Repentance is the absolute step we must take to receive God’s forgiveness

Published 8:08 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I have a hard time controlling my emotions yet I want to live a good Christian life. Are emotions stronger than a person’s will? — E.W.

Dear E.W.: The story is told of a young man who was having difficulty in submitting his will to God. He doubted everything. Emotionally nothing seemed real to him. Someone gave him some advice: “A man’s will is about ‘self’–doing what he wants. Your part then is simply to give your will over to God, making up your mind that you will believe what He says and that you will not pay any regard to the feelings that make it seem so impossible. Trust God and He will give you the desire to follow Him.” The young man paused a moment, and then said, “I will do what you say. I cannot control my emotions, but I can control my will by giving it up to God.”
Living life according to the Bible is allowing the power of God’s truth to propel our life with God at the controls. Until we utilize that fuel, we are earthbound, tied down by ego, pride, doubt, and guilt. It often binds people in chains of purposelessness and uncertainty. “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Turning all of these things over to God frees mankind from the debt of sin that besets.
Repentance is the absolute step we must take to receive God’s forgiveness, opening the way for Him to transform us and strengthen us in our weakness so that we can live securely in Him and do His will.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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