By Rev. Joel Gaertner, Vice President of Ministry
Think for a moment about the things that we have been encouraged to do in 2020 during COVID-19 to protect our lives. Stay home! Wash your hands! Use hand sanitizer! Wear a mask! Now think of the reactions that people have had to those guidelines. People have scoffed at them, ignored them, reluctantly followed them, or promoted them and been scoffed at by others.
Across the pages of the Bible, God consistently sends the message that he wants to preserve our lives–both physically and spiritually. Reread the verse above, and note how God clearly says that he doesn’t want anyone to die. Then, notice the simple directive that God gives every human being to ensure that he or she will live spiritually–repent.
This might seem like a simple directive. But why is it so hard for us human beings to repent of our sins? Is it pride that we don’t want to be told that we are wrong or have someone tell us what to do? Might it be shame over what we know that we have done, and are we too ashamed or embarrassed to own up to what we have done?
In love, God gives us the directive to “repent and live!” He doesn’t want anyone to die. He was so serious about that, that he gave the life of his only son, Jesus, in exchange for our lives. Now that is commitment and putting your money where your mouth is. The challenge is that too often our pride, guilt, or shame gets in the way, and we don’t want to let Jesus be the payment for our sins.
Lay aside your pride, guilt, shame, or whatever else is keeping you from coming to the cross and laying your sins there. Repent of them. Then, go on living your life with your conscience set free, your heart at peace, and a renewed relationship with God!
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, in my heart of hearts, I know that I am a sinner. Deep down, I am troubled by what I have said, thought, or done that goes against what you have directed me to do. Give me the faith and humility to repent of my sins, trusting in the payment that Jesus made for them on the cross. Thank you for your what you have done for me, and in your precious name I bring this prayer. Amen.