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Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross: Day 14

Wash Me, Lord

by

Today's Text: Lamentations 1:1-11, Psalm 51:1-6, Psalm 32

Text: Lamentations 1:1-11, Psalm 51:1-6, Psalm 32:1-11

Last week I saw my husband and my sister give me the same exasperated look. I knew I was driving both of them crazy. I don’t listen and I push for my own way. I know it. But instead of sticking around to hear it in so many words, I hid in my office seeking the comfort of Samoas and Miles Davis.

I’m definitely spending my days looking for comfort: warm coffee, me time, a massage, a pedicure, even a hot bath. Our modern response to hard times is to look for physical comfort. If my soul is restless, I’m looking for my down comforter and Girl Scout cookies and sparkling grape juice.

I know that a bubble bath isn’t going to wash my soul, but aren’t you tempted to do the same thing? I want to dip my chin in lavender bubbles and forget that the only way to be truly clean is through repentance. Psalm 32 says that blessedness is in repentance: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity” (v.5). “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (v.1).

We also scurry around trying to create life for ourselves through our super-fabulous accomplishments. I feel so much better when I’m a genius at work, a lovely wife, or the coolest mom. But does my life in the Kingdom actually have anything to do with my adorable talents? Our participation in the Kingdom of God is rooted in repentance, and all my busy actions and sacrifices are just that—business—unless my heart is willing to repent.

I need to repent even of my righteousness. My actions do not earn my salvation. (Psalm 51)

Finally, I seek life and comfort by defending, hiding and protecting myself. Is it your instinct to defend instead of repent when you encounter judgement? Years ago, when I was fresh out of college, I was accused of lying to my employer. Whether or not I’m a big liar is neither here nor there, but when I was brought before the big boss I sobbingly started to try to defend myself. He stopped me and told me I didn’t need to say a word in my own defense. He vouched for me, while I stood still and blew my nose on those rough brown paper napkins. That experience will stay with me forever—I don’t have to run to defend myself. Christ calls us to repentance, and He is our defender!

And what freedom could possibly come from offering my own defense? True freedom is in forgiveness. Repentance gives true life even in the midst of judgment. We really have only two choices when we encounter judgment: harden our hearts, or repent. The author of Lamentations always runs to repentance.

This is why there is hope, even in the book of Lamentations. Sin has brought wreckage upon Jerusalem, though she was once great. Her people are hungry, and in their famine and their sorrow they call out to the Lord. Matthew Henry writes, “In this sad condition Jerusalem acknowledged her sin, and entreated the Lord to look upon her case. This is the only way to make ourselves easy under our burdens; for it is the just anger of the Lord for man’s transgressions, that has filled the earth with sorrows, lamentations, sickness, and death.”

We need to be washed from our sin, and only God can do that. It is in our calling out to Him, in acknowledging our sin, that we can enjoy the freedom in being washed clean from our transgressions. Hard-heartedness just leads to more judgement, but repentance leads to life.

So when I long for peace and spiritual cleansing, instead of reaching for my comfort in a latte and a good sugar scrub, I have to cry out, “Wash me, Lord!” (Psalm 51:2)

Run to Him in repentance. Run to Him for peace. Because repentance gives life, and it’s a blessed sign of God’s grace and goodness.

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  • Stephanie

    Love this Rebecca!

  • Jesus,
    There are so many things that I need to repent of and so many ways that I have gotten off track and sinned against you in my walk with you. This morning as I am before you, I ask for forgiveness. I ask that you cleanse my heart, and I repent of my sins. Lord I confess that I have not been what you want me to be and that I have become so distracted by this life. Lord I ask that you help me to get back on track with you and to choose you over and over again. Lord wash me! Is my plea and my prayer, wash me! And help me to let go of the sin that so easily entangles me!

  • RachelLee

    Thank you for the redirection. Now I feel like I can start my day again.

  • Hannah Dessel

    I was just praying to God to forgive me for hurting someone else. I felt the heaviness of it, almost to the point of guilt. Then I read this, the passages and your message, and I feel hope! Repentance leads to life.

  • Becca Harlow

    Wow. Great post. Thank you

  • Amen and amen!

  • Keep leading me to the cross Lord. That’s the only place I know repentance. I’ll never know how much it cost, no matter how much I look to the cross. Too much for us to bear. Would defeat any human being. But that’s where you defeated sin and death in your resurrection! Ceaseless praise!

  • Kasey Tuggle

    True COMFORT comes from the one and only true Comforter!! Wow needed this truth today! He alone brings my heart to a restful place!

  • Ladies, God is so amazing. I love how when he speaks to me he gives me back ups to make sure my ever tempted mind gets the message loud and clear. As soon as I closed my app, I opened my Bible app. In my Bible app I have made for myself a daily devotion of Psalm and Proverb and a Old Testament and New Testament reading. Today, my very first reading is
    Psalm 130
    A song of ascents. 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; [2] Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. [3] If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? [4] But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. [5] I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. [6] I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. [7] Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. [8] 8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
    Isn’t it amazing how it directly followed the progression of this lesson!!!!
    I hear you Lord!!! I hope this blesses someone else who is as stubborn as I am. If you were looking for a sign…Here it is.

