Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Day 61: Matthew 27:1-23 & Psalm 62 - Can We Change Our Minds and Repent Whenever We Want?

Today's Reading: Matthew 27:1-23 & Psalm 62

Get the full reading plan

Can We Change Our Minds and Repent Whenever We Want? 

 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. - Matthew 27:3-5, ESV

Judas was greedy, a thief. He had taken on the role of treasurer for the disciples of Jesus and he used to steal from what was put in the moneybag (John 12:6). Jesus undoubtedly knew this and let Judas continue in his sin without confronting him. As Judas continued thieving, he became hardened in his sin. Toward the end of Jesus' earthly ministry, Judas loudly complained about Mary's extravagant sacrifice of oil poured out on Jesus (John 12:5-6). Ultimately, shortly after making this complaint, Judas made a deal with the Jewish leaders ti betray Jesus to them for 30 pieces of silver. 

Judas almost immediately regretted what he had done. He knew it was wrong, and so he tried to return the money. While he had "changed his mind" and was now filled with regret, he was unable to undo his actions. More importantly, he was unable to truly repent and find forgiveness and restoration. In despair over his sin, Judas went and hung himself. 

Judas' case is not a unique one. Hebrews tells us that Esau greatly regretted having sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. But, like Judas, Esau was unable to repent. "He found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears." (Hebrews 12:17)

Many people think they will enjoy their sin now and then repent later, when they get older, closer to death. Not only is such thinking arrogant and offensive to God, but it is also foolishly deadly. You are not guaranteed the ability to repent and turn to the Lord ever. You are not the master of your own heart. Only the Lord can give life and grant repentance. So, if the Lord is prompting you to turn and trust Him, do so today. 

"Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." - 2 Corinthians 6:2, ESV

Prayer Based on Psalm 62:

Here are two excellent prayers based on Psalm 62:

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. - Psalm 62:1-2  

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