1 John 1:8-9 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Repentance is an interesting concept. It is interesting because people like to interpret it in a way which is convenient for them.
As proof I share with you the story of Asia Bibi, a 21-year-old Pakistani woman. Recently, Bibi was married. That was fine with Bibi. What wasn't fine was the person she had to marry. You see, Bibi's parents picked her groom. Even though she protested, even though she argued and pleaded, the parents married their daughter not to her lover, but to a distant relative.
Now if you think Bibi settled down, and had children, and lived happily ever after, you would be wrong. She kept asking her parents to take her back. They said, "No."
She said, "I'm desperate, I just might do anything if I don't get to come home."
Her parents still did not take their daughter back. That's when Bibi's boyfriend gave her poison to kill her husband.
Bibi mixed the poison in some milk and gave it to her husband who refused to drink the mixture and set the cup down. Later on in the day, the groom's mother found the milk, and, rather than throwing it away, decided to use it as an ingredient in a yogurt drink she was making.
That night her drink was served to 27 members of the groom's family. Seventeen of those family members died; the other ten received treatment at the local hospital.
Bibi, along with her boyfriend were arrested for murder. As of this writing, the police are trying to decide which of the pair was the mastermind of the plot. That has to be decided before charges are placed against either of them.
In the meantime, Bibi is wrestling with the fact that she is responsible for the deaths of 17 individuals. Now, if this were you, I am sure you would be filled with remorse and regret at this terrible tragedy.
Well, Bibi is repentant, too, sort of. She says she had "warned her parents that she was capable of going to any length to get out of the marriage, but they refused to allow her to get a divorce." When explaining herself, Bibi finished by saying she expressed remorse over the deaths, saying her "target was only her husband." So, there you have it, she is sort of, mostly, kind of, partially sorry.
Which, of course, is not the kind of repentance the Lord is looking for.
Scripture is clear, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In other words, when we say, "Lord be merciful to me a sinner," our Father in heaven forgives us completely and absolutely.
Because of His Son's substitution and sacrifice, every one of our sins and transgressions is wiped clean, and we are able to stand clean and white before our just Judge.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive us for the excuses we make concerning our sin. When we repent, let that heartfelt sorrow for the past become a Spirit-filled hope for the future, which offers no excuse or qualification. This we ask in the Name of the Savior who has offered Himself as the price which makes our forgiveness a reality. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Iram Asim on November 1, 2017 for the Associated Press. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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