Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

Goodness leads to repentance

June 28, 2018

2 Peter 3--9 new

The Verse of the Day for June 28, 2018 reveals aspects of God’s character and His desire for His people:

2 Peter 3:9 (New King James Version):

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

The Amplified Bible explains in greater detail:

The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Regarding every promise of God, we must remember this:

Throughout the Scriptures God reveals Himself as one who keeps His promises. God Almighty, creator of the heavens and the Earth, is faithful and true, the original “Promise Keeper” who cannot lie. The Word of God declares God has given us exceeding great and precious promises that shall all be fulfilled:

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

God’s desire for humanity is that they choose to follow the path of life that leads to everlasting joy and fulfillment in Him, as opposed to following the path that leads to death and destruction. Here is another reminder:

Romans 2:4 (NKJV):

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Or do you have no regard for the wealth of His kindness and tolerance and patience [in withholding His wrath]? Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?

Repentance is the state of turning from one path to follow another. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s plea toward Israel was that they turn from idols to serve the true and living God. The term refers to turning around or turning away from, a conversion which involves obedience to God’s revealed will, placing trust in Him, turning away from all evil and ungodliness. We could think of it as pursuing a new path, choosing no longer to walk in darkness, but choosing to:

Walk in the Light

Walk in the light, the beautiful light.

Come where the dew drops of mercy shine bright,

Shine all around us by day and by night–

Jesus, the Light of the World.

Traditional Gospel Song

 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying,  

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me

shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 John 8:12 (NKJV)

 

We begin when we come to Him who alone is the Light

And repent, following a new path immediately.

We must forsake the world and leave behind the chains of night.

We consecrate ourselves to God, set apart wholly

To worship the Lord freely with clean hands and a pure heart,

Formed for His glory, as we develop a strong prayer life.

The Word of God rooted within us will never depart.

We will study the Word of Truth, the lamp that lights our way:

Once we have been enlightened, we now help others to see.

We will be a voice for God, not just an echo in the crowd.

We are true servants of the Light, despite the endless strife.

We will make a joyful noise and sing His praises out loud.

We forsake unrighteous paths, no longer in ignorance,

Knowing the goodness of God is leading to repentance.

The closing line of the poem refers to Romans 2:4 which again raises these questions:

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Kari Jobe closes with a song of worship inspired by Romans 2:4: ”You are Good”

 

Sins like scarlet made white as snow

November 9, 2015

Isaiah 1 18

The Verse of the Day for October 9, 2015 mentions a series of similes, or comparisons using “like” or “as” that describe contrasting views of sin and allude the purifying process of repentance:

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

According to notes from Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible,

The rabbis say that when the lot was taken to select a scapegoat as a sacrifice a scarlet thread was bound on the scapegoat’s head, and after the high priest had confessed his and the people’s sins over it, the fillet [A narrow strip of ribbon or similar material] became white: the miracle ceased, according to them, forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, exactly when Jesus Christ was crucified. . . . Hebrew for “scarlet” radically means double-dyed. . . .

We recognize that without repentance there is no remission of sin. With repentance, however, sins can become “white as snow,” and “white as wool,” that is, restored to an original un-dyed state of whiteness.

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day, two original poems came to mind, each relating to the two contrasting colors of the verse. This excerpt comes from “Red”: the closing lines of a free-verse poem inspired by a striking work of art painted in brilliant shades of red:

red

blood red

red

yes, Lord, red

Lamb’s blood

red

precious blood

red

blood-stained banner

red

like the crimson flow

that cleanses scarlet sins

and washes white as snow

red

Amen red

red

blood red

blood red

blood red

blood red

blood red

blood red

blood red

red   red   red   red     red   red   red

red

blood red

I said

red

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir offer a contemporary song of worship “O the Blood.”

The second poem actually uses the verse from Isaiah 1 as its epigraph or introductory quote to describe the snow covered landscape after an early morning mist responded to the rapidly falling temperatures as the day began:

Frosted Wood Scene

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD,

though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 1:18

 

The stark nakedness

of the dark bark

blooms with crystal leaves

Where death once reigned,

blossoms now flourish,

even as grace

did much more abound

and flower as

graceful almond trees.

I stand enraptured,

surrounded by

the fragile beauty

of the landscape

etched in a fuller

white than any

angel’s bright raiment.

The frosted wood scene

shows God’s design

to cleanse and make whole

the soul of man

that he might surely

know the pure love

that cleanses, covers

whiter than snow,

Lord, whiter than snow.

Listen to another contemporary song of praise: “Whiter than the Snow”

As I begin the day, these two poetic expressions come to mind while reflecting on the Verse of the Day.