My wife Amanda and I enjoyed another great time of worship at Calvary Baptist Church this morning. One of the key verses studied was Acts 3:19.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”
Here Peter was preaching to the onlookers in the Temple after a man had been miraculously healed through the Holy Spirit. Note that his first command was to repent! Salvation is a free gift, but it cannot be possible unless true repentance is a part of the equation.
It is interesting to note that this command came just a few days after a total blackout and powerful earthquake rocked Jerusalem following the death of “the Author of Life.” Of course, we know that He was raised, but apparently, many Israelites had already forgotten!
We humans, when it comes to learning lessons, tend to have the memory of a goldfish and the foresight of a Magic 8-Ball. Just days after the biggest event in human history, the crucifixion, people were already needing reminding of Christ’s sacrifice and the need for forgiveness of their sins.
How much more is the necessity of atonement lost on Americans today? Pacified by smartphones and SUVs, we in the West have become like the lumbering zombies seen on “The Walking Dead.” We’re alive, well fed, and thriving by all biological counts, but are we really living?
The Bible says spirituality is an aspect of our being that can’t be denied. We all have a need for God that cannot be met until one has an encounter with Jesus. And that encounter, like coming across a lion in the jungle, should be a life-changing rendezvous that brings about long-term change.
Have you turned to God lately? Have your sins been wiped away? I’m thankful today for the true repentance that is possible through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It’s what makes those times of refreshing that Peter talked about possible!
And how desperately I need them!