Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
REPENTANCE - ROAD THAT LEADS TO REDEMPTION
Luke 13: 1-5
V3 “BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU TOO WILL ALL PERISH”.
Newspapers are never ever complete without the reporting of natural calamities, tragedies, death, etc. that rains on the just and unjust alike. As humans, our approach towards such news items are, that we tend to categorise people. Our questions are based “did they do something to deserve such fate or guilty of worst sins?? We become judgemental forgetting self.
But the word of God speaks of such happenings and its impact in a different way. Hear the word as Jesus spoke in the Gospel of Luke 13:1-5.
Here we read Jesus making it plain with emphatic clearance as he tells the crowd that neither the Galileans nor the 18 people who died were worst sinners. BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT YOU TOO WILL ALL PERISH a categorical statement.
REPENT OR PERISH – Two options given by Jesus to the crowd. Two options are given to us today.
Repentance to put it in simple words is a change in the direction of our life, a 180 degree turn. When convicted by the Holy Spirit we see our sin as God does and helps to turn from sin towards Christ and faith. It is not a leave & licence or a contract agreement you have with God that can be renewed at the end of a specific period. It is a part of our life leading us to the road to redemption.
When can this change happen?? Has God through the Word of God set a time for us to repent??
In the Book of Jonah we see God sets a time for the Ninevities to repent “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” In the earlier portions we read that Jonah receives message from God “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah runs away… Again the word of God comes to Jonah a second time to preach to Ninevities with a time period 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. We read that the Ninevities repented and God did not carry out his threat. The Ninevities were given to 40 days and they grabbed the opportunity.
Jesus through the verse in the Gospel of Luke gives a resounding command “Unless you repent you too will all perish”. No set time. The option is given to the people now or never. Yes!!! If we do not grab the time NOW we are lost forever. As we grab the TIME NOW do we fully break from the sin or is it living the life we have always lived.
The word of God speaks of a character Zacchaeus who having been saved paid back everything he owed and made peace with the people. This is true repentance a turn away from old life and becoming a new creation. The Ninevities covered themselves with sackcloth and fasted. Repentance means something has to be different, giving up everything.
So it is not only breaking of sin but breaking from sin, a complete surrender to God. We need to go on repenting to the end of our lives. A wise old saint said "I will hope to carry my repentance to the very gate of heaven."
Are we ready to repent?? The Word of God records "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God".
Abba Father thank you for speaking to us through your Word. As it reminds us again that repentance is necessary we cannot postpone it. Abba Father as you brought a change in the life of Zacchaeus, bring a change in our life. HELP us for a total surrender as we put our trust in Jesus and the Word of God. Through Our Lord Saviour Jesus we pray, Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Two options - repent or perish - make your choice.
there will be more rejoicing in heaven over a sinner who repents..
Rev. Jojan M John
St. Thomas MTC, Tiruvalla, Kerala.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church