Devotionals & Sermon Starters

This is a list of short thoughts, ideas, and scripture references that may be used to spark an idea for a sermon or a devotional time in your day. If you do develop a sermon based on one of these, please consider submitting it to us by emailing it to the Administrators of the site.

Are you Impetuous?

Impetuous Peter often put his foot in his mouth or reacted too quickly and immediately had to face the consequences.

 

 

Matt 16:21—23 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

 

 

1 John 18:10,11 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

 

 

Mattt 14:28-31 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "Why did you doubt?"

 

 

Consider your actions and replies, develop a Christ-like attitude and lifestyle and the kindness and thoughtfulness will have you automatically react in the way that will bring good consequences and blessings rather than getting yourself in hot water with impetuous reactions.

 

 

Titus 2:7,8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

 

 

Think on Jesus' words:

John 14:23,24 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Be Still

Who Can "Be Still", AND KNOW I AM GOD.

 

            Ever feel guilty when somebody quoted this Bible verse:  "Be still, and know that I am God"? (Psalm 46:10).  I'll bet you'd like nothing better than to find a quiet time today.  Maybe you are even planning for it.  Wonderful things can happen in times of solitude, stillness, and silence before God.  But "stillness" is hard to come by -- and simply isn't available on some days or in certain life experiences.

 

            There's precious little time for stillness when production deadlines are close.  A report is due in three hours.  An inspection is in progress.  If you live in a big city, there are voices and horns.  There is constant motion.  Shared living space has someone else's music, someone else's TV, and someone else's voice.  Where do you find God in all the noise?

 

            Then there is "noise" of a different quality altogether.  Pain from illness or injury screams at you.  The pressure of finding a new job or putting life together after a death takes away your tranquil sense of God.  Sadness, disappointment, and loss crash over you with the roar of an angry sea.

 

            Strange as it may seem to say, the greater need for some of us may be less for stillness than to learn how to hear God's voice smack in the middle of all the noise, chaotic activity, and disorienting trouble.

 

            "They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end.  Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.  He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.  Let them give thanks to the Lord. . ." (Psalm 107:27-31).

 

            Do you really think ours is the first generation of humankind to feel the pressure of noise, tension, and uncertainty? Of course it isn't.  And the experience of some of those people can guide us in our times of stress.

 

            Whoever the subjects of Psalm 107, they were reeling and staggering under their load.  There was no serene stillness before God for them.  To the contrary, they were "at their wits' end." So right in the middle of their frenzy and distress, "they cried out to the Lord in their trouble" -- and God heard them.

 

            If your life has more tumult than stillness, more crash than tranquility, God has not abandoned you.  He beckons you to cry out to him, and he will show himself to you.  Amidst the noise, you will find him with you in the middle of it all.

 

Get alone somewhere, open your Bible, and Take some time to listen to God today!

Christ the Refiner & Purifier

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot;then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Romans 8:29  "For who He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren"

 

Coal Basket Bible

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson.  Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, "Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book.  What good does reading the Bible do?" 

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water."  The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, "You will have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.  This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home.

Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was "impossible to carry water in a basket, "and he went to get a bucket instead.  The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Papa,it's useless!"

"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket" The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different.

Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean. "Son, that's what happens when you read the Bible.  You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out. 

That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.

Verse for Thought:

Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed by this world; but be ye ransformed by the renewing of your mind' that ye may prove what is thatgood' and acceptable, and perfect' will of God."

 

Fact or Fiction?

Despite our misconceptions, the actual facts about Jesus' birth are

more marvelous than words can express! We are given information through

God's Word, but how much of what we consider 'fact' is truly what He has

told us? Let's look at the story surrounding Jesus' birth.

 

Did Mary ride a donkey to Bethlehem? The Bible doesn't expound on how

she got to Bethlehem, nor does it confirm she gave birth on the night of

their arrival. We are simply told 'the days were accomplished that she

should be delivered.' Did Joseph or Mary speak with any innkeepers?

Possibly, but there is no mention of an innkeeper in the story. Was

Jesus born in a stable, or even a cave? The Bible only tells us that He

was laid in a manger, which the Greek word translates as 'ledge or

projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or

other food of travelers' animals was placed.' Excavations in Israel

have uncovered some carved mangers, but most are stone built. How about

angels singing to the shepherds? Actually, the angel of the Lord

proclaimed the Baby's birth to shepherds and then there appeared 'a

multitude of the heavenly host praising God.' Did 3 oriental kings

worship the baby Jesus? Scripture tells us that magi from the East - no

number given - brought gifts to the 'young child' sometime after His

parents presented Him at the Jerusalem temple.

 

We can be assured of these facts provided us by God:

Jesus was born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem, exactly as prophesied

many years before.

The Son of God was conceived in Mary, not by man, but by the

Holy Spirit of God - God is His father and Mary, His mother.

Jesus existed as the Word of God before the creation of the world.

God spoke His Word and, by this, created everything.

 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word

was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being

through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being." John 1:1-3

 

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His

glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth."

