The Intimacy of Repentance

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“I am now standing at the door and am knocking. If any one listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him and will feast with him, and he shall feast with Me” (Rev. 3:20, Weymouth).

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you have probably heard this verse before. But did you notice what verse comes right before it? I’m really struck by the connection between the two. Here it is:

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (v. 19, ESV).

Do these two verses really fit together? Perhaps at first glance they don’t seem to, but they actually do in a vitally important way. Let’s unpack this together. How, exactly, does a call to repentance go with a call to intimacy? Very naturally. You see, the one leads fundamentally into the other.

Unfortunately, many of us have suffered from mental blocks about the word “repentance.” It often seems to conjure up a picture of an angry prophet’s face, shouting out a tirade about our sins. This is exactly the opposite of God’s version of this concept. In His heart, a call to repent is essentially a call to intimacy. Return to Me, He says, “and I will return to you” (Zec. 1:3, NKJV). His arms held out to us, He beckons us yearningly.

His invitation to repent springs from His passionate longing and love for us. He extends it exclusively towards the ones that He values at the price of His precious blood. Scripture uses the words “giving” and “granting” when speaking of repentance (Acts 5:31,11:18, 2 Tim. 2:25). Why this word choice? Because repentance is a priceless gift.

Still, we may squirm a bit. Why does He call attention to that which needs to change in our lives? Does He enjoy fixating on our failures? Absolutely not. He has only one reason for lovingly convicting us of our misdeeds. That is, to call us up to a higher, freer place. To call us into a place where there are no barriers at all to our intimacy with Him. A place where we respond to His voice… He enters into the inmost sanctuary of our hearts… and we banquet together.

“I am now standing at the door and am knocking. If any one listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him and will feast with him, and he shall feast with Me”

Feasting in this Scripture is a symbol of ultimate closeness and communion between friends. “I love you,” Jesus calls tenderly. “Open to Me.” “Please, please, please, let there be nothing, nothing at all, holding you back from intimacy with Me!”

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Romans 2:4 says that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. What does this mean?

 

26 thoughts on “The Intimacy of Repentance

  1. John the Baptist declared REPENT ! Sin has been ever present, in this world, since the garden. Jesus died for the sin that separates us from God. Our part is to repent- turn away from our wicked ways and turn to Jesus for salvation. Though simple to say and explain, it is our greatest challenge in our lives. Len W

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  2. I love this! I was talking to my Dad yesterday about how the closer we get to God, sin should naturally fall away. It’s up to us how deep we go, but the deeper we go in God, the less we look like ourselves and the more we look like Jesus.

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    1. Thank you so much, Maxine! I read a statement by Mark Virkler a number of years ago that has really stuck with me. He said that our biggest problem is not actually our sins, but our failure to repent as often as we need to. Jesus solved the problem of our sins, if we are only willing to run to His arms, leaving them behind each time we stumble!

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  3. What does it mean….? Let’s take a look at this shall we? Kindness is Love In Action. I thank the Love Dare for this understanding … It is the understanding that while we were still sinners still enemies of God we didn’t want anything to do with God. Yet, He showed us kindness in that moment. His loving action of sending His only begotten Son to die for you and me and everyone. Talk About Sacrifice! That kindness shows us the depth of His Love which is unfathomable by human understanding… By knowing that love it leads us to repentance. Knowing you could never earn it… Knowing we didn’t deserve it. Yet He still made Him who has not known sin to be the offering for our sin. That we may be with Him Forever… Through Him we can find forgiveness and His Great Love just changes our lives. Keep on Posting Jennifer! GOD showed me a different perspective on a familiar verse today too. Check out the following:

    https://promotionhotspot.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/a-different-perspective-training-children-of-God/

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    1. Will, thank you so much for these insightful thoughts on my question. Beautifully expressed! Amen! It’s HIs indescribable, infinite love that draws our hearts to want to turn away from harmful patterns of the past and to His life-giving presence! And thank you so much for sharing your post, I love how Holy Spirit showed you something new and fresh through such a familiar Scripture!

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  4. Acknowledgement is a start, but repentance is a big part of the path to moving away from our sin. I’m slowly finding out how do that for myself, to accept my imperfections and where I fall short, through the beautiful unpacking of bible verses with the help of people like you, and the Bible Project, and a really wonderful bible study group from church.

    Thank you. 😊

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    1. That is wonderful, my brother! Amen! He faithfully calls and empowers us on that path to bearing “fruits worthy of repentance.” Praises to His beautiful name! And I rejoice with you that you’ve found such a wonderful group of fellow believers to journey with 🙂

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  5. Too often people lift one verse or part of a verse without connecting verses before and/or after it. Another one that is often used this way is 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” They leave it as though it is still a mystery. Yet if you read the next verse, we see it is no longer a mystery because “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” We need to see the whole picture, and you have opened this up in your excellent post on Rev. 3:20. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

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