Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 16 February 2023. Today’s topic: Repent, For…

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17

Notice what Jesus said to start His earthly ministry.   “Change.”  “Turn from your sins because heaven has come to earth.”   “Turn around, run away, move forward from the worst things you’ve done because God is with us now.”   That’s what “repent” means.

The kingdom of heaven is still near, though our world has found new ways to try to hide from it.  The small, word-of-mouth ministry that Jesus began in pagan Galilee has done what He intended it to do.   It has reached out to hundreds of millions of people (out of 8 billion here now).   Your reading of these words is one of the ways He reaches out today, to you.   And the message is still the same:   repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.

We need that message today.   Something will happen to you today; maybe it already has.   It may be big or small, momentous or insignificant.  Too often, the ‘big changes’ in our lives happen because of small changes, minor incidents, seemingly insignificant choices or events that don’t seem big at the time.   It’s only later that we see how those small events actually had big impacts.  When those small events are sins, we can quickly find ourselves swamped.

The remedy for being swamped by sin?  Repent.   Stop, turn around, and go the better way.  Repent, because the kingdom of heaven lives within you when you accept Jesus as Savior.   It’s never too late; you’re never ‘too bad.’  When His Spirit moves into your heart, you’re sealed.   You’re adopted into God’s family; you’re part of eternity now.   Nothing can take away your salvation.   Nothing can change Jesus’ love for you or His forgiveness of these sins, or any sins.   Only you or I can repudiate Him.   Only you or I can refuse to change.   After all, He doesn’t coerce us to believe.   He gives us free will and free choice.   Sin doesn’t give us that choice.  It lies, then burdens us with heavy consequences and dark implications.   Only Jesus blesses us with true liberty and favor, even after we’ve sinned and offended God.

Maybe it’s why Jesus started His ministry, in His home country of pagans, by saying “repent.”  He knows we’re free to hear what He says, or ignore it.  Jesus asks us to be different.  Jesus asks us to own what we’ve done, then to learn from it.   To walk away, change, and be someone different…by following Him.   By learning from Him.  By letting Him, through His Spirit who works through us, remake us to be more like Himself.  Now more than ever, we need to change many of our ways.   Change is possible, through Jesus, for anyone, anytime.

For more reading:  Mark 1:15, Luke 4:14, Matthew 4:18

Lord, empower me to change my ways.   I’ve sinned against You, and only You can help me repent.   Help me today.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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