Scripture: Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19 (NKJV)

Observation: Today’s text comes from Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.  The people gathered there from many nations around the world heard the disciples speak in the languages of these nations, but instead of attributing this miracle to God they said the disciples were drunk.  Peter defended or explained what was happening and went on to preach the Good News of salvation to those gathered there.

Application: When mistakes, hurts, or sins enter a marital relationship, the spouses can allow them to fester and infect the entire relationship until an amputation – divorce – seems to be the only way to save them individually.  They see no way out, no way to fix it, no way to restore intimacy to their relationship.
     Peter’s message is that as much as our relationship with God can be restored when there is repentance, in the same way when there is genuine repentance in our marital relationship there can be forgiveness and full restoration to the intimacy God desires for us to enjoy.  This repentance must include full confession and a true recognition that what was done was wrong.  There should be no excusing the event, rationalization, or blaming of the other party, but a sincere recognition of what happened and of the pain it caused the other.
     The promise from Peter, to those that repent, is that “the times of refreshing” will come.  Often I am asked if it is possible to restore a relationship where adultery has taken place.  Peter’s words offer encouragement that it is indeed possible.  If God can restore our broken relationship with Him, though we fail Him sometimes on a daily basis, He surely can restore our relationship with our spouse.  And while the hurt feelings may take a long time to heal, if there is genuine repentance, it will take place and the relationship can be as good, maybe even better than it was before.  It was not the adultery which causes the relationship to be better but rather the recognition of wrongdoing and a new appreciation of the spouse and of the relationship they have before God which will turn what could have been a disastrous end into a new beginning with God at the center of the relationship.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You for restoring our relationship with You and making it even better than before.  May that experience be the same in our relationship as spouses and as parents so that when we hurt or fail each other You will restore us and bring us back to the “times of refreshing” You promise.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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