positive repentance

Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had taken place, because they didn’t repent. [Matthew 11:20 ISV

Repentance is a word that is sometimes associated with a negative style of preaching.
I think that is unfortunate and a gross misunderstanding of the word.
I find repentance to be one of the most positive and life-giving words in the dictionary.

In essence, repentance is a turning from disbelief to belief.
It is not so much what you turn from but Who you turn to.
Spiritual life is about turning our hearts towards Jesus and trusting in him.

Jesus' indictment of people who will not repent is one of the most serious in scripture.
He says that people would be judged not for what they did not see but for what they did.
And so it is for we who have, in some way, tasted of the goodness of God.

The Apostle Paul's teaching was that the goodness of God leads people to repentance.
He seemed to understand that repenting was not about fear but about faith.
In reality, fearing God or hell or punishment does not create lasting change in us.

Yet embracing the goodness and love of God has the potential to change us forever.
This is why repentance is such a positive part of the spiritual life.
When we repent we, like the prodigal, find God running to embrace us.

Your goodness leads me to repentance Lord. Help me to see your goodness today.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.

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