When We Are Contrite
Contrite Has Evidence
Scripture Reading: Acts 26:15-29
Key Verse: Acts 26:20
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Acts 26 contains another great sermon from the apostle Paul. It gives us insight on how these early believers talked and shared Jesus with a lost world. Today’s printed scripture is the heart of the message, but with a twist. Yes, it focuses on repentance, but Paul adds more. The apostle’s phrase that I want to look at today is: “prove their repentance by their deeds.” These early preachers of the Good News did not “sell the Gospel” cheap! They demanded more than lip service. Paul believed it would be obvious when a person had a contrite (repentant) heart; their future behavior would prove it!
When we see people seek God, seek forgiveness, shed tears, etc., we tend to believe they got saved. But if there is no effort to live differently, talk differently, change behavior, then there are no deeds to prove their repentance. If there is no true repentance, there is no true salvation! This doesn’t mean that there won’t be lapses back into old patterns of sin. It does mean that these lapses grow further apart and victory over sin becomes the norm! We must prove our repentance by our deeds!
James 2:19 reminds us that demons believe in God and Jesus. But this belief did not bring salvation to them. Our belief must go to the level of changing our behaviors to living for a new master, to surrender to the Lord of life! Do you show evidence of true repentance?
Father, I give you permission to point out areas in my life that don’t honor my commitment to you! You are Lord and I will follow! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.