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Day 26 | Repenting to a Good Father
So far as we’ve looked at repentance this week, we’ve zeroed in on the abundance of God’s grace and all that he’s done on our behalf to bring us into right relationship with himself. This very truth of God’s grace is what continually welcomes us into his presence to be honest about what’s going on in our hearts and minds. Think about it this way. If your dad (or anyone else for that matter) is an angry man, who responds harshly to your mistakes, are you at all interested in voluntarily running to him in confession? If your dad lashes out when you screw up, all you wanna do is run and hide. You hope and pray he won’t find out. You do whatever it takes to hide the reality of your mistakes from him. For some of you, this isn’t so much of an illustration as it is a very real life scenario. You live in fear of your “dad.”
When it comes to the gospel, one of the challenges we face in repentance is an improper view of our heavenly father. For so many of us, we struggle to not see God as the “cosmic cop” up in the sky, waiting to zap us when we screw up. But that’s not God at all. We looked least week at Romans 8:1 that says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t condemn his kids, even though there are consequences and discipline for our actions. The Bible even tells us that discipline in the sign of a good and loving father (Heb. 12:6, Rev. 3:19).
Here’s the crazy thing about our good Father, he already knows everything we do. Think about that for a second. The incredibly, selfish, lustful, evil thoughts that flood our minds everyday are known by God. Not only are they known, but he sees them in real time. He watches them happen. He sees our debased, manipulative minds in full display. Even worse, he knows those thoughts before they even happen. As the Apostle Paul put it, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:24). Let’s be honest, that’s the conclusion all of us need to come to. Because all of this sin takes place in the presence of our Holy Father. So, he has every right to be angry with us. He has every justifiable right to cast us out of his presence and pour out his wrath on us in hell. Yet, how does he response to us? According to Romans 2:4, it’s his kindness that leads us to repentance. What an incredible thought and reality, something that’s completely backwards from how we operate at human beings. God doesn’t manipulate us, guilt-trip us or threaten us into obedience. He mercifully welcomes us into this presence and pours out his grace.
Now that’s the kind of dad we wanna run to. That’s the good Father that we can voluntarily “puke on.” He beckons us into his presence. In fact, he calls this kind of confession an act of obedience and worship. Crazy huh?!
So here’s where we want to land the plane for today and then dive a bit deeper into tomorrow:
#1 – Rest in this truth and run to your good and gracious Father in open repentance.
#2 – Remember that what God does to you he wants to do through you. Wrestle with this transformational truth: No one will ever sin against you in a way that’s more wicked and offensive than your sin against God. If we can get our minds around that reality, and see how God responds to our sin against him, then it will change how we respond to those who sin against us.
Today, worship your kind and forgiving Savior and pray that he would enable you to be just as kind and forgiving to those around you.
Tomorrow, we’ll dive deeper into this topic of living out God’s grace toward others.
Check out this song by Housefires called “Good, Good Father.” It’s one of our favorites at NC.
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