Nov 7, 2019
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Luke 15:11-32
“Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt 4:17
The Old Testament story of Jonah is both powerful and unique. God told the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach truth because the people were exceedingly sinful. This city was the capital of a violent and immoral society that hated God’s people. God’s message that Jonah was to preach was short and simple. “In forty days God will destroy Nineveh.”
The Bible says the king of Nineveh got off his throne and dressed himself in sackcloth and ashes and commanded his people to do the same. He also commanded that not a human or animal should eat or drink. “Cry mightily unto God and let everyone turn from his evil way, and from violence that is in their hands,” the King said. “Who can tell if God will turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not.”
Then it says…”God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way… and God did not destroy them as He said He would.” It’s a beautiful story of repentance.
In the New Testament we also see a story of a young man who asked his father for his inheritance and left home to have a fling. After spending all his money on women and wine he found himself working for a pig farmer just to survive. As he gazed down at the husks he was feeding to the pigs he was tempted to eat them. He came to his senses and thought, “In my father’s house the hired servants live much better than this, I will go home and tell my father that I am sorry for what I did and ask to be a servant.”
“Repentance is a change of mind”
The actual meaning of repentance is “a change of mind”. When the mind is changed it results in a change of lifestyle too. The story of the Ninevites and the Prodigal son is a perfect example of repentance.
How do we know if someone is truly repentant? We will see a serious commitment to turn from sin and a willingness to confess it. The person will also see sin as an abomination and abhor it. A person who is truly repentant will develop a fear of God and a fear to do evil deeds and have a longing to be holy as God is holy. Someone who repents will not merely make a mental or verbal comment about repentance, but will have a changed heart and a changed lifestyle.
Restitution is another fruit of true repentance. A person who has truly repented will do all he can to restore what he took unlawfully. If he stole a horse he will take it back to the rightful owner. If she lied to her boss she will go back and tell the truth about the matter. There is no question when a person has truly repented.
~ Harold R Troyer ~