August 1, 2023

Rhonda Patterson
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son'"
Luke 15:21
"'Therefore let all of Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.' When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
Acts 2:36-38

There’s nothing that hits the follower of Christ like the recognition that it was for our own sin that Jesus went to the cross. I was nine years old when God first revealed that truth to me. I actually remember the event that brought about that saving knowledge. My three siblings and I were out shopping with our mother, and I spotted the cutest little pink pen and tablet that I wanted so badly. My frugal and practical mom told me no, but finding an opportunity, I snuck the two items into my pocket. After pulling off my theft, I discovered once home that I could not enjoy them, so I gifted the stolen goods to a friend of mine. That Sunday at church, I cannot tell you what the sermon was about, but I can tell you that the understanding and weight of sin in my life flooded my soul as I recognized what Jesus had done for me. I wish I could tell you that future sinful choices in my life were as simple as the pen and tablet. They were not, and I’ll spare you the details. What I can tell you is that each time I’ve chosen my selfish desires, it began with losing sight of and reverence for the cross. While God doesn’t want us to be continually weighted down by guilt and shame, He does call us to live in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

Lord, we ask that You would continuously circumcise our hearts of any careless disregard for Jesus and His amazing sacrifice of love. Repentance is a beautiful gift to us from You.