God Loves Us Into Freedom

Written on 07/07/2022
Christian Dunn


Verse: Acts 19:17-20

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Repentance gets a bad rap. We live in a society that loves to tell us that we are all ok. Statements like, "you are perfect, just like you are," have a good intention. I get it. It's about self esteem and learning to love ourselves. Those are both good things. But taken too far, they start to miss the mark.

In reality, we are not perfect. We are not fine. We are not OK. We all know this to be true. I think what that catchy saying is really trying to say should be, "God loves you no matter what" and "How you look on the outside is a gift from God and he made you wonderful and beautiful." Those are powerful and true statements.

What is also true is that we are broken and sinful without the help of Jesus. We aren't perfect just the way we are if we think of it from that point of view. We need help. We need a Savior. 

This doesn't mean we need to beat ourselves up or hate ourselves. The Bible tells us that Jesus loves us unconditionally, so it's OK for us to love ourselves that way too. We can be aware of our brokenness and not hate ourselves for it because Jesus doesn't. He loves us just the way we are, and he loves us enough to help us heal, and grow, and overcome our sinful patterns.

What we see in this passage is what we call "repentance." We see people bringing their sin to Jesus and giving it up. I wonder this morning as you read this, is there anything in your life that God would ask you to give up? Is there any thought pattern, or behavior, or regular thing you do, or way that you speak, or way that you treat people, that God would invite you to repent of today?

Don't beat yourself up. Don't hate yourself. Love yourself enough to bring your brokenness to Jesus and let him lovingly heal you and lead you to freedom. The most loving thing you do for yourself, is to give your whole self to Jesus. He is the most loving and kind person in the universe, and he will receive your repentance, forgive you, and lead you into healing.

Jesus, I choose to repent of the areas in my life where I am walking away from you, even in small ways. Help me to find healing and wholeness in you.