Walk out of your jail cell

Mark 1:15
“The kingdom of God is near. Repent…” (NIV)

Today’s Thought
2016 is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe. It felt like just yesterday I was swimming in Lake Muskoka. But today there’s two feet of snow outside my window!

(For those of you who don’t know me I live in Canada. And no, I don’t live in an igloo or travel to the grocery store with a team of husky dogs. Although, admittedly, that would be awesome.)

The end of one year and the start of a new one always makes me pensive. There’s just something about counting down the last weeks of December that makes me want to look back on my life and take stock.

So today I’d like you to think about something that is good for you but not very fun to do. Think of it like Buckley’s cough syrup. Their motto is “It’s tastes awful, and it works.” In the same way, what I’m about to say is not the most pleasant experience, but it works. Here it is:

Look back at 2016 and repent for what you did that displeased God.

Most people don’t know this, but there’s a connection between monastery cells and jail cells. Monastery cells (small rooms) were meant to be places of reflection and repentance—of examining one’s life, honestly admitting fault before God, seeking forgiveness, and committing to a fresh start with God’s help.

That was originally why they named the little rooms “cells” in prisons. The hope was that they would be places of reflection and repentance—of examining one’s life, honestly admitting fault before God, seeking forgiveness, and committing to a fresh start with God’s help… just like a monastery cell.

So find a place in your home to do the same thing. And be honest.

In 2016…

  • When were your words and actions inconsistent with your beliefs?
  • When and how did you neglect God and his commands?
  • When did you work against someone in an unhelpful way because your default behaviour mode was set to Selfish?
  • When did you follow the crowd instead of following Jesus?

Look back at 2016 and repent for what you did that displeased God.

It’s not to give you bad feelings, but bold freedom.

Honesty and the renewing mercy of God can be the wind at your back in a soaring 2017.

By Matthew Ruttan

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