1 John 1:14

 

He is part of the Trinity we know as God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

God came in human form for a purpose - to die as a willing, spotless

sacrifice to pay for the sins of mankind. He did this to restore a

broken relationship with Him and to provide the free gift of eternal

salvation to all who will accept it and follow Him.

 

The distorted views we may have versus the true events of Christ's birth

illustrate our need to test everything we hear, no matter the source.

The only accurate record is found in the Bible - our final authority!

 

The Bible contains the words of eternal life. It is the user's manual

for living. Our Heavenly Father has so much that He wants to show us, if

only we will read the Word of God. Yet so few people really take the

time to find out what it has to say. If you are not reading the Word of God,

then it only will be a matter of time until you will fall apart spiritually.

 

In the Presence of God

"And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden.
" (Genesis 3:8).

Contemplating being in the presence of God can be either a cause of fear or a source of blessing. Adam and Eve were greatly afraid of His presence because of their sin.  Cain "went out from the presence of the LORD" (Genesis 4:16) because of his sinful heart. Yet it will also be to many a time of great joy. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

The difference, of course, is the presence or absence of unforgiven sin in our life. Most of the sixteen occurrences of this phrase in the Bible stress the judgmental aspect. Those who reject Christ's offer of forgiveness, through repentance and faith in His death for our sins, will eventually be banned forever from His presence, like Cain. "...you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on
those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power
" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

But for those who have repented of their sins and turned to Christ for salvation, the prospect of the coming and personal presence of the Lord Jesus is one of joyful anticipation, for "In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11).

When He comes again, we shall be presented "faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24) and so shall we "ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).  Knowing this, we can whole heartedly be "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God" (2 Peter 3:12)

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me

Most of us have sung this song many times in our lives, yet we may not often consider what the "beauty of Jesus" truly is.

 

The prophet Isaiah said of Jesus "when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).  No, the beauty of Jesus was not outward physical beauty.  

 Psalm 96:6-9 explains his beauty in the words of a poet (King David): "Honor and majesty are before Him:
strength and beauty are in His sanctuary....O worship the Lord in the beauty of
holiness: fear before Him, all the earth."

This phrase is found again in 1 Chronicles 16:29  "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness".

 

This beauty of Jesus was not a beauty seen with the physical eyes.  That is the way man sees, but God looks on the hidden man of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  The beauty God notices is the beauty of a Holy character . . . an inward righteousness.  This was the beauty that King David sought for throughout his life: "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4).

 

One other place this phrase occurs is during the reign of King Jehosophat.  records, "And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army." (2 Chronicles 20:21-22)

 

Do you today seek the true beauty of a Holy Character in your own life? "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us" (Psalm 90:17).  Remember our admonition as Peter quotes the Lord "Be ye Holy for I am Holy" (1 Peter 1:16)[Lev.11:44; 19:2; 20:7]

Open Doors

"Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak" (Colossians 4:3-4).

This was Paul's prayer request of the Colossian Christians, that God would open the door for His testimony. Paul had written earlier about "when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 2:12). The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.

Furthermore, these passages indicate that such doors are opened by the Lord, not by human devices. In fact, Christ Himself is "He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (Revelation 3:7). Doors of testimony are opened by the Lord in answer to prayer, but He also specifies three criteria for keeping the door opened. "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8).

These conditions mean, literally, having little strength of one's own and thus depending only on God, jealously guarding the integrity of God's Word, and upholding the name of Christ as Creator, Savior, and coming King.

Even when the door is kept open by God, there is no assurance of ease in entering it. Paul wrote that "a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries" (1 Corinthians 16:9). This is the reason prayer is needed, relying on God, not man!

The Lord is also seeking an open door into churches that think they "have need of nothing. . . . Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:17,20).

 

Peaceful Shoes

"How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'” (Isaiah 52:7).

Surprisingly, there are more verses containing the word "peace" in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah (King James Version) than in any other book of the Bible. The central occurrence (15 before, 15 after) is in our text, speaking of those whose feet travel with the beautiful gospel (that is, "good tidings," mentioned twice in this verse) of peace. The one proclaiming this gospel is said to be publishing salvation; announcing the imminent reign of God the Savior over all the earth.

The first mention of "peace" in Isaiah speaks of the coming King and His reign, and so does the final occurrence. First: "The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called . . . The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Then, in Isaiah's last chapter we read: "For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream." (Isaiah 66:12).

This wonderful gospel of peace is specifically mentioned just twice in the New Testament. The first is a direct quotation from Isaiah. "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15).

The second is in connection with the Christian's spiritual armor. The "beautiful feet" that are to carry the good tidings are, most appropriately, to be shod "with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15). It is our high privilege to be among those whose feet travel upon the mountains, and across the plains, and over the seas with the beautiful gospel of peace and salvation.

She washed his feet with her tears

 

There is a touching story in the earthly ministry of Jesus: "Behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, . . . and anointed them with the ointment" (Luke 7:37-38).

