Friday, December 4, 2015

Repentance is a Lifetime Process

This week’s lectionary texts highlight the importance of repentance and faith as preparation for entering the Kingdom of God and also living in it:
  • Day 1: Mal. 3:1–7 tells us there are two Messengers: one is the Forerunner John the Baptist who called for repentance to prepare for the coming of Christ, the Second Messenger of the Covenant.
  • Day 2: Psalm 66:1–12 speaks of God putting us through the fires of purification as gold and silver to transform us from glory to glory as we submit to His rule. Kingdom living is not trouble-free or pain-free; but there is a promise of abundant grace at the end of the purification process.
  • Day 3: Phil. 1:2-11 reminds us that the salvation God started in us beginning with our baptism, He will bring to completion before we leave this life. It is a life-long process of growth and transformation.
  • Day 4: Luke 3:1-7 describes John’s ministry of repentance. Repentance means first and foremost mindset change (metanoia). Belief determines behaviour: we are transformed as we align our mind-map with biblical worldview. To accomplish this mindset change requires more than just bible study: very often, God will have to put us through challenging times to fill up the valley of self-doubts, remove mountains of excuses, and clear the hill of negative thinking in order to straighten the crooked roads of inferiority, and smoothen the rough ways of our personality quirks. 
The whole message on repentance is that it is not just something we do at the beginning of our Christian journey to enter into God’s kingdom. It is a life-time process of renewal of our mindset by the Word of God and through the School of Hard Knocks.

Father, thank You that repentance (changing mindset) is a life-long process of being instructed by Your Word and purified through challenging times. Amen.

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