"How will we know it's for real?" they asked and I replied, "When there is confession and repentance; when there is brokenness and not before." *
Have you ever found a verse, one that you have probably read hundreds of times before, but all of a sudden because of the circumstances of life, it takes on a whole new meaning, maybe even a life of its own? That's what happened a couple of days ago when I stumbled over Acts 3 verse 19: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LORD..."
I don't know about you, but I desperately long for "times of refreshing," but there is a cost. There is a condition and that condition is this, I must live a life of repentance. I must turn to my God at all times. (For me, that kind of means I am "in His face" moment-by-moment.)
I want my sins wiped out...covered...buried. And so lately, I have found myself, many times a day it seems, saying, "I am so sorry, please forgive me," in one way or another. I find myself consciously guarding my words, my thoughts, my actions. Acutely aware of how easy it is to step on other's toes, to wound without even knowing it, to offend or be offended and I don't want to live like that. Hurting others, holding grudges, judging... I don't want to be a "hurt people hurt people" person.
Set me free, LORD! Give me Your filters. Help me to see and perceive others as You do. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. And thank You, bless You for the times of refreshing and the privilege of turning to You!
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."