    • Emma

      Thank you for posting the passage from Psalm 130. I really needed to hear it :)

  • VictoriousOne

    It’s amazing how these lessons are just what I need for the day…I’m so grateful for the honesty and transparency. And more grateful for the opportunity to repent and return to the Lord.

  • I often focus my eyes on myself when I know I need to repent, somehow trying to muster up remorse and broken-hearted ness. Interestingly, it is when I remember His kindness, that I am inspired to repent- His kindness leads me to repenancet.

  • I enjoyed this – I have been using food as a comfort and have needed these words to remind me I should be running to The Lord for that comfort and warmth. Only He can provide true and everlasting comfort! This is my first SRT study and I love it.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thanks for sharing your heart, Nikki! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for SheReadsTruth

  • This is the exact message I needed today. Shot right through my heart. I find comfort in my warm blankets and snacks every night instead of calling out to my Comforter. I cannot sit still until the day is done because if I’m busy, I’m doing “something.”…seeking worthiness. Thank you for the truth that is brought daily. I so desperately need it!

  • This post really spoke to me today! I’m looking in the wrong places for comfort and reassurance. There is only one way and it is through Him.

  • This is a great devotion, much needed.

  • Amen Rebecca. Thanks a lot for this!

  • Johnmicels

    What a great post, I actually found it very thought provoking, thanks

    lords green

  • Lamentations is a really hard book for me. When I read about little children being sold off because of their parents sin.. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I know God is good but it’s such a hard reality. It’s something I worry about in my own life…will my sin affect my children in some horrible way? I need to repent of my repentance even like we read days back because sometimes I feel like I’m not being totally genuine.. Just going through motions. I have a lot of thoughts on my head lately..I just ask for prayer.. Thank you sisters ❤️

  • As a stay at home working mom, wow, this really hit me today. I definitely feel like more of a genius when I am at work, and when I can't be I just want to go get a starbucks to ease the stress of motherhood. Today was one of those days. Torn between loving and cherishing every moment with my sweet baby or feeling like my mind was turning to mush the longer I got no work done. Obviously I'm here reading this as at the end of the day here I really just need the Lord to wash and renew me.

    • Jenny Raymond

      Seeing as how I just got home from Starbucks on my MNO, yeah. I’m right there beside you. Oh Lord, wash us both.

  • I find it very discouraging when I hear that some of you feel your biggest sin is being righteous. It makes me feel so much more shame about the things I have done that actually remove me from God and His kingdom. It’s a bit insensitive, really. When someone like me, who has a real thorn in her side, hears you say something along the lines of “I need to repent because I think I’m too good”… It makes me want to hide under a paper bag and never come out.

    • Hayley

      B… It sounds to me like there’s some pride in the statements of the righteous. We are ALL sinners but the beautiful reality is Jesus paid it ALL for EVERYONE. He loves u just as you are. If you ever do another “righteous” thing in your life, you are still loved by the creator of the universe. Be good to yourself and love yourself like the Father loves you. Comparison is the thief of joy. Xo

    • Jenny Raymond

      True righteousness isn’t sinful, but self-righteousness really IS. It is a sin of pride (and God has some mighty strong words about pride) and negating what God does for His own glory. Don’t allow the father of lies tell you that your sin is worse than anyone else’s. Christ died for all sin equally — a single sin in all our life, not the culmination of a life’s worth, is what sent him to that cross in our place. Praise him for the life he has mercifully granted us!

      • Amanda

        I suspect the reason to “repent of righteousness” as today’s devotion encourages, is that we are quick to trust in our righteous deeds rather than in Christ’s work. You’re right, our deeds are indeed beautiful and are made beautiful by grace. Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees!

        I just love that we are all engaging so much with the studies and being challenged by them in whatever way. Bless you sisters.

  • Meagan Barnette

    .

  • Rebecca, you summed it up perfectly for me with this: I’m definitely spending my days looking for comfort: warm coffee, me time, a massage, a pedicure, even a hot bath. Our modern response to hard times is to look for physical comfort. If my soul is restless, I’m looking for my down comforter and Girl Scout cookies and sparkling grape juice.

    I know that a bubble bath isn’t going to wash my soul, but aren’t you tempted to do the same thing? I want to dip my chin in lavender bubbles and forget that the only way to be truly clean is through repentance. Psalm 32 says that blessedness is in repentance: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity” (v.5). “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (v.1).

  • I absolutely love the line… ” I don’t have to run to defend myself. Christ calls us to repentance, and He is our defender!”. This is the TRUTH. So often I personally spend so much time trying to figure things out or give my time to things I can not control. I need to just submit and lay it at his feet. This is not my burden. I am covered. I sometimes forget that! This was wonderful, I so enjoyed today’s word.

