“Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.” (Acts 3:19 NRSV)
“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 NRSV)
The tide was coming in that morning as I strolled the Cabo San Jose beach. I followed a popular path along the water’s edge, the dry, rumpled sand cool to my feet. Suddenly a large wave surged ashore. When it receded, I stood still and marveled at the transformation. An unspoiled, pristine beach now stretched before me, as if I’d suddenly stepped onto an isolated island. Not a trace of the trampled path remained.
And so it is with the Lord and the messy tracks we leave behind. When we confess our sins, he washes away every sinful imprint. And this without requiring us to grovel, flagellate, or fix ourselves first.
I recently heard a preacher say that everything that keeps us from coming to the Father is a deception. The enemy’s fear-guilt-condemnation chatter constantly feeds us things like: “You are unwanted”; “God does not like you”; “God won’t approve unless you try harder.” What lies hold you back from running joyfully into the Father’s arms? This is what we confess-where we have agreed with the enemy.
How astounding that because of Jesus, we get to live in the sunshine of our Father’s approval. Over and over the tides of his love and forgiveness rise to give us new beginnings. This is why the Bible talks about how the goodness of God leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Our sustained wonder, awe and gratefulness for his kindness in light of our sin can’t help but be the very thing that transforms, that turns us around, that changes our lives.
Prayer of Response
“Thank you, Father, that your cleansing mercies are new every morning.”
—Submitted by Ruth Wood
Ruth is a US/Swiss citizen and lives with her husband in Oregon. They have two grown sons and one very spoiled grandcat. She works as a Licensed Professional Counselor and loves blogging at EspressoForTheHeart.org.