Luke 13:3 “But unless you repent, you too will all perish”
Sitting in our bubbles over the Covid 19 lockdown has given us more than enough time to put a few improvements into our daily patterns . Against all odds I have overcome an age-old resistance to going for vigorous walks, and can now report that I can more or less keep up with Ruth who moves like a Whippet. I simply had to make a start and then hang in until my sulky body began to co-operate. There are other facets of my life that could do with rejuvenation. My tardy response to my sins is one of them.
Confessing our sins is relatively easy once we realize how offensive they have been to God. Whatever has locked us in to them, we know that the way out has been made simple, thanks to the cross of Christ. We only have to get around to doing it. The Lord will hear our confession any time day or night.
So far so good. But whereas confession is a simple and easy matter, repentance is quite another. Repentance is where we get to see our true colours. Are we for him or against Him? To continue on with the same old sins hardly becomes us, even though our temptation or habit leads us there very quickly. The call to repent, i.e. to change our minds, to turn 180 degrees away from the sin, comes with a warning (above). The word “unless” is a heavy signal in itself, and the word “perish” should remind us of the heavy consequences of refusal.
Ultimately we are responsible for our weaknesses. We can become conquerors or we can remain victims. The Lord has done all He can to lead us back to right relationship. We simply have to want to, and to want to more than linger in whatever attraction our sins put upon us. The choice is ours.
Simon Peter discovered that his own determination was not enough to prevent his disowning of Jesus when put to the test. We too have to learn this lesson over and over again. We feel sure that we should have all it takes to remain loyal to Jesus and His teachings, yet how quickly we too can betray him with an ill-chosen word or action.
But we are without excuse for doing nothing about it, for the way back is easy. It is simply a matter of spotting which is the better choice, then begin doing it. We will soon detect the Lord’s encouragement and assistance. But the decision to turn is ours alone.