“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’”
– Matthew 4:17 (NIV)
Daily Meditation: 2 Chronicles 32: 24-33, Matthew 4:12-17
Repentance isn’t always thought of in a positive light. That’s probably because when we repent, we are acknowledging that we’ve done something wrong, and that just doesn’t feel good or come naturally to any of us. Nobody wants to admit that they were wrong! Knowing we need to repent can be accompanied by feelings of heaviness, self-doubt, and even sorrow—feelings we really don’t want to feel.
When Jesus began his ministry on earth, he started by preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Although we sometimes don’t see it this way, his message of repentance was actually one of joy and life, not of condemnation and sadness. His message was an opportunity to walk free, to be whole, and to have a relationship with our Father in heaven. It was an open invitation to turn around, change, and run to the Father, no matter how wrong or stubborn we have been. True, godly repentance doesn’t stop with a focus backward on our sin; it also draws us forward to God’s healing and restoring grace. This kind of repentance brings us joy and gratitude, and renews our desire to please the One who loves us most of all.
I was reflecting on this passage, and it hit me: What if we looked at repentance as just that, the chance to change? Then it becomes a positive opportunity presented to us, a call to freedom—and we all want that.
So the next time we need to repent, let’s look at it as an opportunity—an opportunity to change.
“Repentance, not proper behavior or even holiness, is the doorway to grace.”
– Philip Yancey
Be fearless: Unlike mere regret, godly repentance always brings freedom. Our pride may not want to admit that we need to repent, but once we do, such a burden is lifted off our shoulders! We should make it a habit to get there—and get freer—faster.
Let’s let 2019 be the year we grow closer to the Lord and become the fearless, strong, and faithful woman we are meant to be in Him! In Be Fearless, Julie Clinton provides a scripturally-sound guide for finding freedom, purpose, joy… and fearlessness. Be Fearless is now available in our store! https://www.aacc.net/product/be-fearless/ Consider working through Be Fearless with another extraordinary woman or group this year.
Julie Clinton, MAd, MBA, is president of Extraordinary Women and host of EWomen conferences all across America. She is the author of several books including A Woman’s Path to Emotional Freedom, 10 Things You Aren’t Telling Him, and Extraordinary Women. She is passionate about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their children, Megan and Zach.