Someone explained to me recently that the word "repent" in the Bible is quite different from our popular conception. It means so, so much more than merely "stop that sinning!"
Repent in the New Testament sense means to agree with God. We see that somewhat in confession: yeah, you're right, I was wrong. But really it has a much deeper and more wonderful sense. Repent means agree to the extent that you are seeing yourself and the situation through God's perspective. It means coming to see your behavior, your situation, and the world around you through His eyes.
That's what daily Bible reading is really about. As we read God's word we begin to see things from his perspective. "Man sees the outward appearance but the LORD sees the heart." We are more saddened and disturbed by our sins. We are less afraid of other people's opinions and more in awe of God. Even if the mountains shake and fall into the heart of the sea we will not fear.
Could this be what Jesus was getting at as he wandered Judea shouting "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" We turn from our sins because we come to agree with God and see them from his perspective.
That's why daily Bible study is so important. It's not an exercise in devotion. It's a process of coming to see our situations and selves and world through God's eyes, to think like Him, to have His priorities and heart.
"We are less afraid of other people's opinions and more in awe of God..." this and a few other lines would be highlighted if I was reading this on Kindle ;) Thanks for breaking down 'repentance' in a new way - new, at least, for me. It reminds me of the verse that talks about having the mind of Christ. Seemingly so impossible, yet we can be sure that He'll take us there.ReplyDelete