  • Antimony

    So much easier to seek physical comfort when the pain comes from deep inside. Last year one of my friends died … very unexpectedly. I sat at the table talking to her at 3p and at 6p she dropped dead of a massive heart attack. I haven’t been in any sort of “good” place with God for … well … years probably. And as soon as March rolled around, boom. That’s all I can think of! Her death. And what if it was me. Me that died. It’s looming over me. And dragging me down. Part of me cries out … wanting to go to God. But another, louder, part says, “He doesn’t want you!” And, “Surely you’re not thinking about trying THAT again! You’ll just fail. Again”. And so I shove it back down. And paste a smile on my face. And laugh. And pretend like everything is okay! When it just hurts. So. Bad.

    • Colleen Bunker

      I can’t imagine the pain you must feel when this time of the years comes around. In wrestling with why God allows certain, unforeseeable things to occur in our lives and the lives of those we love, I am coming to the conclusion that as much as we grieve and hurt, God is much more grieved. I know that when I hurt and don’t want to face God, being honest with him (and myself!) always helps to start to put me back together again. He can take your hurt, pain, anger and fear; in fact, He wants you to come to Him even when you are weary and broken from the journey. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, He loves you much more than you (or I!) know.

      I’ll be praying for you, promise. :)

  • Love how she points out different ways we comfort and ‘clothe’ ourselves instead of simply repenting – in physical comfort and accomplishments. I turn to both so often. The first is hiding and the second self-deception. But there is indeed JOY for those whose lives are lived in honesty (Psalm 32:2, nlt). Because of Jesus, reality is our friend. Yes, our sin runs deep and it is uglier than we even know, but grace runs far deeper and is more powerful than we can fully understand!

  • Kayla, I am glad it encouraged you. Have a blessed day my dear! :)

  • Repentance is turning away from your sin. As if you are looking at your sin and turning your back physically on it, walking the opposite direction away from it. It’s something we do daily – not just on a Sunday at the time of confession!
    The thing I love about God is He highlights one area to work on and I go yeah Lord I am working on it. As soon as I think I’m fine, he highlights another area!!
    I love that through the process of repentance we are transformed and changed from glory to glory to then take our place in heaven – washed whiter than snow!
    I find repentance so hard – and yet when I really come to God on my knees I am transformed – and I can see how different I am from even a year ago! That is what sometimes pulls me back on my knees to God knowing I will grow even more when I come to him openly and honestly!

  • Feeling so hard hearted today and just like such a hypocrite because of it! I am stressed and anxious and doubting – I know repentance is the only answer but something is holding me back and it’s hurting me to be separated from Him. I want to be back in His arms, in His comfort, presence and will. Please pray that I overcome this hard and stubborn heart of mine and that I repent and turn back to Him!

  • Maia De Bourcier

    Is ‘she’ Jerusalem?

  • To say this spoke to me was an understatement. I just finished eating a piece of pie (my ‘warm coffee’) and taking a bath, complete with sugar scrub, before I read this. Wake up call!

  • Angela Gail C

    What can wash away my sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    Refrain:
    Oh! precious is the flow
    That makes me white as snow;
    No other fount I know,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    For my pardon, this I see,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    For my cleansing this my plea,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    Nothing can for sin atone,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    Naught of good that I have done,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    This is all my hope and peace,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    This is all my righteousness,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    Now by this I’ll overcome—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    Now by this I’ll reach my home—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    Glory! Glory! This I sing—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
    All my praise for this I bring—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

  • I found myself struggling with just the concept of repentance, a side-effect of pride, and today was kind of a breakthrough day in that I realized that I can't help myself. No actions or thoughts will make me any better, I'm only better because of Christ. While acts of righteousness please God, they haven't earned my salvation. In today's world it's so easy to seek life in actions and objects, to seek the rush of adrenaline or the stealing of breath from participating in an otherworldly experience but these are only made possible through repentance.

    Repentance gives life. Repentance gives that "lighter than air" feeling. When we know we can experience life, free of burdens.

  • I struggle lately so much with my sin. I have seen how ugly my sins are and I never thought I was capable of such ugliness. I am sin sick and wonder how God could truly forgive me. I have tried so hard on my own to overcome but I cannot do it with out Him. I am thankful for his forgiveness, I just wish I could allow His forgiveness to penetrate my heart. I am so scared of the results of my sin.

    • Stephanie

      Blake – thankfully, God loves each of us equally and unconditionally. This means that DESPITE of our ugly sins and despite our unworthiness, He has a longing for us to draw near to Him, and He will never give up on one of His children. That’s why He gave His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. We don’t have to be afraid of the consequences of our sin because Jesus has already taken those consequences out of our debt. God loves you and all you need to do is repent to Him and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be healed and washed clean.

