The conversation turned to a recent weekend women’s retreat and the mighty move of God we saw. “How’d you get to that point?” my friend wanted to know.

“We repented until we were done. When we had clean hearts, God moved,” I explained. There’s much more to the story of how we arrived at the point of clean hearts, but I’ll save it for another day. Today’s topic is the Benefits Package that accompanies the confession of sin.

repentance

Repentance

Repentance. It’s one of the least-talked-about topics in the church today but the most necessary. It’s not enough to admit our sins. The next step, repentance—to turn away from the sin and stop doing it—is critical.

It’s the “stop doing it” part that gets us, isn’t it? We don’t usually sin in ways we dislike. Instead, we enjoy our sin for a season. The pleasure we derive is why we do it. Relinquishing something we enjoy isn’t all that much fun. Perhaps it would be, though, if we understood the benefits of repentance.

Benefits Package

Today, I turned to Psalm 103 and found a note in the margin made several years ago. “The Benefits Package.” You probably know this psalm. It begins with “Bless the Lord, O my soul” and  continues with “forget none of His benefits.” The benefits make an impressive list.

The benefits package: repentance benefits

  1. Pardons all our iniquities
  2. Heals all our diseases
  3. Redeems our life from the pit
  4. Crowns us with lovingkindness
  5. Crowns us with compassion
  6. Satisfies our years with good thing
  7. Renews our youth like an eagle
  8. Performs righteous deeds for us
  9. Performs judgment for us when we are oppressed
  10. Lovingkindness toward us as high as the heavens
  11. Removes our sin as far as the east is from the west
  12. Compassion on those who fear Him

 


repentance

I want it all, and I need every item in the benefits package. The problem, though, is I want the benefits without the trigger for benefit #1. “Pardons all our iniquities.” It’s obvious David presumes we’ll keep short accounts with the Lord. Look closely at this verse, friends.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities…” Psalm 103:2-3

The pardon for sin part is only possible if we do our repentance part.  In a very real sense, repentance triggers the 12-fold cascade of benefits the psalmist describes. There is no restriction on the age, sex, race, nationality, denomination, ministry or past history of the repenter.

Anyone who repents (confesses, turns from sin) and comes to Jesus gets the entire benefits package.

We get it all.

We get it all.

Ponder that for a long moment. If we want the benefits of confession, we can have them if we simply repent.

Read through the list again. Do we want to be satisfied with good things all our lives? Do we want renewed youth? What about the compassion and lovingkindness of God toward us? Of course, we want these blessings. No one in their right mind wants to skip blessings or for God to be against them.

If we want the entire benefits package, we must do one simple thing: Repent. Today, let’s decide: Do we want God’s blessings or not? If so, let’s do what’s required. Admit our sin and turn from it. It’s that simple. It’s that hard, but it’s worth it. Why not have it all?

What about you?

How have you experienced God’s blessing after repentance? Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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Want to read more? Here are links to a few other posts, including the advent series:

How to Trust God in Hard Times

Promises of God Fulfilled

The Gift of God’s Love

Hope: God With Us

True Beauty Begins When Pride Ends

When the Last Days Come

Christmas’ Best Gift: Beautiful Redemption

Beginning December

On Being Beloved

Here’s an in-depth, life-changing digital Bible study to help you start the new year:

You can also send this e-book as a gift through Amazon.

James: A life worth living

12 benefits of repentance