Turn Around

Monday, October 14, 2013 Posted by Sara

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"Today we are going to learn about repentance," I told the small group of neighborhood kids.  They were part of an after school program in the small town of Cairo, Illinois where I was living as a missionary.  

I had given the kids two big pieces of butcher paper and scriptures about the world and the kingdom.  On one poster, they wrote words that described God's Kingdom, and on the other they wrote words that described the sinful world.  I had my staff hold the posters up on either end of the room and had the kids stand with me in the middle of the room and face the poster of the world.  I shared with them that we are born with our eyes on the world, living in it and for it.  But when we repent, we turn.  I had all the kids turn around and face the Kingdom poster.  When we repent, we turn our eyes to God, to His Kingdom, to truth.  We leave the perspective of living for this world, and shift our focus to living for His Kingdom. We don't just say we are sorry for doing things that do not please Him, we turn away from doing those things again.

I was thinking of this moment as I reflected on this week's theme. I'm reminded of Matthew 4:16-17, "the people living in darkness  have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” It reminds me how repentance is an invitation.  An invitation to not have your back towards God when He comes with His goodness and love, to turn and be ready to receive all that He has for us.

This week I am reminded of the gift that conviction is in my life - God disciplines those He loves, when His kindness leads me to repent - to turn from my way and my world, to His way and His Kingdom, it is an invitation to experience His best for me in my life.

May the Lord reveal to us this week, places in our lives where we might need to turn around and refocus on His ways, and receive the blessing He has for us in an obedient and tender heart.

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