Summary: There is a word in the Bible that is a bit hard to understand for us at times. It is the word repent.

Theme: When we ask for God's forgiveness, we must be willing to let go of our sin.

Scripture: Acts 3:19 Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to him so he can cleanse away your sins Acts 3:19

There is a word in the Bible that is a bit hard to understand for us at times. It is the word repent. I doubt you hear at much at home or at school. Maybe at church is the only time. Repent means to change your mind. It means you are headed in one direction and God says you’re going in the wrong direction so you turn around. He tells us that because he knows when we are headed for trouble.

Sometimes your Mom may have had a cookie jar. Maybe like this. And it’s filled with cookies. Now if you have one your Mom will often tell you, don’t eat any cookies before dinner. Your Mom might say don’t eat any cookies before dinner because it will spoil your appetite. Has your mother ever told you that? Well, I heard about a child that didn't listen to what his mother told him. The little boy climbed up on a stool so they could reach the cookie jar and very slowly removed the lid, being careful not to make a sound that my mother might hear. Then he reached into reached into the jar and got a hand full of cookies. Just at that moment, he heard his mother coming. He quickly tried to pull my hand out of the jar, but it was stuck. He pulled and pulled but he simply could not get his hand free. His mother came in and he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and he was stuck. She said, "What are you doing with your hand in the cookie jar?"

He answered, "I know you told me not to eat any cookies before dinner, but I was so hungry and the cookies looked so good that I just couldn't resist. Now my hand is stuck in the cookie jar." "Let go of the cookies," my mother said. When he turned loose of the cookies, my hand easily came out of the cookie jar!

When we do the wrong thing we sometimes get stuck. Sometimes we do things that we know are wrong and we want God to forgive us, but we really don't want to turn loose of the sin. Because we like it. We want to be forgiven, but we want to keep on doing the same things we are doing. As long as we hold onto our sins, we and we cannot receive God's forgiveness.

When Jesus was crucified, there were two men who were crucified with him. These men were robbers. They had done some terrible things and deserved to be punished. One of the men looked at Jesus and mocked him. He said, "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal said, "We are criminals and we deserve to die, but this man has done nothing." Then he turned to Jesus and said, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus replied, "Today you will be with me in heaven."

One man refused to let go of his sin and he died without Jesus. The other man turned from his sin, and he went to heaven to be with Jesus. Each of us has the same choice. We can choose to be stuck in our sin or we can choose to ask forgiveness and then let it go.

It’s hard as a child to do that and guess what? It will not get any easier as your grow older. But it is always better for us to do the right thing. Stay strong.

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