8/10/2017 12:00:00 AM
How often have you sat and thought “my life needs to change?” I’m not speaking of a change in weekly agenda or a simple habit, but deep, lasting change. This is the change that Jesus calls us to. He has the power to change us if we’re following him.
Following Jesus begins with repentance. While that word may seem scary to some, for Christ-followers, it brings a lot of peace. Repentance is not something that can be earned, but rather, repentance means to recognize and turn from your own sin and walk in the ways of the Lord, so he can do his work in you. In Acts 2:37-38, we see this in action:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”
Here we see the first step to life change through Jesus is repentance. Jesus wants to set you free from your sin and wipe away all your stains through his death on the cross. In true repentance, we find true freedom.
However, true repentance means you’re ready and willing to change. Repentance is not shame, that is not the goodness of the Lord. And while sorrow can lead to repentance, being sorry and repenting are different things. Repentance means you are ready and willing to let go of the old sin you have been a slave to and walk in the grace the Lord provides. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!”
Repentance is the first step in accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. Have you taken this step? Maybe it’s time to consider what Jesus can do in your life. Is there a sin or habit you’ve been clinging to that has held you back? It’s time to let go, repent, and receive forgiveness.
For Christ-followers, we know that repentance is continual, as none of us are perfect. As you repent, ask the Lord to reveal sins in your life that may be holding you back from a better relationship with Him.
Are you ready to become a new creation today? Connect with a mentor this Sunday to learn more about how you can get started with the First Steps Series.