New Hope Church

Day 8 – Lenten Devotional


The Good News of Repentance
Luke 15:10 10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

There are some words we use as Christians that we often take for granted and assume that everyone knows their real meaning. Words like holy, justification, atonement, sanctification, baptism and so forth.  There are times when we can speak these “Christian terms” to an increasing number of people who have never had any type of church, Sunday school or interaction with Christianity and the terms go right over their heads in meaning. One of these words is repent.  When this word is used, the “unchurched” often views it in a negative, bad, or unattractive way. When used in secular movies or TV we often see some stark looking creepy pastor type condemning others to “Repent or die!”… the “scary Christian” misuse of repentance.

So what does repent really mean? When Jesus goes out into His ministry He calls for others to “repent and believe the good news!” (Mk 1:14)  In Matthew 4:17 Jesus calls us to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” The word repent in the Bible literally means “change your mind”, further, to “change your mind and life for the better now and always.” (one of those imperative present active verbs I talked about in day five’s devotional)   So in reality this call for one to repent is not negative, bad, or unattractive at all, but positive, good and attractive. It is the call on your heart to change the misguided, hurtful, disobedient things you are now taking part in and change your life to what the “good news” has to offer, the glory of entering the Kingdom of Heaven!  You cannot get any better than that!

Jesus proclaims the gospel of good news of salvation to hearts who confess their wrongdoings and cry out to change their ways. Jesus knows that this is the beginning of a new life for you. One that through authentic belief in Him will set your feet on solid ground eternally in His Kingdom!  For “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

REFLECT:  Examine the shadowed corners of your life. Places where you don’t like to go. Be brutally honest and, with the Holy Spirits help, clean these places from the dirt and baggage that holds you back.

REPENT:  Change your ways.  Confess to God those ways that continue to hold you back from the wonderful promises of God. He will forgive you and lift you up to ever higher purpose.

RESTORE:   Repentance is a good thing. It sets boundaries for your life from those things that yearn to entangle and trap you. Only the truth of the gospel will set you free in Christ to boldly pursue the good things the Lord has in store for you!

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Pastor Tom Bellhy