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Repent to change your mind and ways

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POSTED: January 31, 2011 9:41 a.m.

A little more than a month ago, I happened to be in the Atlanta area on Christmas day, celebrating with my dad. And it snowed!
I understand it snowed here, too, but it stuck up there. We had almost 2 inches on the ground late Christmas night and early the next day. They said it was the first measurable snow on Christmas Day since 1883. Wow, that is significant.
I have to admit the snow was very pretty. But I also have to admit I wasn’t nearly as excited about it as most of the members of my extended family. You see, I spent 14 years living in Indiana and Michigan. I have shoveled and pushed and driven in snow far more than I care to remember. Quite frankly, I don’t get excited about it anymore.
Quite a contrast to the rare times when it snowed in my childhood. Snow meant three things to me: no school; play time; and snow ice cream. To a 10-year-old boy, a blanket of snow was a welcome site.
I also remember my first white Christmas. It was not in the upper Midwest, but rather in Gatlinburg, Tenn. While on our honeymoon, my wife and I woke up to a beautiful snowy Christmas morning. We have a picture somewhere of the 2-foot-tall snowman we built in the Smoky Mountains.
My lack of excitement over the snow now is more a reflection on me than anything else. Why have I lost that sense of wonder? Why do I not rejoice with the children whose eyes sparkle at the mention of snow?
And as I think about that, I know Christians who have lost their sense of wonder at the grace and mercy of God in all that he has done for them. It is not that they are completely ungrateful. It is simply that they no longer thrill at the goodness of God.
In many ways it is like what Jesus said to the church in the book of Revelation. “You have forsaken your first love.” His solution to those believers was simple. “Repent and do the things you did at the first.”
Many of us need to do just that: to repent is to change our minds and change our ways. It is to look at things in the same way God looks at them. It requires a change of heart. It requires a complete change in how we think. It requires a new attitude.
Do you need to return to your first love? Do you need to see God’s grace again in all of its fullness and majesty? Have you lost a bit of the luster that was once a part of your walk with God? May I encourage you to do as Jesus said? “Repent and do the things you did at the first.”

 

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