Seek, find, repent and then work
I have been dwelling a lot in the book of Acts lately. I went back to chapter 17 where Paul was reasoning with those at Mars’ Hill about the one true God. I love the part where he said “For in him we live, and move, and have our being”. Paul also pointed out that God is not far from anyone. One just has to seek after Him to find Him.
Paul also pointed out the need for repentance. This is so true and must never be underemphasized. Without repentance, as we are told by Jesus in Luke chapter 13 verses 3 and 5, we perish.
There are other gems found in this short passage such as the equality of all nations in God’s creation. He created from one blood all nations of men. This is true racially, culturally and even morally. Despite what color we may be, where we grew up or what thoughts, choices or actions we have made in the realm of what is right and, even more importantly, what is wrong, we all have the same avenue back to God and that is through seeking after Him and submitting to him with genuine repentance.
Later on in chapter 26 of Acts in verse 20 Paul stated to King Agrippa that he was in trouble with the Jews because he was obeying God in telling people “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance”. This is one of the clearest examples that repentance is more than just feeling sorry for sin but it is actually a turning towards God which means at the same time it is a turning away from sin. This must also never be underemphasized in regards to our desperate need for repentance.
As a Christian we live in and for God and thus we do works that demonstrate the our repentance is indeed real. This is what Paul meant by works meet for repentance.
As for works, if these are burdensome then we ought to examine our hearts as God’s yoke and burden should not be hard and heavy. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. Matthew 11:28-30
Always remember that it’s not that we have to but that we get to!
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:24-31
So the process ends with good works.
Seek, find, repent and then work.
This should be a joyful and fulfilling process for the one who has found new life in Jesus Christ!