And he arose and came to his father. – Luke 15:20a
Little Brother did not say, “I will arise and go to my father,” then stay in his pigpen. No. “He arose and came to his father.” Repentance is a U-Turn. It begins with a change of heart that leads to a change of direction.
Leaving Walmart, you discover the cashier forgot to charge you for a coffee maker. You rejoice! It was his mistake, after all. But halfway home you have a change of heart. You think, “This is not right. I need to turn back.” You feel badly for the cashier so you make a U-Turn and return to Walmart and settle accounts. Your change of heart led to a change of direction.
What about you? You and your brother are not on speaking terms. The Lord is showing you that this is due, in part, to your pride and stubbornness. What will you do? You’re sleeping with your girlfriend and the Lord is convicting you. What will you do?
Repentance takes you first to the cross of Christ. There you find your sins washed away by the blood of Christ. This assures you that your Father will forgive and receive you when you confess your sin to him. “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for the gift of forgiveness and the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins. Pray for the assurance of forgiveness and power of the Spirit to grow and change.
Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.