  • Just last night I was having this discussion with a few friends of mine. How much easier it is in the moment to have a hard heart and slough off the words of wisdom from others. But, in the long run, hard-heartedness pushes everyone away, makes you incapable of being able to love those around you and leaves you bare. But, the grace and trust that is born out of repentance is absolutely worth taking the trek through the mountains. I think to this season in my life, one that has been filled with tears of repentance, not only to The Lord, but those around who mean the most and the life and new soil that is being born is like nothing I've experienced.

  • nashvillehost

    Say it out loud, it's so good – "wash me, Lord!"

    Guilt/hiding = dry, withered heart
    Admission/repentance = a soul overflowing

  • Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. ~Psalm 51:7
    My sisters when we come lay down our sin at the Lord’s table something beautiful happens, He not only makes us clean, He makes us whiter than snow!
    Isn’t that wonderful to think about?
    No matter how bad our sin is his grace is BIGGER!!! :)
    Love you all,
    ~Bria

    • Kayla

      Bria – thank you for your words! They spoke to my heart. I really really needed that reminder today. Trying to get that truth imprinted on my heart.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I have no problem really in confessing sin, it’s the repenting that gets me because they are different.. Repenting means I’m turning away from the sin I’ve confessed and honestly all too often, I’m only confessing because I return to some of my same ol vial wretched sins! I need Jesus to empower me to repent, to loathe my sin, that’s the problem I don’t loathe it, I justify it.. They’ve hurt me so bad that I can’t help being bitter and harboring resentment and unforgiveness.. But the truth is, I don’t want to forgive, I want to hold on to bitterness.. So in my sin sick state, my confessions aren’t enough, I need God almighty to empower me to REPENT!! Oh Lord, please empower me and any of my other struggling sisters to repent of sin, loathe it, turn away from it and obey Your voice.. We need Your help! Crying out to you this day for true repentance!

    • Lauren

      This is so good. Exactly my heart. Praying I will stop hiding behind my false righteousness and understand the depth and the harmfulness of my sin so I can turn away and flee from it.

    • Brittany

      Beautiful! Thank you for your sisterly prayer. Oh how it has touched my soul.

    • Kristin

      Truth!!! Repentance is truly the hardest part. Knowing the sin is the easy part, walking away from the sin takes courage, strength, and determination to be closer to God.

    • Nicole

      Amen Diane!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your pray! I am one of those struggling sisters.

    • Melissa Ray

      Amen! Thank you!

    • Christina D.

      Amen Diane! This convicted me big time. How easy it is so justify those sins. Too easy. And I just imagine the devil gets so much satisfaction from that. Lord thank you for Diane’s insight today. Help me, help US to repent and cling to you. Shatter our justifications and in their place keep our eyes fixed on the cross.

  • When I’ve done something wrong I’m definitely the type to feel guilty, victimized and maybe throw a little pity party. I love the idea in today’s devotion of owning your mistakes, repenting and moving on instead of self-soothing and really distracting yourself with comfortable things in life all the while suppressing that gnawing feeling that something isn’t quite right. It’s NOT right a lot of the time and the sooner we can admit fault and seek grace the sooner we can really heal. This is not the same thing as wallowing in self pity. I love a good latte and bubble bath and I think those things can be part of, but not replace, spiritual cleaning.

  • "I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover my iniquity"
    The exact opposite of what this Type A perfectionist EVER wants to do, but as I read that I read such FREEDOM in not hiding or performing but saying "I messed up! I'm actually a mess!"

    • Sarah Martin

      Whew! I'm right there with you–TYPE A…whoa…God is really working on me with this. Great thoughts.

    • Shae

      With you as well!!! This is hard to do!

  • Wow. Just where I am and am not. Needing to repent of my repentance. Wanted to be washed and yet soaking in a tub of my own striving and pride. I see the ruins but don’t acknowledge them as such.

    Yea. Lots of ruins going on around me. I quit my job because of the toxic environment…..just in time for my teenagers depressed meltdown.

    So I sit here app in hand, coffee in hand, rending…. What I don’t really know.

    Amanda. She’s my soul sister. I see me
    In her writing. Yesterday she talked about avoiding. I do that. Because going through is too hard. And there are a lot of what ifs about getting to the other side. And I take FDR literally when he says, The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’

    So I’m even afraid of fear.

    I don’t want to go through. I just want to be on the other side. I don’t want to repent, I just want to be cleansed. I just want Calgon to take me away. Oops was that just in my head or did I really say it out loud.

    I don’t want to look at the rubble around me, I want to see what was or what could be. Not what is.

    And so I lament. Wait? I lament? Nooooo…. This is where God takes a cue from Tom Jones and says, ‘Act your age, not your shoe size’ and I’m pretty sure He’s familiar with my shoe size.

    To lament means, to mourn, to grieve, to weep or wail, to express sorrow.

    I’m not lamenting. I’m soooo totally not lamenting.

    I’m not mourning or even weeping., we’ll blame this on my meds, right? I’m complaining.

