To face these days without fear we must be repentant…
Isaiah 1:16-20 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
The Matthew Henry commentary says – The greatest sinners, if they truly repent, shall have their sins forgiven them, and so have their consciences pacified and purified. Though our sins have been as scarlet and crimson, as deep dye… first in the wool of original corruption and afterwards in the many threads of actual transgression—though we have been often dipped, by our many backslidings, into sin… as the cloth does in the scarlet dye, yet pardoning mercy will thoroughly discharge the stain, and … we shall be clean, Ps. 51:7.
If we make ourselves clean by repentance and reformation (Isa. 1:16), God will make us white by a full remission. That [we] should have all the happiness and comfort [we] could desire. “Be but willing and obedient, and you shall eat the good of the land, the land of promise; you shall have all the blessings of the new covenant, of the heavenly Canaan, all the good of the land.”
We hear so little about repentance in our day. In our era of political correctness, leaders shy away from anything that may cause even the slightest offence. Ear tickling sermons are written to please the hearers and keep them coming back week after week. But repentance, of the original corruption, as Henry points out and afterwards of the many transgressions we commit daily is critical in our intimacy with our heavenly Father.
So how can we keep short accounts of our lives? I sometimes find it useful to write out my offences. Ask the Lord to show you any wrong attitudes toward others, or things done that have come short of His standards. If we ask, He will send us help to overcome our weaknesses and as the scripture says, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. Then take great pleasure in ripping up that piece of paper or burning it for that is how the Lord then sees it.
Unqualified forgiveness is ours But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father (1 John 2:1) Unqualified Forgiveness is Ours What the Lord has done Is wholly to forgive our every sin And totally to cleanse us from all unrighteousness So that in Him we can again begin When scripture says ‘all’ there is no doubt That God means all Let us not dilute His word, and remember That to God no sin is either large or small He forgives all our sins, not only of the past But right up to date. Oh how He does care Those sins that we are conscious of As well as those of which we are unaware Faced with His great forgiveness There is no battle we cannot win Our gratitude then, far from making us careless Will surely constrain us not to sin But if a Christian should sin Of one thing he is aware He has an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. It is now a family affair Whether we have been a Christian for many years Or maybe even just a few hours The Father-son relationship with God is the same in that Unqualified forgiveness is ours. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer – Father God, I repent today of every thought, word or deed that I have done that has grieved your heart. Truly I want You to show me where I stray and where I need to put things right. I thank You for your Word that declares that as I confess my sins You will cleanse me from all unrighteousness and set me on my feet again. Teach me Your ways and show me Your paths. Amen.