And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. ~ Mark 1: 4
As I read the chapters for this day, I was so overwhelmed with man’s evilness:
Judges 2: “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals” Vs 11
Jeremiah 15: “You have rejected me, declares the Lord and you keep on backsliding” Vs 6
Act 6: Stephen is brought before the Sanhedrin testified against by false witnesses and he is ultimately stoned to death in chapter 7.
These chapters also describe God’s abhorrence of our evilness and the penalty that can occur due to our sin against God.
Judges 2: “In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders to plunder them.” Vs 14
Jeremiah 15: “I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people for they have not changed their ways. Vs 7
Man has the potential of great evil which has been demonstrated over and over throughout history. But God calls us to so much more. We are called by Jesus to “Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1: 15).
Often I do not put myself into the group of “Man” because “I have certainly not done anything like what they did.” But I have done so many other things that are abhorrent to God. Recently, I did not honor my mother and with that I also did not follow the greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. I need to “Repent and believe the good news!” Now, I have been a believer since I was 16 and that has not changed, but I still need to repent.
Repentance consists of a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; self-assurance of God’s mercy in Christ; an actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God; and a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God. Repentance is a continual process that requires me to be aware of my “evilness” as I am reminded this morning and turn to a holy Savior who has made it possible for me to receive forgiveness.
Father, please forgive me for my sin, for not following your greatest commandment to love You with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as myself. I ask for Your help to continually turn to You and Your Son in times of temptation and I thank You for the amazing gift of forgiveness because of the sacrifice of Jesus for my sin. Amen