    Why God Why?
    When God When?
    Woe is me

    Why is all of this so hard and when are You gonna fix things (to my standards) and make it a little more comfortable? A little more? Ha! I meant cushy and care-free.

    If I’m honest (and when have you known me not to be) I don’t have Godly Grief.

    I have ‘good grief’.

    As in ‘good grief Charlie Brown’

    • Lauren

      Praying for courage for you Shelly as God leads you to face and walk through the rubble. Praying also for your teenager, and for you to be strengthened during this difficult time and for God to give you cues on when and how to lead and comfort your child. I love you sweet sister, thank you for sharing your convictions with us!

  • Sonja Cox

    Wash me Lord, and I will be clean! Praise Jesus who because of His blood, my scarlet sins are made white as snow!

  • Thank you Lord that my repentance gives life. Help me to let go of my hardness of heart! Wash me, Lord!

  • “Christ calls us to repentance, and He is our defender!” That’s all I need to know today! :)

  • Oh the deep deep love of Jesus. Our bath tubs are full to the rim with our dirty sins, but this doesn't deter Him. He's washed them. He's ready to hold out that snow white towel to wrap us up. Oh doesn't that make you want to run to your transgressions, to do the battle of confessing and repenting. What a feeling to be clean!

    *note to self, now repeat this process daily (hourly if that's what it takes). The scrubbing process will become less and less if you don't skip this daily routine.

  • Sometimes repentance is loud and dramatic, like Lamentations, and we might really *feel* it. I don’t think we have to force or fake those feelings. Right now, repentance for me is just really realizing and agreeing with The Lord that my heart is hard and stubborn and he alone is able to soften it. He alone is able to make streams in the desert and a way in the wilderness (Isaiah 40 I think but not sure)

    • Sarah Martin

      I love your thoughts here Abigail. So well said. I'm going to grab a hold of them too and start agreeing and start allowing God to soften my heart!
      Hugs!!

  • Caroline Dotson

    I am thankful that I know how silly and awful I am. This allows me to want repentance and to seek God for forgiveness. Father I need you. Just as much as I needed you at my conversion point. I am still a mess and I ask your forgiveness.

  • The truth of God being the ONE to forgive us and the ONE who can defend us is life changing. Even when others hurt us- Will we take that hurt to the offender or to our defender?

    When Mary used the “expensive perfume” and poured it on Jesus feet at Bethany at Lazarus home for a dinner to honor Jesus, Judas was very upset with her. Mary never even responded to him, instead JESUS did!

    John 12:3….. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

    Mary’s worship of Jesus changed the dynamic of th entire home.

    IF I repented and worshipped him and let him defend me- left my focus on him- Could I change the dynamic of MY whole home or more?

    • Crystal

      Brandie, I love how you said ‘will we take it to our offender or our defender?’ This is so true. I find myself pausing before I say something to my offender and have yet to always choose to take it straight to my defender. This is my reminder to stop trying to understand, or fix things, or defend myself, just take it to God.

      The perfume story is similar to a story I read in a book, The Good and Beautiful Commmunity. A man ate lots of garlic and everywhere he went he smelled like garlic, nobody could deny his fragrance. As believers in Christ, we should have the fragrance of Jesus so that all will know Jesus lives within us. I love how you worded everything, I can relate to it. Thank you for sharing!

  • First let me say rhat I am glad that I seen this on another friends page and thought this would be good for.me…so glad that I did..todays reading is powerful and all I have to do is repent and ask for cleansing…..

    • shereadstruth

      Crystal, so glad you joined us today! Praying for you, sister.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for SheReadsTruth

  • It might just be me, but I struggle with repentance today. I know feelings shouldn't drive me to repent, however, they should follow…and they aren't following today. Lord give my heart the painful gift of repentance and grief for sin.

    • Tesla

      Rebecca, I used to think that in order to be truly repentant of my sins and worries, a feeling would need to follow my confessions. I’ve learned that that is not case. Faith shouldn’t be based on how it makes one feel, or not feel in some cases. Faith should be based on the facts of who God is and who we are with and without him. It’s okay that you don’t feel anything after repenting. It’s not easy, I know. Feeling something is like a security blanket to salvation, but it’s not necessary. I’ve actually been writing about my journey in better understanding this idea of faith as facts instead of feelings. Check out heartsdesire268.wordpress.com.

