Today’s Bible reading is Job 34 and Acts 3.
“God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to … by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
That’s how Acts 3 in our Bibles ends. Almost. Two words are missing in the middle of that quote above.
First, let’s come face-to-face with the fact that God wants to “turn” every one of us. The Bible word for that turning is “repentance.” My Creator wants to turn me from my wickedness to the glory of his resurrected Son.
But why? God raised up Jesus, sent him to the first eyewitnesses, and has expressed his desire to turn every one of us from our wickedness… WHY?
- Not to consume me with his wrath
- Not to taunt or shame me
- Not to rain on my parade
- Not to withhold the best from me
- Not to keep me under his thumb
- Not to control me like a mindless robot
- Not to mislead me
- Not to suck all the fun out of my life
“God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Your heavenly Father didn’t have to provide a sacrifice for your sins. He didn’t have to extend the gospel as his power for your salvation. He didn’t have to define the boundaries, warn you of the dangers, and give you time to turn.
But he did, because he wants to bless you.
It’s not overbearing or mean or intrusive or rude, therefore, for him to proclaim, “Repent and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20).
Listen to that. He wants to blot out your sins. He wants to refresh you. He wants you to enjoy his presence. He wants to bless you.
All that stands in the way of most of us… is us.