Text: Acts 4-6; Proverbs 10:1-16
It amazes my how while reading a familiar text for the umpteenth time, the Lord can speak a fresh Word into our hearts. In Acts 5 the apostles are brought before the ruling council after having violated the injunction against them that they stop preaching Jesus. Of course, the Gospel and its proclamation is an unstoppable force. Peter and the others tell them “We must obey God rather than men,” and then say;
30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:30-31)
Here’s what grabbed me: The word, “give” in the phrase, “to give repentance…”, tells us that our repentance is a gift from God. Our turning from sin is not something we “do” in order to receive forgiveness, it is indeed a gift from God – a wonderful gift of grace. I have heard many testimonies from people who had some captivating sin in their lives the urge for which was removed when they came to Jesus. For some, it was instantaneous, for others it took a while. But the change of heart, deep within, that moves us to turn away from our sin is an incredible gift. It is the breaking of the chains, the earthquake that busts down the jail door, the light that blazes into the dungeon cell. And it is all from Jesus – a gift. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. Amen.
in Him, Mike