“And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” Leviticus 26.39-42
Repentance is a biblical word that speaks of genuine change; be it a vertical change in my relationship with God, or a horizontal change in my relationship with my fellow man. The Reformation Heritage Bible lists 5 aspects of true repentance in our devotional verses today:
- Grieving over sin (v. 39)
- Confession of sin (v. 40)
- Humiliation for it (v. 41)
- Acceptance of God’s chastening (v. 41)
- Divine mercy (v. 42)
This wonderful description of true repentance tells us that repentance is not making excuses for my actions. Repentance is not blaming others for my actions. Repentance is “owning” my sin and taking responsibility for it.
The Christian life is a life of repentance before God, and with my fellow man. Repentance is the Spirit of God bringing my mind, my will, my affections, my actions and my thoughts in harmony with the will of God and into the image of Jesus Christ. No marriage, no church, no ministry can stand the test of time or bear any lasting fruit apart from repentance. Repent and believe is not simply the initial step in coming to Christ, it is the continual walk of the child of God.
Reader, do you know the reality of this repentance in your experience? Read the 5 steps above again slowly and prayerfully. Now look to the cross of Calvary and call out to Jesus for mercy. He is not willing that you perish, but that you come to repentance.