September 16, Saturday

jason2The AMI QT Devotionals from September 11-17 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato who serves at OTR in Cincinnati. Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (B.S.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.Div.), is married to Jessica, and they have two young children: Jonah and Lily.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Sorry, I’m Not Sorry”

Genesis 4:8-16 (ESV)

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. [9] Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” [10] And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. [11] And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. [12] When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” [13] Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. [14] Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” [15] Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. [16] Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

There are many reasons to be sorry. When I was a kid, I angrily threw a toy toward my family’s Christmas tree and broke a glass ornament. I was very sorry. I was sorry that I was certainly going to be caught. I was sorry that I would get in trouble. I was sorry that I would not get to play my Super Nintendo. However, I was not sorry for my anger. I was not sorry for throwing my toy. I was not sorry for breaking something that did not belong to me.

After Cain brutally murders his brother Abel, he, too, is sorry. He is sorry that God cannot be deceived. He is sorry that his punishment is so great. He is sorry that his life is now in danger. But Cain is not sorry that his brother is dead. He is not sorry for his sin and rebellion against God.

There is a distinct difference between worldly regret and true repentance. We may regret our circumstances, our punishment, or even our inability to live up to our own or others’ standards. Regret is ultimately self-centered.

Repentance, on the other hand, is God-centered. In repentance, we are sorry that we have wronged God. This is why God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). When we experience the Father heart of God for ourselves, sin becomes a very ugly and a very personal thing. When we see the incredible faithfulness and patience of our Father for what it is, we begin to hate our continual rejection of Him. We begin to be sorry to Him for our sin.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love for sinners. Forgive me for consistently disregarding You. Please give me grace that I would be able to love You with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 38-39

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