    • shereadstruth

      Rebecca, you're not alone! Repentance is HARD! Praying with you, friend, and leaning into His grace.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for SheReadsTruth

  • You know, as I was reading through this and praying yesterday and this morning about areas of my life in which I needed to repent, I was struck by a thought. I am one who is quick to believe she doesn't have much for which she needs to repent. But God revealed to me that right now, lately in my life, I am guilty not only of the awful sin of pride of thinking I must be awesome for not having a lot of repentance issues, but also that all of my dissatisfaction lately (unhappiness in my job primarily) is something for which I need to repent. I have completely been ignoring the many blessings around me in favor of sulking in complaint that there is one part of my life that isn't going the way I'd rather it be going. I'm thankful for that recognition. And I repent of overlooking all of the wonderful ways in which God has blessed me and focusing only on what I see as the source of my unhappiness instead. I am throwing off the chains of discontent that are weighing me down and blinding me to the happiness around me– my three healthy children, my loving husband, my creative students who just happen to be in my classroom when at a time in history when public education is all over the place, grass peeking up through the snow, clear blue skies, the house plant I've managed to keep alive for four months (a new record for me, I think), the slight taste of curry coming through in the chicken I made for dinner…I could go on and on. It was hard and it was humbling to admit that I was/am the one choosing to focus on the negative. It was hard and humbling to repent of that. But I am so thankful for the freedom that came with it. Praise God for that!

    • Heather

      Oh my stars. Thank you so very much for your comment! I am going through a similar season. I too felt it challenging to pinpoint what to repent about. But your comment about repenting for NOT being grateful for your blessings or being able to even notice them is EXACTLY what I’m doing! Thank you for your inspiring words.

  • i am one who has a difficult time admitting when i'm wrong, even if it's proved so by several examples. so for me to confess my sins, it is especially hard. lately, i've been having sinful thoughts. i've given the devil control of my mind and let it wander to the things of the world. i've used the excuse that since no one can see this sin, it's not that big a deal. but God can see it. and this lesson this morning put that sin right in front of my face and told me i had to deal with it, right now. repentance is hard, but living with the weight of sin is harder. "finally, i confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. i said to myself, "i will confess my rebellion to the Lord." and you forgave me! all my guilt is gone." psalm 32:5 He forgave me before i even asked for it, but oh, how good it feels to still ask and know that i have it.

  • Maya Basquin

    “Discipline is remembering what we want most vs. what we want right now.” – Some Beloved Pastor. God uses these daily devotionals in such a timely way: I’ve known lately that my temporary personal comfort has been getting in the way of what I want most, which is intimacy with God. And today’s post reminded me that it’s not enough to blast “FORSAKE COMFORT” through my mind all day… I have a deep need to run to God in repentance and cry out to Him as well. Thank you SRT.

  • “Repentance gives life to the soul”! It’s so true that when I feel restless with myself or others, instead of humbling myself before God I turn to other “comforts”. My prayer today is that I turn to Him more readily to release myself to him and receive new life in those moments!

  • Lord, help me see my sin and repent. Take all else, but give me Jesus. I want to love him above all else

    ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.

    ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

    ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

    I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

    ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

    ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

    ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

    ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Rev. 3:15-22

  • Sarah Jane

    Ah, this one spoken to me on so many levels- to repent, to seek the Lord in difficult times, to recognize our sin. Thank you.

  • God knows we feel when we sin. I personally feel so guilty, I hate myself for sinning when I tell myself that I won’t do it again. Then I realize I cannot punish myself. God realizes that I’m not perfect and he still loves me. All I can do is turn away from sin and repent to God.

  • God knows that I am a visual person. Sometimes I need an image to hold onto to help me overcome things and He is always very faithful to provide them. There was a season I began to feel that I could not overcome, nor was I worthy. As the days passed, evil whispered in my ear every detail of *my* iniquity. No sooner that I would run and hide in my physical comforts would he be on me like a shadow. Everywhere I went, every attempt to draw closer to Christ, to pray, to escape, he was there. After counsel, I knew that I needed to repent all that was being thrown up to me, but I didn't know how. One night as I prayed, it came to me. I needed to face that evil head on. I couldn't keep running away from it. I couldn't avoid giving it to God out of self doubt and feelings of unworthiness. That in it of itself is sinful. Allowing myself to feel that way goes against all that God says about me. I set aside time to pray specifically over it and as I did something beautiful happened. God interceded. I was able to picture myself standing face to face with evil. I stood while he pelted term after term, crime after crime at me, nonstop … but then God said, "You are clothed in my righteousness, forgiven, I will stand for you." Jesus stepped out and stood between myself and all that evil. He covered me. He took the words and ensured my protection. And He will always do this, for me, for you, for anyone. I didn't need to defend myself, I didn't have to say a word, I just needed to humble myself to accept Christ's nail ridden hands and move into the Grace and Love He had for me. And the truly beautiful thing is this never stops. I am fallible, every day I err, but every day, Jesus is ready to step in and accept my sin, to receive it, to receive ME. Prayerful that when evil encroaches upon me, that I won't run from it, but that with repentance and righteousness in Christ, I can stand firm while my Savior wraps me in His great Mercies! ~ B

  • When I read the words “her people are hungry, and in the their famine and their sorrow, they call out to the Lord” I got a fresh revelation. I felt a heavy burden for the lost, right here where I live. We are in a time, right now, when all around us people are living in spiritual famine. They are looking for “food” for hope and coming up empty because they have not found the One. My prayers today are for this nation, for the lost in my family & beyond. I hope you all will join me in praying for God’s mercy to be poured out and a fresh fire to be stirred up inside each one of us to be a light in this world.

