My husband had been so gentle and patient with me, even after I had come down on him like a ton of bricks. I knew I had to apologize. As I drove into the parking lot, I saw him standing there, propped up against his car. He had already dropped off my girls in their Sunday school classrooms but he had come back for me. I was pleasantly surprised to see him. Stepping out of the car, I apologized and I asked him, “Why did you wait on me?” Taking my hand, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I thought maybe you needed me.”
As the people came to understand what Ezra was preaching, they also understood they had sinned. They were ashamed, but their remorse was a promising sign. Ezra then tells them to get up, and celebrate. Yes, you read that correctly.
These are Jesus’ words: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
Heaven celebrates when you repent! Jesus is telling us that repentance is an act of humbling ourselves, and admitting a desperate need for a savior. If God never shed light on our sin, how would we be able to fix it? If you don’t know what there is to be sorry for, you can’t deliver a proper apology. When we are able to acknowledge our sin, and bring it to God, the Holy Spirit works on our hearts, bringing us into a deeper relationship with Him.
This is what Ezra wanted the people to understand. Not only was the wall accomplished, but when they acknowledged their sins, it showed God had been up to something bigger. He had worked on their hearts.
Why did he say not to mourn? Didn’t they need to feel sorry for what they had done? Yes, and they did! But there is a difference between repenting and dwelling. When we dwell on our sin, we can become discouraged. Repentance is not just about our sins, it is more so about our need for Jesus Christ, who indeed paid for all sin.
To dwell means to “live in.” We were not meant to live in our past mistake. We are told by Jesus Himself to live in Him: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).
Repentance is a sure sign that the Holy Spirit has not left you, sister; it means that the Spirit is working in you! Come to Jesus, the one who has the power to take away all sin. He is waiting for you and He is glad to see you. You are never too far gone for His love. Dwell in Jesus and celebrate with Him!
Memory Verse: “For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9b NIV
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes