“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
Probably written between 61- 64 A.D., The Book of Acts provides the history of the Church in its infancy. Mostly referred to as the Acts of the Apostles, also strongly demonstrated, is the impactful leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his Disciples, that they were to tarry in Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on High. Unforgettably, Acts gives the account of the infilling of the Holy Spirit for the one hundred and twenty souls that waited for the promise of the Father, in the Upper room.
The author of the Acts is widely regarded as Luke the Physician, who also wrote the Gospel according to Luke, and later became a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul. The text was addressed to Theophilus, (Friend of God) who may have been an individual or used as an honorary title. Nevertheless, it is a rousing document of the history of the early church, revealing the significance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, and a source of encouragement to Gods people through the ages.
The spread of Christianity throughout the known realm is a major subject matter. It was the responsibility of the Disciples to carry the message of the Gospel to the world. The Lord said to them that they would be “witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Luke recorded the trials and victories of some of the Apostles, and other church leaders.
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus will forever stand as a declaration of God’s love and determination to save His creation. Once a persecutor of the believers, he became the predominant Apostle, writing more than one half of the New Testament.
The Apostle Peter speaking from the Temple (in the porch which was called Solomon’s), the Apostle Peter is memorably noted for his message to the Jews concerning their denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. Subsequently he reprimanded them for their disbelief, and decreed, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Peter admonished them to believe on Jesus. His message under the anointing of the Holy Spirit was one of repentance, and faith in the Name of Jesus. “For there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
To provide greater insight into this scripture, the Lord highlighted these words to me:
Repent…Times…Refreshing…Presence of the Lord
To turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
Repentance (Greek metanoia, 'change of mind') involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness.
Any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
Sins (Greek hamartia, is, literally, "a missing of the mark,") to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, that which is done wrong, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act
That which is measured by seconds, minutes, hours, days and years; or the right period or interval to do something or for something to happen.
Times (Greek kairos, signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.) primarily due measure, due proportion, a fixed or definite period, a season, or opportunity. In Christian theology, the appointed time in the purpose of God.
Tending to refresh; invigorating; pleasantly different or novel.
Refreshing (Greek anapsuxix, a cooling; refreshing,) figuratively it is a revival,
A recovery of breath.
Is the fact or condition of being present; it is the fact of being in a particular place.
Presence (Greek pro so pon; pros, "towards," ops, "an eye," lit., "the part round the eye, the face," in a secondary sense "the look, the countenance," as being the index of the inward thoughts and feelings
1Pe 3:12, there used of the face of the Lord), came to signify the presentation of the whole person
AMPLIFIED BIBLE TRANSLATION FOR ACTS 3:19
“So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return to God, that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean) that the time of refreshing (recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the Presence of the Lord.”
LIVING BIBLE TRANSLATION FOR ACTS 3:19
“Now change your mind and attitude to God. And turn to Him, so He can cleanse assay your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the Presence of the Lord.”
REFERENCE SCRIPTURE JAMES 4: 7-10
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Early in my walk with the Lord, it was very disconcerting on every occasion I gave space to the devil, and walked outside of what I knew to be the will of God. I would not go before the Lord for days and sometimes even weeks until I thought I had “worked out my own salvation.”
The shame of my sin caused me to retreat to a place where I could not receive any help from the Lord. I desired to make myself “good enough” to be presented to Him. I would give my best effort at living holy for a least a few weeks before I even prayed again. I felt I had no right to ask the Lord for anything; He was always so worthy of all I had to give, and in return I had sinned against Him.
I repeatedly responded to the Lord in this manner for a long period of time, and I didn’t understand the defeat because I should have been walking in victory.
Instead of submitting myself to God, I ran and hid from Him. Much like Adam and Eve did when “They heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
It is impossible to hide from the presence of the Lord, for “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Instead, if we should sin, we must confess the sin, repent, and receive the forgiveness of the Lord.
I endeavored to restore myself, but in fact initiated a greater degree of despair with every try. My pride would not allow me to admit I needed Gods help. It was nothing I could not quit doing, or wouldn’t let happen again, I just needed to be more diligent in my endeavor.
The vicious cycle of perceived failure would have continued, until one day, after feeling defeated again for days, I was almost forced by the Holy Spirit to pray. And as I kneeled before the Father, I heard Him say, “You cannot earn my blessing.”
For month’s I had tried to find a formula to earn God’s love after I had sinned. It was not a willful desire to sin, but nevertheless, I had sinned. I may have lost my temper, or had an argument with someone. Whatever it was, I knew I had not reacted to the situation like a Saint of God.
What the Lord taught me in that moment, has helped to keep me moving forward to this day. Unconfessed sin, whether intentional or not, is a burden. The lesson is simple… Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If I should sin, I will confess the sin and ask the Lord to forgive. For if we “Confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If we should sin, confess the sin, repent, and receive the forgiveness of the Lord.
David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.”
True repentance will bring God’s forgiveness, healing and deliverance. Knowing that he was forgiven, David professed, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Blotted out) “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” At that time, the exact moment when we cry out to God from a pure heart, the times of refreshing are guaranteed from the presence of the Lord.