As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent – Revelation 3:19

Are you right now living in rebellion against God? Do you have sin in your life that you know is displeasing to God, and yet you still have not confessed or turned from it? So often we put off the vital act of repentance by justifying or excusing our sin to ourselves.

Why? Why do we postpone repentance? Maybe it is because of the embarrassment and shame of coming before God and acknowledging our particular sin… perhaps for the second, or tenth, or hundredth time. Another possibility is that, because of the guilt we feel, we have begun to dread prayer and even begun to think of God as mean or tyrannical. Closely related to this is also the excuse that this particular sin does not seem to be all that dangerous, or wrong, or harmful.

But God tears away all of these excuses when he tells us that his commandments—and even his rebukes and chastening—are for our good, because he loves us. For this reason, we shouldn’t feel reluctant to admit our sin to him — he already knows about it and it is he who is drawing us away from it. Also, we can know with certainty that the restraints that his commandments put on us are for our good, to keep us from the real harm and deep sorrow of sin.

It is out of love that God corrects us with his Word, the Bible; it is out of love that he warns us against every sin; and it is because of love that he is willing even to chasten us, if that is what it will take to yank us out of our sin. Our trials, our conscience, the admonition of our godly friends — God uses these things to wean us, to confront us, to awaken us regarding our sins. Such enduring love on his part should inspire zealous repentance on our part. “Be zealous therefore, and repent.”