“…Turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…" Acts
What does it mean to turn? You know the answer to that. It means to go in the other direction. In Acts 3:19, the Bible says to turn to God. That must mean that you are to go another direction. In fact, if you are turning, it often means that you are headed in the wrong direction. Life without Christ is the wrong direction. Paul, who wrote Acts, was speaking here and telling the people that they needed to turn to God or to go toward Him. Isn't it wonderful that God never makes you accept Him but stands ready to receive you when you turn to Him? Look at the rest of the verse. When you turn to God, it says that your sins are wiped away and that refreshment is waiting for you. He forgives. He makes it easy. He just wants you to turn your face to His.
When you were a child, you may remember your parents or other adults wanting you to look at them when they spoke to you. God wants you to look His way. When you do, you see Him in all His glory. You see His heart and how much compassion He has and how much He loves and cares for you. He stands ready to make it all better. God wants to give you a new start by removing all the ugliness of wrongdoing. He wants you to be renewed, refreshed, and recreated if you will. He wants to give you a fresh start!
Everyone does wrong things
If God wants to give you a new start, you need to let Him. Remember the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3? Eve and Adam both do exactly what they were told not to do; they eat of the fruit of the one tree that they were not supposed to eat from. And then they hid. They hid because they were ashamed of what they had done. When you do wrong things (everyone does), you don't want to turn to God because you know you are guilty. Look at Proverbs 14:12 below.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12
You might think you know what's good for you and your family. You might wonder how God could possibly have the whole picture. It is awesome that God knows you so well that He knew that He needed to add this verse to the Bible. There is a way that you think is right, but without God, it is not.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Everyone has sinned and no one lives up to God's standard of perfection. All of you have turned the wrong way and need to make an about-face. God knows when you are running from Him and yet still stands patiently waiting, willing to forgive you and give you hope and meaning in this life and in the life to come.
Some may think they are leading good and moral lives. The Bible says that you have still done wrong things. No one is perfect. If you are living your life without a growing relationship with Christ, then you are living in the sin of not allowing Him to be the Lord of your life.
If you claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John 1:8, 10
The payment for wrongdoing is death
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
What happens when you don't turn to God? The answer is clear. The answer is death. The payment for wrongdoing is death or eternal separation from God. However, the free gift from God is everlasting life through Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Someone had to pay for your sins. It is only through the grace of God that He sent Jesus to pay the penalty.
Death separates you from God
Your sins separate you from God. If each sin you commit is like a brick, then when you put these sins together, it is like building a brick wall between yourself and God. The more bricks or sins there are, the more you may feel separated from God. Even one brick or one sin separates you from God but the more sins you have in your life, the farther you feel from God. So, sin leads you to eternal death and eternal separation from God but even on this earth, the separation is there.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
In the verse above, the Bible says that your sins keep you from Him and that He will not even hear you. However, read the following great news:
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:17-18
This is why God sent Jesus - not to condemn you but to save you. If you believe, you are not condemned. If you don't believe, then you are condemned already.
The brick wall of sin is removed by accepting the fact that Jesus died on the cross for you. You make it a personal decision. Yes, He died for all but you must ask Him personally to come into your life. You accept the forgiveness that has already been provided. When the wall is removed, that openness with God is there. You have been forgiven!
When you turn to God and away from sin,
God cleanses you and wipes out your sin
When God wipes out your sin, He wipes it out for good.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
He removes your wrongdoing and all that is separating you from Him. Just think, the east and the west never meet. You may remember your sin but it is still gone. You may live with the consequences of your sin, but it has been forgiven and removed!
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12
Not only are your sins removed and forgiven, but Hebrews 8:12 above says that God will not even remember them. God will never hold them against you. You have been forgiven and your sins have been wiped away. When you turn to God in repentance, He is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you.
God sends refreshment
When you are faithful to tell or confess to God what you have done wrong, He is faithful and will do what He says. In the verse below, God clearly says that He is just or fair and will not only forgive you of your sins but will purify or cleanse you from anything that is unrighteous or unholy.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
When He does this, you are refreshed. Look at Acts 3:19-20 printed below:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you-- even Jesus. Acts 3:19-20
Refreshment comes when you are in a right relationship with God! So, repent, or be sorry to the point that you turn your life around, and give God your life so that you may experience the fullness of life with Christ on this earth and in the life to come.
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b
God stands ready to bring you a full and meaningful life with purpose. The decision is up to you.