Read: Acts 3:19-20

Over the past decade, I have been through the ups and downs of my fitness journey. I have had months, even years, of dedication to working out and eating right. I’ve also had months, even years of… not. In my seasons of eating clean and working out, I have typically allowed myself to “cheat” once or twice a week. By cheat, I mean a whole large pepperoni and pineapple pizza — don’t hate — all to myself. I could crush a whole pan of sopapilla cheesecake with no problem. However, after every time I cheated, I would find myself curled up on the couch, miserable and almost sick.

This is how some of us model our walk with Christ. As long as we go to church on Sunday, as long as we give our tithes faithfully, as long as we serve in the church, then I am justified to drink a few too many drinks. Then I am justified in losing my temper on my wife or my kids. Then I am justified to look at the website I know I should not be looking at.

This idea of repentance that Peter talks about in verse 19 means to turn from evil and to turn to the good. To reject anything that is not pleasing to God, change directions, and actively pursue holy things. Here is where we so often get it twisted. We like to pursue the things of this world and succumb to our fleshly desires, and we expect to feel the peace and renewal of God as long as we check off our conscious cleansers. What Peter is saying here is not to tack on good deeds on top of evil ones.

He is saying to turn away from all of the evil things, turn around, and pursue the holiness of God. This is an immediate call to action. Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t wait until next week to turn from evil things, don’t wait to crack open your Bible and spend time with God. Repent now. He is waiting on you. When you do this, “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

Do you want to be free from anxiety? Turn from evil things and pursue God. Do you want God to revive your marriage? Turn from evil things and pursue God. Do you want to feel refreshed by the presence of God? Turn from evil things and pursue God.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How have you experienced the refreshing and restoration that comes from repentance?
  2. What areas of your life do you need to repent and turn back to God?
  3. How can you encourage others to embrace the power of repentance in their lives?