Sometimes we think of God as we think of ourselves. Big mistake. That kind of thinking leads us to dead end. God is God!
God is God but His emotions aren’t like ours are. He is more powerful than we can imagine. God can do anything He wants to. His power, however, is a VERY patient power.
If we think because God is patient, we can “get away with things”, we better think again. Jesus calls on us to radically change our way of thinking and act differently. It is known as repentance.
God’s patience is shown to us so we will change our minds about missing His goal for our lives and so that we will accept Jesus as the answer. Jesus is clearly the WAY to God. There is no other way to know God and enjoy a life that never ends.
Yahweh [the Lord] is slow to anger but great in power; Yahweh will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Nahum 1:3). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Repentance (changing my mind) is of central importance because missing God’s goal (sin) brings God’s judgment and fellowship with God is only possible through full and sincere repentance (changing my mind). God, through his servants, calls me to change my mind as the only way to escape the judgment and receive the forgiveness and restoration which he offers.
The call to radically change my mind.
The Greek word for “repentance” derives from a verb meaning “to radically change one’s thinking.” “Repentance” refers to an event in which an individual attains a divinely provided new understanding of their behavior and feels compelled to change that behavior and begin a new relationship with God. While the Greek language can represent the concept of repentance as an independent action, the Semitic background of the New Testament writers demanded that appropriate actions follow the event of repentance.
- Luke 5:32 — “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
- James 5:19–20 — My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
- Jeremiah 25:4–6 — “And the Master has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Master has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’
- Ezekiel 33:7–9 — “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.
- Mark 1:4 — John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
- Luke 24:47 — and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
- 2 Timothy 2:24–26 — The Master’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
Grateful for the work of Christ and the Spirit in radically changing our mind; yet we have the responsibility to live that out too! I love the last passage you cited, truly we are given much amazing grace!
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