Repentance is a Process (By Diane Heng, Guest BLOG P2091)

Today’s post is brought to you by Diane Heng from https://www.firstfloormessages.com. She’s a dear friend and amazing writer. Enjoy!

I think I have mentioned before that my dear hubby sometimes sends me a verse that has touched his heart, and I loved it as well. Like this one in Luke 7:47: “She has been forgiven of all her many sins. This is why she has shown me such extravagant love. But those who assume they have very little to be forgiven will love me very little.”” (Emphasis mine.)

This was hubby’s comment: “I love this verse. It shows me those who think they are ok and basically good won’t reach out for forgiveness, and therefore don’t have the love for Him (expressed in action) because they’ve shut the gate of experiencing it.”  Wow! We won’t experience God’s love in all its fullness when we hide from our own sins – or gloss over them – or excuse them.

But when we acknowledge our sin – His immediate tender forgiveness opens our eyes further and suddenly we see what we’ve been given! Our love for Him is suddenly released. However if we excuse, or dismiss our sin as nothing, we are missing out on one of the PRIMARY WAYS to recognise God’s love and give love back to HIM. The whole point of calvary was to set us free from sin and reassure us that no matter what we’ve done – we are loved.  When we ask for forgiveness – it opens our hearts, then gratitude takes over, because He is so gracious to us and we are so undeserving.

This verse says that the measure/method/rationlisation that we use to ‘assess’ our sin is the same thing which will actually cloud the view we have of sin. Doing that limits our perception of His Love, and it puts a ceiling on our love toward Him. EG: If we think whatever we did was ‘kind of nothing really’ – then we will not live gratefully, and our hearts won’t be open to more of His love pouring in. It’s an exchange – repentance opens our hearts to the exchange. 

The punch line is that NONE of us deserve forgiveness. This woman understood she had sinned against HIM and her actions opened the floodgates of her heart toward Him. She demonstrated her love for Him! We cannot afford to assume we are OK in His eyes, we need to ask Him to show us how, when, where and with whom – we have missed the mark. And then humbly fall at His feet. What she did that day with those actions is still remembered to this day. Her gratitude and great love was in those tears.

We don’t have to be afraid anymore to be utterly honest with ourselves and others. His love races toward us. When we repent we stay “in Christ Jesus” – covered by His blood. Confession and repentance open the doors to a greater awareness of how wide how deep and how great His love is toward us, and how much love we owe Him. Being sinful is no longer our problem  Jesus took care of that – deliberately staying that way IS! Telling the Lord that we cannot change when He paid for us to change, and gave us the power to do it – IS SIN. We are minimising His incredible Grace and cheating Him out of the glory He deserves.

We can also be imprisoned by our own lack of humility. Pride gets in the way. It is as if we are in a jail cell and the door is wide open, Jesus Himself opened it, and He is waiting on the other side, and we sit there like Gollum hanging onto his ‘precious!’  All because we refuse to acknowledge that we have hurt others and ourselves. The woman in this story went from sorrow to ACTION. She did something about her sin, she didn’t just acknowledge it and go away, she openly repented, in front of the very people who condemned her. She poured out her grateful love on His feet.

We must not use the forgiveness that cost Jesus so much, to just blithely go about and do whatever we like. When we refuse to acknowledge the sins that we tolerate, the things that need His Grace, and excuse them insteadwe can’t see Him properly. Christ paid a huge cost to give us our freedom, and He has even more incredible love to pour out upon those who will humble themselves and set their faces to live a life of grateful service. 

God’s good news is this – human beings no longer have to be punished for their sinful behaviour, Jesus was punished in our place. BUT … we cannot use this incredibly precious gift to continue down the pathways of sin – by not loving, not caring, not sharing, not changing etc. We are primarily a grateful people who love MUCH. Bless you today, 👋🏻
“But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47a

Published by: ggerhauser

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, I migrated to Australia in 1999. That’s when I married my beautiful wife, Anna, and we planted our church and Bible School. We’re now the proud parents of four children, ranging in age from nine to twenty-two. We’re still pastoring the same beautiful church, Church on the Park, in the the heart of Brisbane, Australia (https://www.brisbanefire.com). We also continue to teach our awesome students at Holy Fire Ministry Training School (https://www.holyfireschool.com). I love to write and encourage God's people. And something that many people don't know, I'm a DJ as well (aka DJ SOL Vibes).

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