As the Church universal, we spend a lot of time thinking about repentance. We constantly discuss our wrongdoings and our sins. We cling to verses like Romans 3:23 (NLT) “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
We cry out to the God of all creation, begging for a measly scrap of His grace to cover our sins and wrong thinking towards others.
A while ago at my own church, we discussed what it really means to repent, biblically. I loved what we discussed. We sin, yes. We ask for forgiveness, and then we turn the other way and walk in righteousness. We are essentially doing a 180-degree turn. My boss and I demonstrated this for the kids, and it was incredible to see their eyes light up when they got it.
The Merrium-Webster dictionary defines repentance as “the action or process of repenting, especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings.”
I see that in the Church all the time, and yes, I think it’s good and right and important to repent. I think it’s necessary to confess our sins to God and ask for forgiveness, don’t get me wrong.
But the heart of repentance isn’t to beat yourself up: it’s to acknowledge your sin, receive forgiveness, and then turn the other way to continue walking in wholeness.
However, we (myself most definitely included!) spend a lot of time begging at the cross for forgiveness when Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Friends, when Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant it.
What a freedom that is! He really meant it.
It is finished means I don’t have to live in fear and condemnation.
It is finished means I don’t have to beg for His forgiveness.
It is finished means that He knows my whole life story, and He loves me anyway.
It is finished means just what it’s saying: we can let go, leave it at the foot of the cross, and move forward.
Friends, over the years, I’ve spent so much time begging for the forgiveness that Jesus has already given me that I’ve missed what He has in store! That being said, He is so faithful to offer it again.
One of my good friends, Dylan, was giving his testimony and said what he heard from the Lord and it struck me. Dylan said he heard this from the Lord: “There is no such thing as a missed opportunity with Me.”
Living beyond repentance doesn’t mean to ignore the fact that yes, it’s good to ask for forgiveness and do a 180-degree turn to walk in wholeness; it means that we have the freedom to live beyond begging for what He’s already given.
There is so much more that the Lord has for us than to constantly be begging for measly scraps when He has whole storehouses full for us. There is more beyond begging at the foot of the cross.
Lay down your burdens, your sins, at the foot of the cross. He is faithful to take them and use them for our good. Today, be freed. Take a moment to thank God that we don’t have to beg for what He’s already given! Then, take a step. Step beyond the cross into the fullness of what He has for you!
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