“Repentance” is a subject some Christians try to avoid. We need not fear repentance when it is viewed in its proper perspective. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance as it never had been preached before. Perhaps this is why Christ said about him, “There hath not risen a greater born of women” (Matthew 11:11). “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3).
Contrary to what many believe, repentance is not ceasing from evil works and turning to good, which is only preparing the way for self to do good. John cried to those in the wilderness who could not find their way. He did not cry “come out of your wilderness,” for they did not know how. He cried, “Christ has come to seek and to save that which is lost. Prepare ye to receive Him. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”
What is the way? “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” ( John 1:47). Grace and truth is the way of the Lord. Do not go about in an effort to establish your own righteousness. If you do, you have not repented from self. Make straight, in the desert of your life a highway for our God, a way for God to enter your parched soul. True repentance is turning from self effort unto God’s program of grace. “With Him will He not also give you freely all things.” All things are gifts from God; to be experienced, they must be received. Repentance is a gift we are blessed to receive.