More than casual repentance

More than casual repentance
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Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God…Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD. — Joel 1:13 – 14

There are many people that discount a lot of the Old Testament as nothing more than a history book. The different pages are filled with stories that can be difficult to understand at times, but they are parts of the Bible nonetheless. Even though they may be a challenge, they are an important part of the Bible.

One reason is that it gives us great insight into the thoughts and expectations of God. Such an example is the one found in the book of Joel. A warning of judgment and repentance was given. But repentance was not just casual repentance.

Joel shared that God wanted them to realize their state and be serious about repentance. He tells them to cry out to God and lie all night before God. He talks about a fast, assembling and calling the elders to cry out to God. In other words, the repentance that God expected was one where it was the most important thing to the people.

It seems that many in our day have found repentance to be a casual thing. They can do anything they want and just expect that they will ask God to forgive them. Scripture is clear that to God, repentance is not a casual event. It’s a serious one!

God wants us to live our lives by the example of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t mean that we will be perfect. In the times when we miss the mark, God expects us to be serious in our repentance. It’s a reminder not to be casual about the things of God. It’s a serious thing.

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