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What does it mean to repent? This is a question I ask myself on a regular basis. What does it mean, and what does it actually look like in my day-to-day life?

Every month in the children’s department of our church, they have a foundational question that they ask and answer. A few months ago, the question was, “What is repentance?” The answer was, “Repentance is turning away from sin and to Jesus.”

I love the depths of that answer but also the simplicity. It helps me realize that repentance is twofold. It is turning away from sin, but it is not just that. There is a second part of repentance, and that second part is what gives us true hope. The second part is turning to Jesus. It is in Him that we find forgiveness. It is also where we find the way forward from sin.

When I look to Jesus and all that He has done for me, it is then that I see my sin for what it is and truly want to turn from that sin.

When we come to Psalm 51, we encounter David after he sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, and most importantly, against God. The prophet, Nathan, confronted him about his sin. The first thing we see David do is acknowledge his sin. I do not know about you, but sometimes this is the hardest step for me. I often either do not see my sin, or do not want to recognize it as sin. I want to justify what I am doing.

However, real freedom from sin comes when I recognize my sin, call it what it is, and turn from it.

David acknowledged his sin and then relied on God to find mercy. He did not come to God with excuses or tell God about all he had done to “make up” for it. We see him come in humility, acknowledge his sin, and ask God to have mercy on him according to who God is, which is loving, compassionate, and able to wash away and cleanse sin.

As we recognize sin in our life, we must agree with God that it is sin. Then we must intentionally choose to turn from the sin and look to Jesus to help us not continue in it. Sometimes repentance is seeing a sin once, turning from it, and then never going back. Often, though, it is day-by-day repentance of the same sins over and over again. It is continually turning from our sin, turning toward Jesus, and trusting that in Him we have forgiveness and the freedom from that sin.

Freedom can start today. Will you turn to Jesus?

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Week 3 Challenge:

Repentance is a spiritual discipline. It requires a humble heart and an acknowledgement of our sin. This week, as we study repentance, add this into your daily rhythms. As we seek to fill our lives with the things of God in the midst of our fasting, add repentance into your routine, humbling your heart before God and confessing your sin.

Week 3 Reading Plan:

Find it in your journal or on the LGG App!

Week 3 Memory Verse:

Memorize Scripture with us for Week 3 of our Lent Bible study for women!

Mary Leslie Racine

Mary Leslie Racine

Mary Leslie loves a good book, a nap, going for a walk, and, most importantly, God and His Word. She is a mom to three kids and has been married to her husband, Heath, for 13 years. She is passionate about encouraging women to be in God’s Word and to build their life on His truth. She loves spending time with her friends and enjoys a good day out on the lake.

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