There are days (admittedly most) as a mom that I simply miss the mark. I snap at my kids, I cut someone off in my minivan, or I’m rude to a coworker. I even snapped at my husband the other day for omitting butter in the pot of Kraft Mac and Cheese when he was cooking dinner trying to help me (#winning).
In those moments I do one of two things: I justify my actions or I beat myself up about them and get on the failure train. But we have this enormous gift when we live in relationship with the God who knitted us together in our mother’s womb…..
In order to receive the forgiveness of God, we have to ask for it. The issue, however, is that the word “repentance” has gotten a bad rap in our culture. The word is often tied to the hellfire and brimstone presentation of the gospel that scares and intimidates, not invites us into relationship with a God rich in mercy.
Repentance can often be viewed as an act that will provoke shame and guilt as we are harshly judged by God, but that’s simply not the truth.
Repentance brings unspeakable freedom as we sit in the gift of His forgiveness, not shame. When we itemize our failures, those pile up and cause a heavy weight of guilt, shame, and defeat which keeps us bogged down. God’s wants to set us free from those!
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses
and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13
We cannot prosper until we confess and renounce the blunders we've made and sit in the mercy God gives in exchange for them.
It doesn’t matter how much guilt we’re carrying or how many times we’ve believed that we simply are not enough, He's ready to receive us with wide open arms whenever we're ready.
He says we Can Approach Him with Confidence.
Something to marinate on as you fold the clothes today:
Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we
may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”
This is a promise of God. When we have mud all over us, we can come to Him in confidence. Isn't that crazy? Usually when I mess up I want to hide in a closet or not tell anyone for fear of judgement. But God is the opposite.
He promises to overwhelm us with the riches of His grace, clean us up, and equip us to do better through Him, not ourselves.
He loves us that much. He loves us unconditionally and doesn't hold it against us if we make mistakes, blunders, or catastrophes.
Bearing Fruit as a Result of Consistent Repentance.
“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:8
What does it mean to bear fruit? Well, truly repentant sinners show incredibly vibrant spiritual fruit. That fruit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Do you see the connection here? When we sit in His loving arms and ask Him for His help and His wisdom, we naturally bear more fruit. Although repentance can be seen as an oppressive law, it’s actually life-giving. It frees us of the burden of sin. Acts 3:19 literally says “your sins may be blotted out.”
The burden of unconfessed sin can manifest in us physically, emotionally, and mentally. We can live in guilt, shame, or fear of being found out. When we purge those sins to a Holy and forgiving God, He lifts the burden and replaces it with the freedom of His fruit. Our sins are blotted out, never to be remembered again.
Give a honk the next time you see the bumper sticker on a car that says “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” That’s the eternal mindset we all need a reminder to adopt, because that's where the abundant life is found.