This summer, in our women's Sunday School class, we have been studying Biblical Womanhood. My eyes have been opened to many things during this time, but the one thing that stands out like a shining star is the FACT that God has given us a great gift in REPENTANCE.
My idea of repentance has always been a typical Webster's definition: "to turn from sin and resolve to reform one's life. to feel sorry for (something done) : REGRET."
And while this definition is correct, it's not nearly that simple. Repenting can become a ritual, like saying "I'm sorry" just to avoid further conflict. Repentance can be mere words with no heartfelt reversal of actions or it can be temporary, a fleeting moment of conscience.
It's no fun to repent. It means you have to bare your soul. If it's to another human, it's humiliating. But if it's to God, it can be downright heart rending. In prayer, repenting used to be so painful that I dreaded "that part". It was especially hurtful when you kept confessing habitual sin. (Which, of course, means that you said "I am sorry", but didn't take the next step....actually reform.)
Saying all that brings me to the point here...repentance is a continual process in a Christian's life. God has done His part. He has "imputed my sin to my substitute (Jesus), and hast imputed His righteousness to my soul..", but in my day to day earthly Christian walk, I am still stained with sin. I am so sinful that sometimes (most times) I don't even repent for the right reason.
BUT, God is faithful and every day He rewards me with His incomparable grace and allows me to approach His throne and REPENT. As I do so, I receive His forgiveness and His strength, through the Holy Spirit to persevere. What a gift to a Christian...to be able to recognize sin, call it what it is and ask for forgiveness. And the "cherry on the top" is that we are given renewed strength day after day.
" Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace."
(The Valley of Vision, p. 136-137)
Grace and peace to you,