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Recipe for Repentance

“Repentance means you change your mind so deeply that it changes you.”

Bruce Wilkinson

Whenever I think of the National Day of Prayer, II Chronicles 7:14 comes to mind. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This Scripture includes four ingredients which make up the recipe for repentance.

Our pride and arrogance, wanting to do things our own way, results in sin. Humility is the opposite of pride. In order for Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin to penetrate our hearts, humility is needed. Therefore, the first ingredient to place in our bowl of repentance, is humility, placing God’s desires above our own.

The second ingredient required for our recipe for repentance is prayer. Prayer is talking to God about your own needs. The act of prayer, when we ask God for help, displays humility. It’s saying I can’t do this but I know God can.

Seeking God’s face is the third ingredient. Face means the same as presence, so when we seek God’s face, we’re seeking to be with Him, for Himself, not for what He can give us. When I’ve sinned, I’ve turned my back on God and have walked away from Him. But when I’ve sought God’s face, I pursue Him and return to Him.

The last ingredient for our repentance recipe, is to turn from our wicked ways. Repentance is not just being sorry for the consequences of your sin. Instead, you’re grieved over how your sin affects your relationship with God. David prayed in Psalm 51:4a, “Against you, you only, have I sinned.” Genuine repentance is godly sorrow over your sin which leads to a change in behavior. 

These four ingredients: humility, prayer, seeking God’s presence and turning from our sinful lifestyle, make up a delicious recipe of repentance. And once we repent, we enjoy God’s listening ear, His forgiveness and restoration of our relationship with Him.

“God is not looking for repayment, but repentance. What heals a broken relationship is sincere love and contrition.”

Frederica Matthewes-Green

Relevant Reflections:

  1. Which of the ingredients for repentance do you struggle with the most?

  2. Is there anything you need to repent of today?

  3. How have you seen repentance change your relationship with God?

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