A Call to Come Home (Acts 3:19) – Your Daily Bible Verse – July 9

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BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: “Repent therefore and turn to God for your sins to be blotted out.” (Acts 3:19)

A call to come home
By Becca Stevens

At Thistle Farms, our mission is to heal, empower and employ female survivors of trafficking, prostitution and drug addiction. Our community believes that in every mistake there is potential for healing. Nothing a person can do will close the door forever with God and with a loving community – even if that person feels beyond redemption, is sent back to prison, or cannot find sobriety in this life. . Our practice is simple: step back, apologize, make amends, learn something new, and move on.

Once, one of our residents relapsed after more than a year in our community. During this time, she borrowed money that she would never repay. She stole from her friends and lied to them too. The damage to his relationships was like a tsunami of destruction. Her downward spiral of devastation ended when she ended up in prison. One of the first steps on her journey to restoration was writing letters to those she had hurt saying how sorry she was for the things she had done.

Sometimes the pain in our lives comes from our own thoughts, words and deeds. In times like these, we must embrace the truth that healing often begins with repentance. In Acts 3:19, Paul urges his readers to “Repent therefore, and return to God, that your sins may be blotted out. This is language that sounds familiar to lovers of the Old Testament. In Ezekiel chapter 14, the prophet challenges the misguided elders of Israel to cast off their idols and return to their God. “…Repent and turn from your idols… (Ezekiel 14:6).” Here, the Hebrew word for repent indicates more than a challenge to live differently. It is a call to “go home”.

When we humbly and wholeheartedly repent of the things we have done, as well as the things we have not done, we find that we are once again able to love with all our heart. Repentance paves the way for us to enjoy a restored relationship with one another.

And through the gift of repentance, we rest once more in the great love of God…our one true home.

When our friend fell back into her old destructive lifestyle, she deeply hurt those who loved her most. Unfortunately, she has years in prison ahead of her. Her time behind bars that will give her the opportunity to bridge the troubled waters she shook up during the season she strayed from love. Yet she can still go home. The door to healing and reconciliation is open to her because she understands that true freedom is rooted in repentance and forgiveness.

Let’s pray –

God of love,

Anoint my head with the balm of peace and put me back on the right path. Give me the courage to get up when I stumble. Give me eyes to see your hand at work in the world around me. Teach me to pray for others even in my own suffering. Show me how to love again from the bottom of my heart and with all my being. Amen.

Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, Episcopal priest, justice entrepreneur, and founder and president of Thistle Farms (Nashville, TN). Thistle Farms is the largest social enterprise in the United States run by survivors of prostitution, drug addiction and trafficking. His latest book is Love Heals (Thomas Nelson). Follow Beca on Twitter @RevBeccaStevens or visit BeccaStevens.org and ThistleFarms.org.

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