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Genuine Repentance

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That is why the LORD says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Joel 2:12-13

In Joel 2:1-11, the prophet speaks about a coming day of judgment when everyone should tremble in fear. Nothing will escape. “Who can possibly survive?” asks Joel (v. 11). And then the Lord provides the answer above.

Anybody who turns to Him now while there is still time can escape judgment. But this is serious business. God calls those who wish to escape the judgment to come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. When is the last time you took your sin that seriously?

But God goes even further, saying that He’s not interested in the kind of repentance that is expressed outwardly. Instead, He wants godly sorrow to seep inside, all the way to the heart. David spoke about this in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

If your heart is broken over your sin, then you’ve fully grasped what Joel and David are saying. Rejoice in your salvation. If you have never experienced such a broken heart over your sin, ask God to help you repent and find forgiveness.
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