SCRIPTURE: Luke 15:7 (NIV)
I tell you… there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine persons who do not need to repent.
STORY by Oswald Chambers:
It is not repentance that saves me; repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience that puts me right with God? Never! I am put right with God because prior to all else, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, instantly the stupendous atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God. By the miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus has done. The salvation of God does not stand on human logic; it stands on the sacrificial death of Jesus. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creatures by the marvelous work of God in Christ Jesus, which is prior to all experience.
Sometimes we can be smug about the life we live. Sometimes we compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we take credit when credit should be placed on other’s shoulders. Sometimes we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. But when we try to think that way spiritually we fail at the very thing that brought us into the special relationship with Christ in the first place.
Repentance is nothing more than turning towards God and affirming what God has done through Jesus Christ for us. We did nothing more than turn to accept the gift. The gift is Gods. The giving is Gods. The act is Gods. The offer is totally his. And here is the ultimate truth … no one and nothing can make the same offer.
To be truthful … it does not make sense … theologically, emotionally, psychologically … or any other “logicallies” you can think of … BUT that is how God operates. Funny isn’t that God offers something that only he make happen. Oh, yes, we do have to turn around.
And here is the good news in all of this … our act of turning to accept sets the chorus of the entire heavenly host to praising. And all we did was turn to accept.
We’re turning Lord … we are turning! We get it … not by our spiritual bootstraps, but by your gracious and mercy driven love. We get it! We get it! Now help us live as people who have it!