ADVENT 2021 DEVOTIONAL
“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
(Luke 13:3, English Standard Version)
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
(Acts 3:19-20, ESV)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
(John 15:1-5, ESV)
Today’s Reading: Luke 13
Jesus taught that a life of repentance is not optional, but necessary if you want to experience the abundant life He promises not only in eternity to come but here on earth as well. A life of repentance begins when you first confess your need for Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but it continues on as an important part of your relationship with Him.
When you trust Him for your salvation, Jesus is with you. His Word shows you what it looks like to connect to Him, and His Spirit guides and convicts you in that process. When you mess up, He doesn’t condemn you or get angry. Instead, He lovingly calls you to turn away from your sin and move toward Him.
Sometimes, it may feel difficult or even painful to repent. It often requires surrendering things that seem satisfying in the moment. You may instinctively withhold forgiveness from someone who hurt you or indulgently pursue an intimate relationship outside of marriage because these things feel right at the time. Though it may feel like a loss to give things up, submitting in obedience to God’s Word frees you from guilt and shame. Likewise, it brings joy as you experience the reality that obedience pleases God and is in your best interest.
Your motivation to repent is bound up in your relationship with Jesus. The sooner you choose to repent, the sooner Jesus will free you from guilt and shame. Then you can enjoy His loving forgiveness, which brings peace and joy.
When you abide in Christ — when He is the place you go for comfort — you will begin to want to repent often. You’ll long for deeper fellowship with Him, which is your ultimate source of peace, joy and purpose.
In what area of your life is Christ urging you to turn away from sin and move toward Him so that you can live an abundant life in fellowship with Him?
Heavenly Father, thank You for nudging me to repent so that I can turn from my sin and be forgiven. Thank You for reminding me that my greatest peace and joy come from abiding in You, not from going my own way. Today I repent of __________. Thank You for forgiving me when I have failed and fallen. Take my life and use it for Your glory. Amen.
Holly Melton joined Cru® as a staff member in 1999 and is a speaker, writer and ministry coach. She is passionate about training the body of Christ in evangelism and discipleship. You can learn more about her resources and Bible studies at HollyMelton.org.
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