Week 2 : Monday, August 24, 2020
Peace With God
Focus of the week: Repenting from our sins brings God’s peace
But when he came to his senses, he said, ”How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight…”. Luke 15: 17-18
This story of the prodigal son always reminds me of the line we all have probably heard little children say “ You're not the boss of me!” The funny thing is, it’s not only little children saying that, it’s US! It might be dressed up as “adulting”, or making ones own decisions about how to live life. However, when we peel back the layers and take a closer look sometimes we find this is nothing more than doing exactly what we want exactly when we want without consulting the “Boss” of us. Oh my! How many times I have been in that place guiding myself, by myself expecting things to turn out the way that is pleasing to me.
In this Bible story, the younger son was rebellious and immature and just like us (sometimes), wanted to be free to live as he pleased. Where did his way of life get him? He hit rock bottom in this selfish way of living , pushing aside any responsibility or commitment that got in his way. This son had a choice to make and fortunately came to his senses. As he was in this pig sty, he recognized his sin and decided he needed to turn from his way of life. Once he turned or “repented” from his ways, he found the loving arms of his father waiting to lavish love all over him.
Did you know “repent” was one of the very first words spoken by Jesus when He began his ministry? “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In HIs lifetime on earth, Jesus desired the people to not only confess their sins (as we studied last week), but to turn away from them. He knows that His ways are the absolute best for us.
Is there an habitual sin or secret stronghold that resembles the same feelings the prodigal son had when he was at the end of himself? Or, are you still spinning, convincing yourself that this particular sin is not that big of a deal; you’re “good” with the confessing-sinning-confessing-sinning routine. Sin, no matter anyway you slice it , is a big deal. No doubt, while we have breath, we will continue to make mistakes, but unconfessed and un-repented sin has one eventual destination - the pig sty. Repentance, on the other hand, is the roadway to peace.
Let’s spend some time this week looking at those sins. What do we do after we identify them and confess? If it seems impossible to turn from them, remember we do not have to do this alone. We have the Holy Spirit to employ. Ask for help! If we choose to turn towards Christ in just one area, it will encourage the body of believers as a whole. It’s time for you and me to start walking towards home. His peaceful embrace awaits us.
For further reading: Isaiah 26:12-14; Psalm 119:175-176.
What a wonder it is that You wait on us to come to the end of ourselves with You arms wide open. You are always more than we deserve and we come to You in awe and praise. Thank You for being our safe place that we can come in confession and repentance. Lord, we ask for help that can come from only YOU to get us out of the pig sty. Give us the strength to move beyond confessing-sin-confessing-sin to a place where we leave that sin in the rear view mirror once and for all. We admit our ways do NOT work and Your ways are the answer we are so desperately seeking. We look forward as You hold our hand leading us home to a peace that awaits us. Amen