On this day of Passion week Jesus cursed a fig tree and cleansed the temple. Why? He was addressing two issues: the lack of bearing genuine fruit and the absence of real worship. As we come into God’s presence let’s humbly allow him to examine the motives and hidden places of our heart.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. What you may not know is that 600 years before Jesus’ entry, the prophet Daniel prophesied the date that Messiah would enter into Jerusalem. Bible scholars have identified the date of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the exact date prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 9:25). Palm Sunday, therefore, is a remarkable fulfillment of Bible prophecy and another affirmation of the inspiration of Scripture and the deity of Christ.
When we repent of our sin, God himself rejoices. Luke writes, “I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Let’s be the kind of people who are responsive to God with a tender heart and make God celebrate!
Repentance involves a godly sorrow over our sin that leads to change. The Apostle Paul writes, “I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Cor 7:9-10).
To those who desire to draw near to God, Peter exhorts, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20). You may need to embrace Jesus for the first time or you desire to refresh your relationship with Him. “Times of refreshing” come when we repent, turn away from our sin, and place our trust in the Living God.
Repentance involves a turning away from sinful practices and patterns. In Acts 19 we read, “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily” (Acts 19:18-20). What behaviors do you need to abandon today?
Repentance is acknowledging with our mind that our behavior is dishonoring to God; it is feeling sorrow over our disobedience; and it demands a personal decision to stop the behavior and walk in obedience to Christ. To walk rightly with God requires the united engagement of our mind, emotion and will.
Repentance is a turning away from sin. It is a spiritual u-turn. You confess and stop a behavior or pattern that is dishonoring to God and choose to conduct yourself in a way in keeping with your identity as a righteous child of God. Peter describes repentance this way, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good“ (1 Peter 3:10-11). Join me in prayer as we invite God to give us an attitude of repentance.
Overtime we come before our heavenly Father in prayer … He already knows! He already knows our heart condition, our sin, our weaknesses, our failures, and our needs. Therefore we have the absolute freedom to come before Him and tell Him everything … anything! Because He loves us.
Jesus modeled an extraordinary passion for the unity of those who would follow him. He prayed, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21). Today there is a critical need for oneness and unity in the Church. Let’s make Jesus’ prayer for unity … our own.