Continual Repentance

Tomorrow morning the class is going to turn attention to that most difficult and yet necessary of topics, repentance.

As I went through the material this week I found that the topic was simple in its intellectual depth, but far from easily studied from a purely practical point of view. My own heart was dealing with sin, and I began to wonder just how easy this lesson was going to be…

Part of being a leader is being a good teacher and that means openly acknowledging when you struggle with topics. Al Mohler explains in his book on leadership that great leaders are great teachers and are transparent and openly passionate about what they are teaching.

I wasn’t terribly excited to spend a week reading about repentance. But as you might imagine, God got a hold of my mind and heart. Because of this, my heart wandered back to the writing in a great Puritan prayer called ‘Continual Repentance’. Here is that prayer – I hope you enjoy it, and come to agree with me that we are all in need of that deep searching, painful admonishing, and beautiful healing of the Holy Spirit in repentance:

O God of Grace,

You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, “Father, forgive me,” and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.

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