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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time of Refreshing

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19


This Sunday (tomorrow), I am beginning a series at University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge where I am the interim pastor. The series seeks to see ordinary people become heroes as God empowers them, and my first text is from Acts 4. Doing a bit of background, I came across a verse that I highlighted in a previous reading, the verse above.

I need times of refreshing. Like the rest of you, I am weary of politicians acting like middle schoolers on a playground (with apologies to middle schoolers). I am weary of (borrowing a phrase from Paul Turner's blog), paying taxes to a government that does not seem to represent me any more. I am weary of travel, though it energizes me to be around good and godly folk. I am weary of thinking that there isn't enough money for two kids in college and the seminary to keep going and, and, and.

So you wouldn't think that to find refreshing, I would have to look inward to do some soul searching, would you? You would think that I can blame politicians or late arriving airplanes, or "those people" who need to give to the seminary. You would think I could just make my kids work more hours to support themselves and for my wife to return to June Cleaver days with slippers ready when I get home.

None of that. The Scripture (context is Peter's sermon to a 1st century culture that is a lot like a 21st century culture)says that I need to repent and return. I would like to claim ignorance as Peter allows for the hearers in v. 17, but I can't. I am the one who insists on attitudes, appetites, and actions that do not put me closer to Jesus in my journey, but farther apart. I am the one who sins, not everyone else.

I am again sitting in the Atlanta airport where so much of my blogging is done. I helped Adam and Kristen get married today, a beautiful couple so refreshed by the ceremony celebrating their vows of faithfulness to God and to each other. But I am aware that I have taken for granted the covenant relationship that God allowed me to have through His Son.

So I repent. And return. And allow that once again, He wipes my sins away and allows my spirit to be refreshed from the presence of the Lord. If you join me, I bet worship will be better tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Dr. Jackson... I neede that gentle rebuke. I will join you in repenting and returning. Grace and peace.

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