What It Really Means to Repent
By Rick Warren
“So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day].” Acts 3:19 (AMP)
Somewhere along the way, “repent” became a negative word.
When many people hear that word, they think of a guy holding a sign on the corner telling them to “turn or burn” because the end is near.
But the world's idea of what it means to repent is totally wrong. “Repent” is actually the most positive, transforming word in the world.
The word “repent” just means you change your mind. It’s not when you stop doing bad things—that’s the result of repentance. It means you used to think one way and now you think another way.
You used to think guilty thoughts, and now you think forgiven thoughts. You used to think damnation and discouragement, and now you think peace. You used to think selfishness, and now you think of others first. You used to think ambitiously, and now you think about how to serve. You think about God as he really is—a kind and loving Father. You think about yourself as God sees you—with value and purpose. You think about what really has meaning in life.
Repentance is when you start rethinking your life in order to match how Jesus thinks. When you repent and turn from darkness to light, it’s not about not getting to do the things you want to do anymore. It’s about doing only the things that matter because your mind is set on what’s most important. It's the most positive change in the world.
Do you need some refreshment? Do you need to recover from life’s hurts and be revived after loss or failure? Then you only need to repent. When you do, you’ll come into God’s presence and experience real joy and peace.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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