Chuck Colson (1931-2012), Loving God
The biblical word for repentance is “metanoia” in the original Greek. Meta means “change” and noia means “mind,” so literally it means “a change of mind.” One church scholar describes it as “that mighty change in mind, heart, and life, wrought by the Spirit of God.” Thus repentance is replete with radical implications, for a fundamental change of mind not only turns us from the sinful past, but transforms our life plan, values, ethics, and actions as we begin to see the world through God’s eyes rather than ours. That kind of transformation requires the ultimate surrender of self.
Monday: 2 Samuel 12:1-14, Psalm 51
David was blind to his own sin where Bathsheba and Uriah were concerned, so the Lord sent Nathan to rebuke him. What clever method did Nathan use to do this? What was David’s response? How can we see the reality of his repentance in Psalm 51? Is this a prayer you have prayed for yourself? Do you need to?
Tuesday: Romans 7:7-25; Hebrews 12:1-2
Sin is obviously something we must “change our mind” about, but it’s not easy – as Paul’s anguished words in Romans 7 illustrate. Have you ever felt this way about some “sin which clings so closely” (ESV)? What spiritual disciplines have helped you overcome sin in your life? Where do you still need help?
Wednesday: 2 Kings 22; Psalm 19:7-11
When the high priest found the Book of the Law in the temple and read it to the king, how did Hezekiah react, both personally and on behalf of his nation? How did God honor his attitude? True repentance comes from the Word penetrating our hearts under the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Have you asked Him today to reveal thoughts, actions, or words which you need to confess (Psalm 139:23-24)?
Thursday: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Leviticus 26:40-46
What does God promise to do for a nation if her citizens will repent and pray? These promises were originally given to Israel. Do you believe they apply to America today? Why or why not? What specific sins do we need to repent of as a nation? In what specific areas – political, social, judicial, cultural, economic, etc. -- do we need a “change of mind” in how America functions?
Friday: Mark 1:16-20; Mark 2:13; Matthew 10:16-39
Saturday: Acts 2:14-41; Acts 5:27-32
When Jesus called His disciples, they had to “change their mind” about how they would spend the rest of their lives. What did Jesus say about the cost of their decision to follow Him? Have you heard God’s call on your life and followed it “immediately” as they did? What have you surrendered for the glory of God and His kingdom? In what ways are you following Him?
On the night Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Him three times, just as Jesus had predicted (see John 13:38 and John 18) – most likely out of fear for his life. Why then, did Peter “change his mind” and become a bold witness for Christ, regardless of the cost? Do you have Peter’s boldness when it comes to telling people about Jesus? Do you desire to?
Sunday: Acts 7:58; Acts 8:1-3; Acts 9:1-31
True repentance means a transformation of “our life plan, values, ethics, and actions.” How can we see this dramatically illustrated in the life of (Saul) Paul?
Lesson for This Week
On April 21, 2012, Chuck Colson went home to be with the Lord. The news media has been filled with stories about his role in Watergate, his conversion to Christianity, his incarceration, and his founding of Prison Fellowship and other ministries. While most articles have been positive, some writers bitterly chose to focus on the sins Chuck committed before his conversion and to ignore the millions of lives he impacted for good afterwards. It’s tragic, really; for to these writers, the idea of grace, forgiveness, redemption, and repentance is so alien that they have been unable to move beyond their hatred for Nixon’s “hatchet man” and see the truth of who Chuck became once Jesus took hold of his life. Like Paul, Chuck Colson was a man whose “life plan, values, ethics, and actions” were irrevocably altered when he met Jesus on his personal road to Damascus. What is your practice for making sure this is daily true for you as well?
Spend some time alone with the Lord, following Psalm 139:23, 24. Listen for the Spirit to convict you of any sin, and, if He does, confess, repent, and, where necessary, make it right. Incorporate this discipline into your life on a more consistent basis.
For more insight to this topic, order the book, Repentance: A Daring Call to Real Surrender, by C. John Miller, from our online store. Or read the article, “Where to Find Real Repentance,” by Chuck Colson.