I have been extremely busy that last few months (my garden has provided me with so much to do) and I have been woefully neglectful of this blog. Sorry!
But being sorry brings me to something I've been tossing around in my head today...when a person is convicted of sin and realizes God sees it all, and is "busted", is he or she (a) sorry for their sin or (b) sorry for being caught in their sin? The Investigative Discovery Channel provides plenty of examples of true repentance vs. a pseudo-half-hearted variety of repentance to ward off the justice system giving them their due penalty for their sin....are we simply trying to defy the justice system? In other words... if a person, let's give her a name, Betty, if Betty comes under conviction of having become convinced that there really is a God, and He is not happy with Betty's sinful behaviour, and Betty wants to be saved from hell so she "repents" of her sins to gain God's favour, to get her "get out of hell free card"....but deep down she hasn't REALLY repented, she still thinks she isn't really THAT BAD (compared to ax murderers and pedophiles), she just wants to cover her bases and hedge her bet so she can avoid hell.... is Betty truly saved?
The Bible says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7) so I personally think Betty might be saved even if she progresses no further spiritually in this life, because it does take the Spirit of God to (James 2:19) reveal the truth of God to us....but I myself wouldn't be very comfortable at that point of the walk with the Lord because the word of God also states that even the devils believe and tremble...and devils are not saved, so it does require something besides simply believing.
I couldn't find the true way to overcome the fact that I wanted to be saved for selfish reasons within myself, and not finding it in myself to be heartbroken over my sinful nature and my evil desires therefore I confessed to Jesus that I was unable to do it: to truly repent in a true manner that truly grieved over the sin that grieved God. In confessing the truth of that, and confessing my inability, I asked the Lord who in His mercy can supply us everything according to our needs (Matthew 7:7 & Luke 11:9). I would say that having a true and saving faith that leads one to true repentance is something that is VERY needful. (Mark 9:24)
I have seen so many who have made superficial confessions of faith, or confessions of guilt but only for the sake of getting something for nothing by appeasing "a god" with a half-hearted confession that isn't truly heartbroken about sin. If that is your situation, come to Jesus as a beggar knowing that nothing good can come from ourselves (James 1:17), that even true faith and true surrender comes from Him, and that He will richly provide those things to anyone who will ask Him, so ask Him!
In trying to locate a good image for this blog entry, I ran across this nice piece that explains what repentance is not: