Eugene Cho

‘repent’ – one of the most beautiful words of the christian faith

Perhaps like some of you, I’ve developed a skewed perspective and meaning of the word ‘repent.’

And perhaps this an appropriate post in light of the coming rapture – aka – the end of the world as we know it.

When I’ve heard it used by preachers, teachers, and leaders, it was often associated with sin, death, hell, shame, punishment, and ultimately, an angry God.

It’s not that I have problems with the image of an angry God. It’s clear that there are images and stories that depict God’s anger and wrath but enveloping the image of God’s wrath are the bookends of God’s creative beauty and God’s redemptive glory.

This is why I love the word ‘repent’.

It was never intended to simply convey sin, wrongdoing, shame, or judgement – in isolation – but rather, to convey that God has a better way…a God of love, mercy, and compassion. It is one of the most beautiful and profound words of the Christian faith because no matter what we have done; No matter what situation; No matter what painful and hopeless circumstance…God always has a better way for us. God extends grace to us. God extends Himself to us.

When we ‘repent’ and turn away from certain things, we turn:

  • Not to emptiness
  • Not to void.
  • Not to nebulous concepts and theories.
  • Not to confusion.

We turn to the ways of God.

So beautiful.

Take 2 minutes to watch the video above.

So, I say to all of us:

Repent…Embrace grace.

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9 Responses

  1. Garrett S. says:

    Such a good word!

    For so long, repent has been a word associated with a kind of shame. And like you pointed out, there is a part of that, that rings true. I sin and there should be at least some regret (I’d be more concerned if there wasn’t). However, I had always thought that repentance meant to ask forgiveness up until a month ago when I was studying Hebrews.

    It’s so much deeper and every bit as wonderful as you describe it! Repentance is the event that happens in the heart and mind that leads to righteousness. To the things of God!

    I love the word repentance! So good! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Kim says:

    Awesome post. Thanks!

  3. Chae says:

    And to simply put it… repentance is loving God and not loving sin.

  4. JJ says:

    Thank you for this, Pastor. I really needed to read and receive this today.

  5. Sejin says:

    It sure seems like the Greek word for repent, “Metanoeo” was spoken in the loving, kind tone that you mentioned.

  6. jchenwa says:

    I like the ‘re’ in repent,

  7. Turning to the despair of the great void is no repentance at all, but rather completes our turn away from God’s reality and into the very Abyss.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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