Tag: Repent

There’s always a way to return!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

It was a bright Sunday morning in 18th century London, but Robert Robinson’s mood was anything but sunny. All along the street, there were people hurrying to church, but in the midst of the crowd, Robinson was a lonely man. The sound of church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong and the church was an integral part of his life. It had been years since he set foot in a church — years of wandering, disillusionment, and gradual defection from the God he once loved. That love for God — once fiery and passionate — had slowly burned out within him, leaving him dark and cold inside. Robinson heard the clip-clop, clip-clop of a horse-drawn cab approaching behind him. Turning, he lifted his hand to hail the driver. But then he saw that the cab was occupied by a young woman dressed in finery for the Lord’s Day. He waved the driver on, but the woman in the carriage ordered the carriage to be stopped.

Sir, I’d be happy to share this carriage with you,” she said to Robinson. “Are you going to church?” Robinson was about to decline, then he paused. “Yes,” he said at last. “I am going to church.” He stepped into the carriage and sat down beside the young woman. As the carriage rolled forward Robert Robinson and the woman exchanged introductions. There was a flash of recognition in her eyes when he stated his name. “That’s an interesting coincidence,” she said, reaching into her purse. She withdrew a small book of inspirational verse, opened it to a ribbon bookmark and handed the book to him. “I was just reading a verse by a poet named Robert Robinson. Could it be…?

He took the book, nodding. “Yes, I wrote these words years ago.” “Oh, how wonderful!” she exclaimed. “Imagine! I’m sharing a carriage with the author of these very lines!

But Robinson barely heard her. He was absorbed in the words he was reading. They were words that would one day be set to music and become a great hymn of the faith, familiar to generations of Christians:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace’
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

His eyes slipped to the bottom of the page where he read:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it—
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

He could barely read the last few lines through the tears that brimmed in his eyes. “I wrote these words—and I’ve lived these words. ’Prone to wander…prone to leave the God I love.’

The woman suddenly understood. “You also wrote, ’Here’s my heart, O take and seal it.’ You can offer your heart again to God, Mr. Robinson. It’s not too late.

And it wasn’t too late for Robert Robinson. In that moment he turned his heart back to God and walked with him the rest of his days. [Ron Lee Davis, Courage to Begin Again, (Harvest House, Eugene, OR; 1978), pp. 145-147]

Is this you? A devoted Christian deep in your heart, who has wandered from the faith? Your loving Father will orchestrate your return to Him.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

Conversion

Grace Gems Whiteby Al Martin

“First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also–I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” Acts 26:20

Conversion begins with a radical turning to God in repentance that issues in a lifetime of living out the implications of that turning, by performing deeds in keeping with that repentance.

“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

This describes the conversion of the Thessalonians as consisting in a radical turning to God from idols, issuing in a life of bond-service to the living God, and an eager waiting for the completion of salvation to be bestowed at the return of Jesus.

If any professed conversion is indeed God’s saving work, it always issues in the following: a life of growing communion with Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 3:8-10); a life of increasing conformity to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18); a life of continuous abiding in Christ (John 15:1-11); and a life of principled obedience to Christ (John 14:21, 1 John 2:3-4).

by Al Martin