Monday, February 13th, 2017
Do-Gooders (Part 90)
As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, 'You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.' But he denied it, saying, 'I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.' And he went out onto the porch. The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, 'This is one of them!' But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, 'Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.' But he began to curse and swear, 'I do not know this Man you are talking about!' Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, 'Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.' And he began to weep.
Mark 14:66-72 (NASB)
In this devotion's prep, I found dispute. Some modern Christians define repentance as the resolve to turn away from sin.* But righteous intentions cannot succeed without a Savior's transforming Presence. True repentance involves turning to God, which results in a change of mind and heart.**
Pseudo repentance is superficial. It can be sorrow mixed with excuses, because we didn't get what we wanted. We may realize we're not right with God, or even that we made some big mistakes. But we're not fully willing to own them, nor accept correction without question. Our hearts aren't authentically contrite.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider some Bible examples of sincere or pseudo repentance.
1. Sincere: The Prodigal Son's real repentance showed in his meager expectations.
2. Sincere: In David's sin against Uriah, the king repented without defense.
3. Sincere: When Peter faced his fearful weakness, he realized his false bravado.
4. Pseudo: Esau mourned the loss of his birthright, but didn't grasp his misplaced values.
5. Pseudo: When Saul was rebuked for a rash move, he was sad but still thought he was right.
6. Pseudo: In selling out Jesus for money, Judas expressed remorse, but not to God.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, sincerity works in Hollywood. Even more, it's essential to God. Since no one gets it right all time, only sincere, heartfelt repentance will keep you on the Lord's callback list.
To Be Continued...
* Biblical definition of repentance: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionaries/dict_meaning.php?source=1&wid=T0003105
* Excellent article: 'Real Repentance' by Bob Deffinbaugh, also discusses instances of false repentance in the Bible: https://bible.org/seriespage/12-real-repentance-2-samuel-121-13
* Short article: What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?https://www.gotquestions.org/repentance.html
* Audio and written sermon, Genuine Repentance: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-10-genuine-repentance-ezra-101-44
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.