05/24/23 Repentance

READING: 2 Chronicles 4-7

As I review my pastoral ministry, I suspect I did not speak enough of repentance. Sure, I told people they needed to turn from their sins, but I doubt I stressed enough what that step meant. I talk much more about repentance now—not because we earn our salvation by turning from sin, but because our turning is evidence of a heart turned toward God. Indeed, repentance and trust ought to mark our ongoing lives as believers. 

In today’s reading, we hear Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple. Recurrently, Solomon asked God to hear the prayers of His people when they turned from their wrong and looked again to Him: 

  • “and they return to you and praise your name, and they pray and plead for mercy before you in this temple, may you hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel” (2 Chron 6:24-25)
  • “and they turn from their sins because you are afflicting them, may you hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and your people Israel” (2 Chron 6:26-27)
  • “and when they come to their senses in the land where they were deported and repent and petition you in their captors’ land, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,’ and when they return to you with all their mind and all their heart in the land of their captivity where they were taken captive, and when they pray in the direction of their land that you gave their ancestors, and the city you have chosen, and toward the temple I have built for your name, may you hear their prayer and petitions in heaven” (2 Chron 6:38-39)

May God help us to turn from our wrong today, run into His arms, rest in His mercy and forgiveness, and praise Him in song: “For he is good, for his faithful love endures forever” (2 Chron 5:13, 7:3). 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: In what areas of your life do you need to repent today?  

DAILY PRAYER: “God almighty, I praise You for Your faithful, enduring love for me. Help me today to repent as needed.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Chronicles 8-12

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