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September 20 – Roadblocks to repentance

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness”” – Hebrews 3:7-8

Scripture reading: Hebrews 3:7-8, Jonah 3:5-10

True repentance is a heart-level change that involves the whole person. However, as Ian Duguid describes in his study guide Jonah: Grace for Sinners and Saints, there can be real roadblocks to repentance. What are some repentance roadblocks? We might not want to change. The sin feels too good, or it seems like repentance will take the fun out of life. So we think we can put off repentance until a later time. But imagine if the Ninevites had thought that. “Thanks Jonah, but we’ll deal with this next year, after we’ve conquered a few more nations.” That would have been too late!

We can also make light of sin, not becoming truly convicted. We might also be fearful because we have little hope in God, or because it means admitting to God and others that we are sinful and broken. We may also fail to pray, not trusting God’s work in our hearts to bring us to repentance. Lastly, we may try to rely on our own willpower instead of looking to the Lord Jesus Christ for aid.

Let the Gospel motivate you to repent. Your guilt is washed away. You are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. You are loved by the Father. He gives new beginnings. There is a good future for you!

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to remove roadblocks to repentance that might be evident in your life. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart, and to have you experience his love and forgiveness.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.


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