first and foremost, do we love God? Do we have any modern day idols that keep us separated from Him, and do we try to be free from wrongdoing? Sometimes it is necessary and beneficial to just stop and take an inventory of our hearts and minds.
This verse from Acts, written by Paul, says God commands that we repent and THEN turn to Him. Repent means more than just examining ourselves and saying,” I’m really sorry I did those things and then asking God for forgiveness”. Repent means to make a change, a commitment to be different, to be transformed into a more Christ-like image.
The beauty of our Savior is that repentance and change are not necessary for our salvation and gift of eternal life. For God freely and graciously gives us His grace by the blood of Christ. He has already taken on our punishment at the cross. In return and because He loves us, hopefully we love Christ enough to want to be better, to want to be more like Him, and to seek His acceptance and approval. And if we do repent – recognize our “sins”, ask for forgiveness, and begin anew, we will receive a blessing of spiritual refreshment, peace of mind, and joy.
“Times of refreshing may come from the Lord”. As we bask in the beauty and newness of life in spring, can you think of anything better or sweeter than to think that Jesus Himself wants to make us refreshed and new again! Wouldn’t it be the best feeling to get rid of all those things that we have been carrying around that weigh down our hearts and souls? After we have done so, may we rest in Him and feel refreshed and new!
Dear Lord, help us to search our hearts and find the flaws and “sins” within. We know we have your assurance that when we do, you will be waiting with forgiveness and love. Help us to become transformed by your love and grace and receive your “refreshing” spirit. Amen