  • I need to repent even of my righteousness. Totally needed THAT reminder. So thankful He hears us!

  • I feel like I’ve never really come face to face with the ugliness of my sin. I think oh I’m not as bad as those people or these people. but I am sinful. I can be judgemental, prideful, and selfish. Lord help me to acknowledge my sinful ways and realize the hideousness of it so that I may be washed clean.

    I’m not realizing how awful my sin is so in turn I’m not realizing how much I’ve been saved. I pray in this time leading up to lent that my sin would be brought forth and God would show me my faults so that I would allow him to wash me clean. I pray that I would clearly see how much he has done for me.

    • Anna

      That has been my prayer as well, Tricia! Believing for it with you!
      “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

  • True freedom is in forgiveness! What a relief it is to lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus…freedom is forgiveness and new mercies each day. “He plans to prosper us, not harm us” Jeremiah 29:11

  • Kelly_Smith

    "I need to repent even of my righteousness. My actions do not earn my salvation." Here is where the knife pierced my heart. I am guilty of trying to cover my sins with my own righteousness. Comical and silly to think that any action I can take would ever ever ever be able to thwart the judgement of God.

    I see this behavior in my kids. When my wild child finds herself in the downward spiral of behavior that requires consequences, my rule-following child turns up the volume on her goodness. I can walk out of the room where the discipline and correction were administered and find her at the door with a report of all that she has done right while I was away.

    Isn't this just like us? To feel the conviction of sin and lift our hands to worship instead of bowing low in repentance? I bring my list of rights scribbled on top of my list of wrongs, trying desperately to cover them up. Lord, I repent of my foolish efforts to be my own righteousness. My feeble attempts are as filthy rags, suitable only for the trash. Righteousness is only available through You. I bow low at the foot of the cross seeking forgiveness. In this low position, I will lift my hands in worship for YOU have done great things!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      your illustration hit home for me….thank you!

    • Ko

      How true this is! Your example hit home over here! I need to stop giving God a report of my good and instead find my freedom in repentance and forgiveness!

  • Anna Buchanan

    I like that we are discussing and focusing on repentance because it is such a hard thing to do. It’s not fun and its uncomfortable and I strive for comfort as much as possible. This morning I was reminded that God’s forgiveness compels me to repent. I can ask for forgiveness because it has already been given.

  • "Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to you steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!"
    -Psalm 51:1-2

    I had to pray this extra hard today. It practically jumped off the pages to me. I have seen my sinful nature in action a lot the past few days, mostly with wanting my own way of doing things and trying to get away with things.

    This deeply touched my heart: "Christ calls us to repentance, and He is our defender!"

    The fact that He would defend me even after I repented from wrongdoing blows my mind. I am blessed that I am His and He is mine. I am unworthy.

  • I was reminded, Thank you Lord, of a time, long, long ago (35 years+), when I was oh so foolish…whilst I read Psalm 32…this foolishness, like many before, ..and after.. has been buried…deep in the archives of my mind…forgotten, unrepented, waiting…
    I play a mixture of gospel, hymns, worship music, gently in the background, when I do bible studies, or anything else for that matter…., So I am reading Psalm 32:3-4, and pausing as instructed (SELAH), when my past catches up with me…my foolishness, my stupidity…that sin…, then when I get to verse 5, and I am feeling very uncomfortable, and can do no more than cry out.'.Lord wash me clean'…I hear the song playing in the background …Were you there, when they crucified my Lord…tears flow as I hear these words, because I realize, in that moment, I am the reason, my foolishness, my stupidity, the sins of my life, are the reason my Lord is being crucified….I was there, maybe not in person, but I was, by proxy of my sin, I was there…that causes me to hurt to my core…
    Were YOU there when they nailed Him to the tree…my sins were being nailed to the tree with Jesus, in His precious, Godly Gracious Loving hands, my foolishness, my stupidity, my sins were held….Lord, forgive me…I acknowledge my sin to you, lord God… Wash me, Lord ..Wash me…
    Were YOU there when they laid Him in the tomb….the feeling I got was that my stupidity, my sins were laid in the tomb with Jesus, that they were buried, they were covered by Him…Blessed is he/ she whose transgressions is forgiven…(v.1) …And you forgave the iniquity of my sin..(v.5) you took on my sin…you gave me life…you gave me Hope….

    I had buried that time in my life, that stupidity, way down deep,… But God….He brought it to the fore, showed me that He can 'bury it', that by the Cross, and His washing of me, 'it' can be truly forgotten, forgiven, and I can know PEACE, in His Goodness and Grace….
    Glory to God….Thank you Lord…Amen..x
    Glory to God…Thank you…

    Thank you Rebecca Faires, this so struck my heart…

    Love and blessings Sisters…xxx

    • Anna Buchanan

      We sang that song in youth group tina and it always made me cry! Very moving words and tune.

