But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. (Ezekiel 18:21, NIV)
Each of us has secrets. Even after we confess our sins, there are still certain parts of our lives that we keep hidden away. Perhaps we are hiding these little secrets from our spouse, or maybe our children, or even a co-worker. One thing is for sure – we can’t hide anything from God! He knows everything we have done and is aware of everything we are going to do in the future. Since we are already aware of that, what do we do? In many instances, we simply turn away from Him and continue down our own paths of destruction. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
There is another solution; one that will bring peace and joy to your life. It’s called repentance. It’s often difficult to confess our sins, but nearly impossible to repent for all the many sins we have “hidden” away. Repentance involves turning: turning away from our sins; turning our back on our old selves, and turning toward our Lord and Savior. Repentance is a willingness and commitment to become new men and women, to become loyal followers of Jesus Christ. Confession is critical, but it’s only the first step. Repentance is the greatest step!
Ironically, confession requires great courage to clean out everything hidden away in your life. Repentance, however, requires a soft, willing heart. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus taught that it’s not sin itself that imperils us, but rather a hard, stubborn heart, an unwillingness to turn, an unwillingness to repent. The younger son lived a life with ostensibly more sin. The older brother simply harbored resentment and jealousy. The younger brother repented for his sins; the older brother did not. Their father welcomed the younger brother and celebrated his return: this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:32, NIV) The father pleaded with his older son to join in the celebration, to soften his heart. But the older son refused.
Without repentance, we continue in our sin. Without repentance, we continue down our own path … one that leads to death. Jesus said: But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3, NIV)
Take a close look inside yourself. The stuff you need to confess, do it now! And repent! Turn your back on the person you once were; the one who kept those little secrets to himself. Take a deep cleansing breath. Listen to God. Astonishingly, he’ll always give you a fresh start. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out … (Acts 3:19, NIV)
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”