Repent and Believe the Gospel Again

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 J.B. Phillips)
 
 
 
Shake off your routines like bedcovers

Plant your feet on the ground
for the journey

Clear your eyes of sleep

Take in the sight of a new day
for loving your God

(Rachel G. Hackenberg)

 

I like my routines.  I get up every morning.  I brew a cup of coffee to sip and warm my hands, while I read my devotions. Then I find my pen and write in my journal.

In my journal, I start out with recording the day, the date, the time and the place.  I make some observation about how I feel or record something from the day before that stood out as important.  

And for Lent, I am writing love letters to God, which as I’ve said isn’t as easy as it sounds.


Last week as Lent began I received the ashes on my forehead. The words spoken that day jolted me.

 

And this week, the words, “Repent and believe the gospel,” continue to confront me.

 

I was expecting “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” and instead I was startled by the word, “Repent!” 

And the charge to “Believe the gospel,” initiated a spiritual crisis. Do I really believe the gospel? What does it mean to believe the gospel? Or more accurately, what would my life look like if I took God at His word that I am redeemed and forgiven?

Maybe I wouldn’t reach for the TV remote as often. Maybe I wouldn’t doubt God’s love. Maybe I would be more gracious towards those who disappoint me. Maybe I could stop being so angry. (I made the rash decision to give up anger for Lent. It’s not going so well. I need to get rid of it, but that’s my dilemma, I tend to hoard anger.)
 
Maybe, just, maybe I would get out of bed and greet each new day with joy because Jesus lives and loves!
 
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6 thoughts on “Repent and Believe the Gospel Again

  1. I appreciate this gut-honest post, KeL (as all of yours are). I don't think routines are a bad thing. I need them to stay on track and to make the journey. I guess though I need to be open to God's Spirt. Sometimes, like with real trains, He switches my tracks and puts new routines in place…….like right now on my mini Radical Sabbatical. Like you, I"m rising, cup in hand (mine filled with hot tea, laced with cream and honey), and I"m reading His Word and journaling. But a routine track He's switched for me, is that I am not reading any other spiritual material. During this time, I feel He just wants to speak to me through His Word and in my journal. Being a Christian author who feeds on words of other authors, this is really, really hard. But God is meeting me in this place of obedience. Also, He is calling me to repent, just as He is you. But doesn't He really call all of us to do this at all times……confess and repent, confess and repent, confess and repent…..kind of like a train clicking its rhythm down the track. As a matter of fact, repentence (sincerely felt and meant) really does keep us on track with the Lord. But it is nto easy, is it (as you are discovering)? Repent and believe, repent and believe, repent and believe. I like the sound of that, too!Lynni

  2. Lynni- Yes, God is calling to us repent routinely! I agree routines are good…and I like them, but it is good for me to hold them with an open hand, because life is always changing and God redirects us, too. I love your train track analogy!

  3. I want to hug you right now. Isn't this the way? We make a promise, a pledge, a pact, an attempt to stop ______, to do a better job of ______, to start ______, to participate in _____ more often. And on and on. And we falter and fall. And what do you know? There's Jesus, taking us anyway. Incredible, indescribable grace. No wonder it's so hard to believe. I mean, who DOES that? Only God…

  4. I love that quote, "Shake off your routines like bedcovers." Some days I don't want to get out of bed, just like I don't want to get rid of routines. Great encouragement!

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