John the Baptist called people to repentance.
For most of my life I thought that to repent meant saying sorry or asking for forgiveness. I did just that. I would regularly ask for forgiveness for the things that I was doing wrong. But then I started to question myself, why did I keep doing the same things over and over, and then praying the same prayer of forgiveness, for the same sins, over and over? I know that God will forgive me ‘seventy times’ – that He does not count my sins against me and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; but there must be something else.
Repentance does not mean asking for forgiveness and John the Baptist was not calling people to simply ask for forgiveness. His call to Repentance was rooted in the actual meaning of the word repentance – ‘to turn away from’. We are called to turn away from our sin, from our behaviours and from our habits. We are called to head in another direction completely. Turning away from sin only leaves one direction available. John the Baptist was calling for us to turn away from sin and to turn to Christ. Saying sorry is a start but it will never be an end. If we want to see real transformation in our lives – real transformation brought through the Holy Spirit and then manifested in our lives producing the Fruit of the Spirit, we must turn away from sin, yes but, more importantly, we have to turn to Jesus.
Today, I will think deeply about my behaviour, my attitudes, my habits, how I spend my time, how I spend my days, where I am headed. To be honest I fail dismally. But today I choose to repent. To turn to Jesus. I encourage you to do the same thing, to be set free through Jesus Christ. Free to live the life He planned for you. The life you desire eagerly.
Look at how you spend your time today.
Are you spending it with Jesus or are you spending it with the world. I know that you are reading this on a social media site but think about how much time you spend online, in the world, soaking up the message of the world and compare that to the time you spend in prayer and in the Word, soaking up the message and blessing of Jesus.
And turn away. And turn towards Jesus.
I pray this in the name of Jesus.