Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
One day, when Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his guilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court. The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?" When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That'll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."
Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. "You have violated the law," he said. "The fine must be paid -- but I am going to pay it for you." He took a ten dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner! "That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!"
According to Merriam-Webster, the word "repent" means "to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life". Somehow, we've gotten to thinking that to repent, simply means to say "I'm sorry". No. Repentance means TURNING AWAY from our sin and striving to live a life of holiness.
Billy admitted his sin to the judge. He didn't try to hide it, he didn't rationalize it and I'm pretty sure didn't take this offense lightly. I'm certain he took it quite seriously and endeavored never to drive over the speed limit again.
We serve a mighty and gracious God. He wants to pay our debts and take us out for nice steak dinners. But we must live a life of repentance!
We can't be perfect. But we can walk in repentance daily. We need to take our sin seriously. Let's dedicate our lives to the Lord once again today. There's so much work to be done!