Three little words that I went to bed with and woke up with. I need to add a fourth - but am getting ahead of myself. Our half snow day is allowing me to write this blog from the comfortable oversized chair in my living room. Now, I would like to get stuff done, but again, I'm getting away from the topic of this blog:
Repentance, Change, and Obedience - those are my three words today
Repentance: My favorite verse on repentance: Acts 3.19-20
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.
Change/Obedience: Once the heart change has come - then comes the changing of the habits that have held you enslaved for so long. And make no mistake about it - sin is enslaving - not freeing. Most people think that living by rules or "commandments" is like a ball and chain - what they don't know is the freedom that comes from being obedient. A verse in Paul's writing that says this quite clearly: Rom 6.16-18
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
So, I know my sins that have held me bondage. I know what needs to be done about really two particular sins. What are your sins - where is God convicting? What do you need to repent of and change and obey the living God who frees you?
The last word - the fourth word - is grace. We can't do any of this on our own. I am thankful for grace, but as a puritan pastor said long ago: until sin is bitter, Christ will not be sweet.