    • Avril

      I needed to read this response. Thank you. I drew much strength from it. SELAH, pause and think on that… Especially after verse five. I read it many times and never quite grasped the gravity of the actual word.

    • Onfaith

      "Were you there?" Oh, how those words pierce! I know I was. It's painful to recall times I was foolish. Thankful He washes us clean and forgives and provides peace T! ~ B

  • Such a timely post…….we just got notice of a potential family reunion……for my husband's family. I feel reasonably confident to say that someone understands without me saying a word. I need to be honest with God about my feelings and beg Him to change them….it's not that they are not good people or awful to be around, but I am not the outdoor girl unless there is a pool, my lounge chair, and a shady spot for me to sit and they are talking about a park, with lots of bugs, and most likely, port a potties. Completely selfish, I know. But this also means sacrificing precious time with my family on the weekend we'd be visiting. I need to repent of my selfishness and know that wherever God would have us that weekend, will be where He needs us to be for the reasons He has.

    • Stephanie Bleckley

      Thanks for sharing this Jenn. I come from a small family and my husband comes from a huge family. I feel so often like his family gets priority because we have to spread ourselves through so many of them during our trips home. I get grumpy, selfish and negative. Thank you for the reminder that no matter where we end up during our days home it is where God wants us – and my attitude needs to be honoring to Him because I never know who in either family is watching and seeking fulfillment in Christ. It’s so easy to forget how our attitudes and reactions to things can make or break it for an unbeliever.

      • Annie

        Your last sentence… Yes!!! Great reminder

      • jenn

        Thank you for understanding. It's hard not to beat myself up over feeling/thinking selfish thoughts. Family trips are tough when you have to spend a little time here, a little time there, and then it feels like you spent no time, or at least very little quality time, with anyone and that only infuses frustration when you didn't get as much time in the places you really wanted to be. But as Matt Redman so eloquently puts it……We Are Here For You……and if I can sing those words in church I had better put them into practice outside of those walls.

      • jenn

        That became a living reality when I went to a gathering I seriously thought about avoiding because of one person I knew would be there. Another person that I didn't know would be there was also invited and we spent a good deal of time talking in the kitchen and she was telling me how my witness on Facebook of all places made her curious about my Friday morning Bible study, the church we attend, and my relationship with God. He often brings us to places we'd rather not go for divine appointments He had set up well before we knew it was on the calendar. But when you are wrapped in flesh and bones and breathe the air of our earthly atmosphere, the struggle to keep our eyes solely on Him and His purposes, is real.

        • jenn

          This was for you Annie……I didn't hit reply under your comment :-(

  • thelittlelaurents

    I think my favorite part about today's message is when she says "Whether or not I’m a big liar is neither here nor there, …". I didn't realize why she wrote that at the beginning, but as I kept reading I thought "what a beautiful reminder!". It doesn't matter if we committed the sin, or not, what matters is that being defended and forgiven by God is bigger than them both: a false accusation as well as a committed sin. I feel like I'm not expressing myself well — the point is, God is bigger than it all: real sin or not!

    • Mwelu

      I know what you mean thelittlelaurents. The reminder that God is bigger than well… everything, and He is for us. That’s encouraging and humbling.

    • Anna Buchanan

      I see what you mean thelittlelaurents. At the heart of repentance is Jesus’ sacrifice, not our sin. Ultimately we commit sins we do not even think to repent of, but since repentance is a posture it is all about a response to His grace, not the amount of our sin.

      • Lauren

        Anna, wow – this comment has really opened my eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever really understood until now about true repentance. I’ve always come from the subconscious attitude of having to keep track of my sins to repent of each and every one and this has really clearly helped me understand repentance as a daily attitude of knowing I need and being grateful for God’s graciousness and his grace being freely extended.

        Honestly, I’m quite emotional about this. Thank you.

    • ebedwell1

      So true. Sometimes we get so lost in the semantics of everything we don't see the bigger picture!

  • Hannah - Swansea - UK

    Indeed…it is far easier to look for the spec in another’s eye than deal with the log in our own!

  • This one hits hard and I think is exactly what I needed to hear. Kind of reminds me of Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

  • I am so glad I read this today! Lately I have been so focused on figuring out my own ways to forgive others through inspiring quotes, venting to others, or distracting myself…but really I think I have had a hard time forgiving others because I haven't quite yet forgiven myself for some things or asked for forgiveness & repented for things in my own life. Something in this post just really resonated with me.

    • Mary

      I am forgiving to others about what they say and think. That is my Lenten promise to me. How do I forgive myself for the years I do not know what I am forgiving myself for.

    • Beverly

      I’m right there with you, Katie. I’m working through my own forgiveness. “True freedom is in forgiveness.” Grateful that Rebecca wrote these simple yet life giving words.

  • So incredibly true. Only God can truly clean us of the dirt we cover ourselves in daily. The longer we wait to ask for His forgiveness the more caked on the filth becomes. Praying that I may find the boldness to approach God and ask Him to make me clean.

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