November 14, 2013

A devotion that just pierced my heart this morning...

Based on Jesus teaching from Luke 15:11-32

Confession and Repentance in Scripture

I can’t think of a better example of confession and repentance than one Jesus Himself used to give us insight into turning from our sin. It even starts out with a sin issue that isn’t light or easy to resolve. He was a beloved son, a reckless decision maker, who ended up in the worst possible situation. And I’m grateful that Jesus doesn’t give us an example of someone caught up in prayer and worship, all of a sudden finding themselves in a state of confession. It’s beautiful when we choose to be honest with the Lord and give Him free reign to call out our sin, but that’s not always how it works - is it? We often find ourselves face down in pig food before we choose confession.

I love the wording of the ESV here, “But when he came to himself...” This is where confession begins, when our minds and hearts catch up to the reality of our sin and where it has led us - we must first come to ourselves so that we can go back home.

The son didn’t stay gone or stay away. He didn’t bury his head in the pig food and give up. He knew the reality of the situation was that he was busted, and stubbornly sitting in his busted-ness would do no one any good. He went straight to his dad and told him the details. Admitting that our fault is against our heavenly Father and the people who have suffered from our sin is such an important step. Complete repentance usually involves both being honest before the Lord and being honest with others.

Lastly, he hid himself in the Lord the only way he knew how - by offering himself up as a servant. When we come to the Lord with something to confess and some sin to repent from, do we come with a preconceived notion of how our Father should respond? Do we expect restoration to look a certain way or do we acknowledge that He knows best and wants best for us? When we submit to people or the Lord, we should just come - truly sorry, covered in the blood of Jesus, with a desire to want to love them better. 

Does this example of confession jar anything in you? Does it seem familiar or look terribly different from the way you view repentance? Remember the most important part of this story: the Father’s response. That’s what Jesus wanted us to hear the most, I believe. Wherever you are, wherever you’ve been - He celebrates when you come home.

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