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Daily Devotional for September 19

September 19                                                 Matthew 4:12-17

                    "From that time, Jesus began to
             preach, saying, 'Repent, for the realm of
                              heaven is at hand.' "

Jesus' message to us today is to repent. But how do we repent?
What does repentance mean for us today?

Repentance means acknowledging the ways in which we have
separated ourselves from God. Some of us may find peace in
sharing these acknowledgements with a trusted friend or
spiritual counselor. For some of us, admitting harm to others
and making reparation is an important step in our recovery
and healing process. For all of us, acknowledging what we have
done is the first step in accepting God's forgiveness so that
we may also forgive ourselves.

Repentance also means that, having accepted God's forgive-
ness, we are willing to change. It means that we are sorry for
the ways in which we have not allowed God to fulfill God's
promises in our lives. It means that we are committed to
growing closer to God, that we are ready for God to transform
us, and that we expect this transformation.

Finally, repentance means that we actively turn away from
that which has kept us from becoming one with our Creator,
that we release the wrongs we have done in the past, and that
we focus on what we can do today. Knowing that we are
forgiven, we resolve to begin again, and we renew this pro-
mise to ourselves and to our God as many times as needed.

Today, take some time to examine the ways in which you have
grown away from God. Keep in mind the fact that, as you
repent, God's realm is at hand and available to you. Forgiveness
is yours; all you have to do is turn to God and receive it.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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