Repentance is the ‘great exchange’

In Romans 2:4, Scripture reads, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”

True repentance is a change of mind, heart and purpose, which results in a life change. The confession of our sins results in the apprehension of his forgiveness.

It is turning from or away from what displeases the Lord and turning to Christ, who extends loving kindness, forgiveness and mercy.

Repentance is a decision that causes a complete heart change and imparts to us the grace of God to live a new and different way. He has plans for us that have not yet been revealed and we may not yet understand, however, they are for blessing and for good. His ways are perfect, and his plans, flawless.

Our choices in life may take us to places that we should not walk, but God is able to bring us out. The Lord’s love for us is everlasting. His mercy endures forever.

In 2Peter 3:9, the apostle writes, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Christ carried this world’s sins on the cross once and for all. He provided a way for us to return to right standing with our heavenly father, whose love for us is everlasting.

To receive forgiveness, pardon and eternal life is one of the greatest gifts given to a lost and dying world.

Human nature naturally resists the admission of our need for repentance, because we don’t like to be made to feel uncomfortable. Just the word itself when and if spoken of in our church services causes an uneasy feeling. It causes us to take inventory and look deep within ourselves and realize that we have hidden issues of the heart which must be addressed.

It takes humility, courage and obedience. We must recognize and realize that it is for our good and it is God’s will for us.

Repentance is the “great exchange.” We exchange our sins for his righteousness; our hurts for his healing; our foolishness for his wisdom and our stress, turmoil and fear for his perfect peace. Our hearts placed in his hands will bring joy to our lives and the comfort and assurance of knowing we belong to him.

Psalm 51:10 reads, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Our heart is the center of our life and without it, we cannot live. It beats every day and pumps life into our bodies. The spiritual heart is just as important, for this life and life to come. Our spiritual heart directs our choices, desires and impacts life for us and those whose lives we touch. A heart filled with bitterness, anger and unforgiveness will speak forth the same.

Scripture reads, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” That which fills our hearts will flow from our mouths.

There is one tried and true cure for a sick heart. It is a “heart transplant.” In 1John 1:9, Scripture reads “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Let’s surrender our heart to the Lord today, and receive the blessings of abundant life.

Patty Scahill of Austintown is a conference speaker and author.

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