Chapter one: Repentance
A clean slate through repentance


Weekly Reading Plan

DAY 1 | 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Colossians 3:12-14
DAY 2 | Acts 3:18-19; Romans 2:5-11
DAY 3 | Acts 11:15-18
DAY 4 | Luke 17:3-4
DAY 5 | 1 John 1


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Here you are. You’re at the beginning of something big, and you have a choice to make. This decision could be anything. Maybe you’re about to start a new chapter of your life and you don’t know the next (or first) step you should take. Maybe you’ve found yourself on a road you wish you hadn’t taken. Maybe you’re just in need of a reboot. Regardless, you need to make a choice, and that choice needs to start with repentance. This word can summon a slew of emotions. Some see it as a negative term that reflects condemnation, guilt, and shame. However, the Bible teaches us that this word is not one of death but of life!

The book of 1 Kings tells a story of an epic battle between the prophet Elijah and his adversaries, who had led the people of Israel astray. The nation of Israel had abandoned following God in exchange for following Baal, the god of fertility and rain. As the people continued to worship Baal, who they treated as their source, the region experienced severe famine caused by drought. Following God’s leading, Elijah issued a challenge to King Ahab. “Call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:24 ESV).

The people gathered on Mount Carmel and brought sacrifices for burnt offerings. The prophets did everything they could to get Baal’s attention. They called on him for hours, danced, and even starting cutting themselves in hopes of seeing just a spark come down from the sky. After hours and hours, nothing happened. Then, Elijah soaked his sacrifice in water three times, and with one call to the God of Israel, fire rained down and completely consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the altar, the soil, and even the surrounding water, proving that his God was the one true God. Immediately, the people recognized their sin, repented of it, and turned back to God. Shortly thereafter, the sky grew black with clouds and a heavy rain came, bringing life back to the region.

Repentance is not a word of condemnation or guilt. Repentance is a word that signifies the start of life by turning from ourselves to God! Jesus said that he came to give life and life to the fullest (John 10:10), and that life begins when you stop focusing on yourself, relying on false “gods” to bring you fulfillment, and, instead, start focusing on the God who will supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19)!

Does your circumstance need life? Do you feel like you’re at a crossroads and aren’t sure which way to go? Do you need a new beginning? Start with repentance. The giver of life wants nothing more than to breathe into your situation, but this can’t happen until you take that first step towards him.