May 13, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Christine Li, was first posted on April 23, 2016. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, serves as a deaconess at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Mrs. Piggle-wiggle and Repentance”

Acts 19:17-19

When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Mrs. Piggle-wiggle is a collection of funny short stories I used to read as a child. The main character, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, spends all of her time with the children of the neighborhood and cleverly instills various good habits in them. One such situation is called “The Radish Cure,” where one of the girls refuses to take baths. Mrs. Piggle-wiggle instructs the parents to let their daughter stop taking baths as she wishes. The daughter begins to get dirt and grime caked on her, and one night her parents secretly plant radish seeds on her. The next morning, the she is horrified to find little sprouts on her body and immediately begs her parents to let her take a bath.

Repentance, in many ways, is like the discipline of taking a daily shower, because it involves us going to God to purify and cleanse us. But just as children try to avoid baths by insisting that they are not so dirty, we might try to avoid this daily practice. Because we don’t always immediately feel the consequences of our sins, we fail to see how essential repentance is. If we keep on insisting that we don’t have to repent, it is possible that we will become so mired and trapped in our ways that only a very dangerous or scary situation will awaken our senses. 

Here at Ephesus, a terrifying encounter with evil spirits stuck the fear of the Lord into the people’s hearts; what resulted was a massive outpouring of confession and repentance from sorcery. This was a great testimony, as it incited a large wave of repentance. But, we don’t have to wait for a traumatizing event to come clean before the Lord! He is at hand, so we can constantly approach Him to receive His grace. 

Let’s go to Him now and ask Him to gently wash us clean again. As we humbly acknowledge that we are constantly sinning against Him and need forgiveness, we might find that repentance is a habit that can become more and more natural to us. 

Prayer: Father, I am a sinner! I have so many disobedient thoughts and habits that go against Your holiness. Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, so that I can be made righteous in Your sight and enjoy Your love forever. Remind me of Your grace all over again, and let me turn from my own ways to Your life-bringing habits.

Bible Reading for Today: Exodus 7-8

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