April 19 Repentance: Complete or Incomplete?

scripture reading: 2 Timothy 2:24–26
key verses: Acts 26:19–20

Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

Sometimes repentance can seem a little like commercials in that there is no end. We come before God, confess our sins, express our desire for repentance—and find ourselves in exactly the same condition the next time we approach our Father.

Biblical repentance means forsaking sin, not simply confessing it. To forsake is to leave behind, to abandon. We repent not just with our hearts but with our actions.

“Oh,” you say, “I wish it were that simple. How can I quit gossiping when I seem addicted to it?”

To repent biblically, you must ask God to give you His hatred of evil, to give you repentance. God still hates sin—even in your life. Sin is not just a mistake or a shortcoming or a fault; sin is rebellion against God for which Christ died.

You possess power in the person of the Holy Spirit to conquer your sin. You can effectively repent of sin because sin’s slayer, Jesus Christ, empowers you. You are not left to your own devices, your own willpower.

Is there a nagging area of disobedience in your life that you are unable to conquer? Face it as sin, count on God’s unequaled power each day, and persevere as Christ frees you moment by moment from its grip.

My sin is not a mistake. It is not a shortcoming or a fault. It is rebellion. Forgive me, Lord. Liberate me from its grip.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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