Repentance. It’s an unpopular topic.
But it’s biblical. And therefore, it matters.
When John the Baptist bursts onto the scene in Matthew 3:2 (ESV) he says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2 ESV). Jesus says the EXACT same thing in Matthew 4:17.
Repentance is making a U-Turn. It’s being honest about and confessing to God the ways you’ve lived that don’t honour him; it’s also deciding to live differently as a result.
Let me tell you a story explain why it’s important.
Il Fuyan was a having unstoppable headaches. Nothing helped. But an x-ray revealed the problem.
Stuck in his head was a rusty 4-inch knife blade! Four years earlier he was attacked by a robber resulting in cuts on the right side of his jaw. Apparently the blade had broken off inside his head, but he didn’t know about it!
Unconfessed sins, and the habits we have that dishonour God, are like that rusty knife blade. And our souls are like Fuyan’s head.
If there was an x-ray of your soul, what would you find?
Here’s the thing: You have to clear out the sludge in your soul to make room for the Saviour of your soul.
Friends, it’s Advent. Jesus’ birth is coming. And, as the song goes, every heart needs to “prepare him room.” With that in mind, one way to (truly) prepare for his arrival—something that goes deeper than candy canes and overspending—is to repent. You’re right; we don’t use or talk about that word as much anymore—but it’s still 100% required and 100% powerful.
It’s about creating space inside of you so that God can enter in, do his work, and build you up as a beacon of his light and truth—from the inside out.
Be honest with God about the ways you’ve lived that don’t honour him. And choose to live differently as a result.
You have to clear out the sludge in your soul to make room for the Saviour of your soul.
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast called “Repentance for Dummies.” Listen in here!
- The story about Il Fuyan is told by Max Lucado in ‘Wild Grace.’