WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized”
Acts 2:38 (ESV)
THE FIRST DAY OF CHURCH: CALLED TO REPENT
Genelle Guzman McMillan was the last person to be rescued from the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. She had been trapped in the rubble for 27 hours when at last firefighters heard her calling and pulled her out. This 30-year-old single mother had only been on the job as a Port Authority clerk for nine months when the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
By her own description she was a Catholic who had become a “party-girl” and was living with her boyfriend in Brooklyn. But when the North Tower collapsed, Genelle’s thoughts immediately turned to the Lord and her 14-year-old daughter. She prayed that her body would at least be found so that it could be buried. Becoming bolder, she revised her prayer and asked the Lord that if she had to die, that she could at least make it to the hospital so she could see her daughter one last time. But as faith seemed to bubble in her heart, she boldly asked her Heavenly Father to be rescued alive. “I was praying to God: ‘God please save my life. Give me a second chance. I promise I will change my life and do your will.'” Genelle kept her promise, turned away from her sins and has deepened her walk with the Lord. That’s true repentance! (by John Gaston)
September 11th seems to be one of the few dates on the calendar that unites us anymore as a nation. And Genelle wasn’t the only one whose life went in a different direction as a result of 9/11. By definition, the word “repent” means to change and go in the opposite direction. When the New Testament church was born, they unified around the idea that we all need to repent and follow Jesus. Darrell Bock writes “the point is that repentance involves a reorientation of perspective, a fresh point of view. When dealing with God’s plan, it means to see that plan in a new way and to orient oneself to it. There can be no genuine conversion without genuine repentance.”
At Northstar Church, we believe the Bible includes personal repentance as an essential part of becoming a Christian. There should come a point in time when we realize that Jesus Christ is the Way and we decide to turn and follow Him. Have you come to that point in your faith journey? When was that time and how has your life changed? Pray that our church would continue to unify with all kinds of people who are making the decision to turn and follow Christ.