Driving back roads in the Midwest, it is not unusual to see a billboard with a single word, “Repent.” Sometimes in the city, a street preacher will be holding a sign with the same message. What do people think when they see that word? When the OT prophets preached repentance, it was a call to change mind and behavior, a call to acknowledge sin and cry out for God’s forgiveness. That was John the Baptist’s message. It was also Jesus’ message – “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” It was the message of the Apostles. That message is not as clear today. The proclamation we hear is more of a self-help program where God is the cheerleader, blessing us when we do good. But Biblical repentance is the acknowledgment that we are a pile of worthless garbage and only God can take what we are and recreate a masterpiece of His own making. The next time you see one of those signs, thank God that He opened your heart and brought you to repentance so you could know the sweet grace of our great Savior.
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