Thursday, December 18, 2014

Times of Refreshing

[From 12-16-14]

"Repent, therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD..."
(Acts 3:19-20a)

Too many people envision God as the "Divine Police Office" (or maybe Divine Parole Officer), looking down on us, waiting to catch us screwing up.  It could be because we, as human beings, are so apt to call others out when they sin... or simply revel in others' misfortunes.  It's a sad truth, I know.

But the story in Scripture is quite different.  Sure, there are times when God holds his people accountable for the sins they've committed.  But more often than not, God seeks to lead people out of their sinful lifestyle, and in to a new freedom and relationship with Him.

That's why I LOVE today's passage from Acts 3.  The author (Luke) calls us all to (re)turn to God in repentance.  Not because God will "smite us" or is waiting to impose some eternal punishment on us.  No.  It's because He wants to bless us.  (read that last sentence again!)  Seriously.  When we turn away from behavior inconsistent with God's plan for us, we open ourselves to "times of refreshing."  Wow!  Isn't that a great phrase?  Times of refreshing.  Whose soul couldn't use some of that?!?

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