Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that Godʼs kindness leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4) NET
“They’re called ‘cleaning stations,’” A friend who SCUBA dives said. “They are locations on the reef where cleaner shrimp live. Fish stop, open their mouths, and the shrimp hops inside to clean the teeth.
“I tried it, too. I removed my regulator and opened my mouth. The little guy jumped in and worked on my teeth with a feathery touch. When I exhaled bubbles, he jumped back to his rock.”
This is another of nature’s symbiotic relationships where two creatures help each other. The shrimp gets meals delivered to his doorstep, and the guest gets free dental hygiene.
There is also a symbiotic relationship between grace and repentance. Grace inspires us to repent from rebellion. At the same time, repentance opens our hearts wide to receive the cleansing of grace.
Jesus didn’t die for our sins so he could merely sneak us into heaven. He cleansed us so he can inhabit our hearts and change us from the inside out—grace and repentance working together.
While they are symbiotically connected, there’s a vital distinction between grace and repentance. Grace is a cause while repentance is an effect. God’s grace initiates our reconciliation, then we respond to his kindness with repentance.
Grace takes hold of the hand of repentance and they walk together, because wherever you witness saving grace, repentance is not far behind.
Prayer: Lord God, I celebrate the union of your grace and my repentance.