James and Edna

Fifteen or so years ago, as my wife and I were working at keeping our marriage together, I’d developed a bad attitude toward her. The spirit of un-forgiveness had me so immersed in its sin that I felt physically sick. I didn’t like that feeling, at all. The wage of sin is death and I was dying inside.

I needed to repent so I could once again feel good. The Bible speaks considerably on the consequences of sin; suffering, strife, shame, guilt, and even death [1]. Because of those consequences, I repented to the Lord. Strangely, I felt nothing from the Lord’s Spirit. What was I missing? Where did I go wrong? Everything that God was to me, I now felt was gone – assurance, encouragement, approval, love, I couldn’t feel any of it. It was an ugly feeling.

v19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
v20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. [Acts 3:19 NLT]

Too many of us, including me, repent because of the consequences of our sin. How will sin affect me? The operative word was me, or self. It’s like when we were kids, spanking, grounding, and privileges confiscated by our parents, was a good deterrent for not doing wrong.

Like Acts 3:20 says, a time of refreshment comes from the presence of the Lord. It is my belief that repenting because of consequences is the wrong reason for repentance. God will forgive us nonetheless [2], but I believe that He is saddened when we repent for the wrong reason. When repenting, our focus should be returning to the grace, mercy, love, and His presence. His presence should be the driving force behind our true repentance.

Now, after our repentance, just like in the Garden of Eden, we can, walk and talk to Him, and once again, receive His glorious presence [3]. However, like Adam and Eve we need to be careful of the snakes that we let entertain us [4].

Thank you, Lord, for your redemptive mission and plan. Thank you for your healing and glorious presence. Your presence is where everything happens Lord; grace, mercy, salvation, health, prosperity, fellowship, answered prayer, and so much more. I long to experience your daily presence. It is my life’s Blood. I would be lost without your presence. In your precious name, Amen.

His presence is the central goal of God’s redemptive mission.

The next three weeks, we’ll look at forgiveness, horizontal and vertical. What about the repentance to my spouse?
[1] 1 Peter 4:15; Proverbs 20:3; 1 Corinthians 15:34; Psalms 69:5; Romans 6:23; and more. Hosea 5:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:20; 1 John 1:4; Psalms 51:12; Psalms 32:3, 4.
[2] Acts 2:38
[3] Genesis 3:8
[4] Genesis 3

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