Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
All the teaching was exactly what I I read and listened to Peter's teachings, the Holy Spirit released me from that oppression.. I have realized that prayer is the key..the results of answers to prayer began almost immediately .... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

Deep and Lasting Joy

by Peter Brokaar

Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be - you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky - God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.
Psalm 32:1-2, MSG

It is Yom Kippur at the time of writing this devotional, a Biblical Feast, received by the Israelites in the desert and still celebrated by Jewish people today. It is ‘the day of atonement’, a sacred day where sin is seriously considered and confessed, and forgiveness is asked. God stressed the importance to the Israelites when He said to them, “For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 23:29, ESV).

When God appointed this day, He was training His people to understand the utmost important of confession, repentance, and forgiveness of sins. This brings a foundational understanding for grasping the saving work of Jesus Christ. Moreover, we learn from the Bible that one day the Jewish people will recognise their Messiah en masse and will corporately repent of their sins. ‘And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn’ (Zechariah 12:10). What a day that will be!

Today I have been pondering the central importance of repentance in God’s dealings with mankind. When Jesus started His ministry, His powerful message rung clear. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” There is no other way to enter into His Kingdom than through the door of repentance, which leads to God’s forgiveness of our sins. Similarly, when the Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time and Peter preached so forcefully, the crowd asked how they should respond to all of this. Peter’s first word was: “Repent!”

To repent means to turn from one’s wrong ways and to turn to the Lord. Some might associate the word repentance with feelings of doom and gloom, but I don’t think that is necessarily the right picture. How I see God’s call to repentance is more like a loving Father saying, “Stop running away from me. Turn and run towards Me.” When we do so, we receive all the blessings God longs to give us, but we will only do so when we are in right relationship with Him. Repentance leads to joyful reunion.

It is not always easy for us to tell people about the need for repentance. A world which seeks to eradicate the very idea of God is not keen to have its sinfulness pointed out to them. So, we might be tempted to adjust God’s message and skip over or minimise the utmost importance of true repentance and focus on more culturally acceptable elements of the Gospel instead. But when we do this, we are selling people short and may even be preventing them from knowing true forgiveness and reconciliation.

When the lost son in Jesus’ story (Luke 15) turned back home (repented), he was still a total mess. Yet the Father was absolutely delighted He had come. He was so excited He threw a massive party. Likewise, all of heaven rejoices over every single person who turns away from sin and to the Lord. It is true that on one hand repentance is a serious and solemn thing, but on the other hand it is the gateway to joy and leads to true celebration.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.


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