The ointment was obviously not the same as the tears, but followed the washing by tears. Some scholars think these tears came from her bottle, which was emptied on His feet and used to wash them. Others think that those tear bottles that have been found actually contained the collected tears of mourners at a burial site.

In any case, God does know all our wanderings and sorrows and all our tears, and stores them up somewhere. Perhaps it is also a metaphor for His "book of remembrance," which is being "written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name" (Malachi 3:16).

Psalm 56:8  "You number my wanderings: put my tears into your bottle: are they not in your book?"

This is a remarkable insight into the tender heart of our heavenly Father. He has a tear bottle -- in fact, perhaps a tear bottle for each of His wandering children.

Ancient "tear bottles" (or wineskins) have actually been excavated by archaeologists in Israel. These vessels were used to catch and preserve the owner's tears during times of grief or extreme pressure. This psalm was actually written by David when he was being pursued by Saul on one side and surrounded by Philistines in the city of Goliath on the other. David apparently not only had his own tear bottle, but also believed that God somehow was also storing up David's personal tears in His own heavenly bottle of tears.

Thanksgiving for Blessings

Hem your blessings with thanksgiving so they don't unravel!

 

Because Joseph trusted in God and was obedient to His will he received great blessings with thankfulness.

 

Gen 49:22-26  Joseph is a fruitful bough , even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:  But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)  Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:  The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

David thanked God constantly for the blessings he received and praised God mightily.

Psa. 21:1-7  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!  Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.  For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.  He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.  His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.  For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.  For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.

Psa. 100:3-5  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Gal. 3:14-16  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Do you remember to Thank God for all those daily blessings you receive?  Or do you just grab them and rush on through your day?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

The Avenger

"Appoint out for you cities of refuge, . . . and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood" (Joshua 20:2-3).

Our modern criminal code makes an important distinction between premeditated murder and accidental homicide. But millennia before the American penal code, or even English Common Law, the Mosaic Law made special provision for the manslayer. "Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither" (Numbers 35:11).

The Mosaic law had provided for swift justice to follow criminal activity: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Exodus 21:23-24). In fact a particular person would be designated to meet out retribution on the one who had killed another: the avenger of blood. "The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him" (Numbers 35:19). But someone who had accidentally killed his neighbor could flee to one of the appointed Cities of Refuge strategically placed around the nation and thus escape from the avenger of blood.

We are told that the roads to the Cities of Refuge were strictly preserved, every river was bridged and every obstruction was removed. This is a beautiful picture of the road to Christ Jesus. It is a road so hard, that no self-righteous man can ever tread it, but so easy, that every sinner, who knows himself to be a sinner may by it find his way to heaven. Like the ancient manslayer, we are under condemnation for our sins. The avenger of blood is swift of foot and upon our heels. If any today is outside the refuge of Christ, let him run with all speed to Him for salvation that "we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:18).

 

What Pleases God

"But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases." (Psalm 115:3).

Often we hear questions asked about why God does the things He does.  He is never obligated to explain to us His reasons. (Romans 9) It should be enough for His children to know that it pleased Him.  Anything God does is right because He does it.

For example, if someone asks why God created the universe, we may simply answer that it was for His "will they exist were created" (Revelation 4:11). "Whatever the LORD pleases He does,  In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places." (Psalm 135:6). He does not have to give account to us, because we were also created by him at His pleasure.

And why did He allow His Son to suffer and die on the cross? Although "He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him" and to "make His soul an offering for sin," knowing that eventually "the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand" (Isaiah 53:9,10).

We may never understand why God has done this or many of the other things He has done, especially for sinners such as us, but we don't have to understand. "It pleased God . . . to save them that believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21), not them that understand.  Simply believe and obey His directions.

We can be sure that God does have perfect reasons for everything He does, and perhaps we shall understand it all in eternity. In the meantime, we are simply (with Paul) to be thankful that "it pleased God, who . . . called me through His grace, To reveal His Son in me" (Galatians 1:15,16).

What is Genuine Repentance?

 

Real repentance is sorrow for the deed, not for being caught.

Paul wrote a letter to the Church at Corinth:

2 Cor 7:8-10  Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it--I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while--yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

There is a tremendous difference in being sorry that I sinned and being sorry that I got caught sinning, or that someone got hurt when I sinned.  Often those whose sins destroy other lives are terribly sorry for the consequences of their sin, but fail to turn away from the sin itself.  Examples of this might be the drunk who, having caused someone's death while driving while intoxicated, drinks to dull the guilt.  Or the man who, having destroyed his home by having an affair, seeks comfort and consolation in the arms of another illicit lover.

Matt 27:3-5 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."  So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The remorse that Judas experienced was doubtless a result of seeing the consequences of his sin.  Instead of repenting with Godly repentance [as Peter did after denying Jesus], he commits suicide.

Luke 15:17-20 When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'  So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The prodigal son illustrates genuine repentance of sin.  He turned his back on the sin and went home, begging, not demanding, forgiveness from the Father.

Acts 26:20. . .also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

Will you genuinely repent of your sins and return to the father seeking forgiveness?