The Pause that Refreshes

“Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’

“Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.” – Acts 3:17-26

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Everglade Flowers II | Florida Everglades | May 2019

Refreshed! Can you recall the last time you’ve felt truly refreshed? It may be following a particularly good vacation. It may be after a shower at the end of a end of a good workout. Could be just a really good night’s sleep. Sometimes, however, these simple things are hard to come by. And the refreshment they bring are all too fleeting. Whether it’s struggling to get a good night’s sleep, the lack of any kind of workout, or the reality of stressful vacations: true refreshment is all too allusive.

Image result for the pause that refreshesYou might remember the Coca Cola claim that Coke was the pause that refreshes. Perhaps you have enjoyed your share of refreshing Coca Cola over the years. You’ve cherished break time, and really enjoyed being able to have some down time during the day. Those are great memories for me…in years gone by.

But God offers a greater, more far-reaching and longer-lasting refreshment through repentance, and the presence of Jesus in our lives: Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 

True, lasting, and pure refreshment comes to those who give up pursuit of false treasures, and fake riches. They rest in the presence, mercy, goodness, and grace of God. True refreshment comes when we are shaped by the word of God, the truth of Scripture, and the values of godliness.

I notice that the promise is for “times” of refreshment. This is not a one-time deal. We sin daily and continually need God’s mercy and forgiving grace. That’s why we repent daily. Times of refreshment come when we daily repent of our sins and turn away from the devil and seek Jesus’ refreshing presence. Repentance and faith are the essential ingredients of the pause that truly refreshes.

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