Everyday Heroes (Part 4)
A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?"
They said to Him, 'The first.'
Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.'
Matthew 21:28-31 (NKJV)
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.'
Luke 18:10-14 (NKJV)
Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Matthew 3:2 (NKJV)
Everyday heroes act uncommonly good in common situations. Everyday heroes are repenters. 'Repentance' is 'a change of mind and purpose and life' (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
Repent from what? Growing lazy, getting wild, cherishing popularity, harming a friend, disrespecting a parent, choosing a poor path, making a bad decision, or anything we know is wrong.
Then what? We own up, ask forgiveness and do the right thing. 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9).
How does Jesus feel about repenters? 'There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance' (Luke 15:7).
From King David's sin with Bathsheba to Peter's denial of Jesus, the Bible is full of beloved repenters. David wrote in Psalm 51: 'Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me' (v.10-11). Peter 'Went outside and wept bitterly' (Matthew 26:75).
David became Israel's #1 king and Peter Jesus' #1 disciple.
What makes repenters so special? I believe it's honesty. Consider this: 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23). Therefore, when Christians act 'Holier than thou' (Isaiah 65:5), they show the same hypocrisy Jesus came to denounce.
Repentance is a requirement for godly success.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Everyday Heroes series.