The period before Easter has traditionally been a time of fasting and repentance; unfortunately for some this turns to morbid introspection and self-disgust; while for others it is all about self-denial and a renewed attempt to deal with bad habits.
Gospel repentance is about transformation, not modification; and this new way of living starts with our thinking. ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ says Proverbs [23:7]; what we believe about ourselves affects how we act.
However, the Bible got there first; the root meaning of the Greek word for ‘repentance’ in the New Testament is to change the way we think; this is why Paul says we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds [Romans 12:2]. Our aim must be to align ourselves with God in our thoughts and words, as what we think and say about ourselves and our circumstances has spiritual power to effect change.
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
– since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,
but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
This is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
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