“Dear Lord I’m sorry for my sins, please save me. In Jesus’ name amen.”
When I first met my husband he had a license plate frame that said ‘Repent Believe Obey’. I thought to myself “Well duh, what else would you do.” But those three words are so profound the Church today doesn’t even talk about two of them. Most churches preach ‘believism’ only. They don’t preach repentance and they rarely preach obey. But scripture teaches us in James 2:19 that even the demons believe; but it doesn’t save them. And if statistics are correct we’re losing over half of our children to the world. My own experience told me it wasn’t enough just to believe. We have, therefore, been intentionally cautious (read reluctant) about letting our son say the “sinner’s prayer” without assurance he fully comprehended what he was doing AND that it was a true calling of God and not some well-meaning adult (even if that adult was Mommy and Daddy) leading him.
For weeks our son has been making inquiries about what repentance is and how you do it. We’ve been doing our best to explain to him that to repent means to change your mind. His response ranged from “I don’t want to repent” to silence. I suspected he believed that to repent meant you could never make another mistake. That you, in essence, had to be perfect. And since he knew he could not be perfect he did not want to repent. I told my husband of my suspicion and we waited for the topic to come up again.
The ride to church on Sunday was typical until we were about a mile from church. Again my son asked “What does repent mean?” Again my husband answered “To change your mind.” Silence. I turned to look at my son only to find him staring out the window. Not another word was said. That night I repeated my suspicions to my husband who agreed to correct that error in understanding the next time the question came up.
Monday evening (1/23/2012) my husband was doing his nightly Bible study with our son. They were studying Matthew 12 (the section on where Jesus was accused of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub and He talks about good trees and good fruit) when my son said “But I haven’t done that I thought I did but I don’t feel any different.” My husband responded “Well, it can be kind of a process, we’ll have to see how you grow and respond to God. God is working in you and in your life.” “But I don’t know how to do that.” “There are no magical words, you just need to talk to God.” That is when he did it. That sweet meaningful, though brief, prayer. My husband was kind of taken aback. Neither one of expected that from him quite yet. We knew God was working on him, we just figured he had a ways to go.
A short while later he came downstairs and told me “I repented” with a big smile on his face. Of course my husband filled me in before this but that did not change the happiness flowing from my heart when my dear, sweet, little boy repented and asked God to save him.
This week has been hard on him. He still thinks he should feel different, which for him means he shouldn’t do anything wrong anymore. My husband asked if he meant what he said and was told yes. And so we assure him that he will grow and God will be faithful to complete what He started. Let the growth begin!
[L. repens, -entis, creeping, p. pr. of repere to creep.]
1. Prostrate and rooting; -- said of stems.
2. Same as Reptant.
3. To feel pain, sorrow, or regret, for what one has done or omitted to do.
4. To change the mind, or the course of conduct, on account of regret or dissatisfaction.
5. To be sorry for sin as morally evil, and to seek forgiveness; to cease to love and practice sin.
6. To feel pain on account of; to remember with sorrow.
7. To feel regret or sorrow; -- used reflexively.
8. To cause to have sorrow or regret; -- used impersonally.
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14