6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“From then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.’”
Matthew 4:17 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
The very first word that we hear come out of Jesus’ mouth as He began his 3-year ministry is “repent.” In fact, if we look at Matthew 3:2, we realize that “repent” was the first word that Matthew recorded as coming out of John the Baptist’s mouth.
I know what you’re thinking. Right about now, you are wondering what “repent” is doing in a book that promises to encourage you. Yet, that notion simply points to the fact that we think repentance is a bad word. It’s not! Repentance is an incredibly positive, encouraging word!
If I were to talk to someone who was destroying their life with drugs and alcohol, do you know what I would tell them to do? Repent! Turn from them! I would plead with them to realize that drugs and alcohol are destroying their life. I would ask them to turn their back on those substances, never to consume them again.
Friend, that’s precisely what repentance is! Repentance simply cries out for us to abandon what is bad and harmful.
God loves us so much and He doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves by engaging in what He has forbidden. So, when we engage in sin, He continually calls out for us to repent.
But, Matthew 4:17 wasn’t simply a call to repent. It was an invitation to something so much better.
Jesus was calling people away from harmful sin and into His wonderful Kingdom. He was calling them into a relationship with Him where He takes ownership of their lives. Their lives would then have purpose, their King would watch over every detail of their life, they would find their heart’s desires met in fellowship with the King, they would be part of something so much bigger than themselves, and they would be on their way to Heaven. Honestly, this is a very short list compared to all that Scripture says is true about being a part of Jesus’ Kingdom.
Friend, if you are saved, you are in the Kingdom right now. Jesus is your King. Don’t live this day doing things that He forbids and that are harmful to you. He loves you too much to passively allow you to harm yourself. He’s going to call you to repent when you sin. So, spend time in His Word and then ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to live as a subject of the Kingdom. When you sin, repent and get back on the road to Christlikeness. Then, enjoy your day!
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Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to call me away from sin and into Your Kingdom. Help me as I commit today to live as a citizen of Your Kingdom with all of its responsibilities and privileges. And may I be open to sharing the Good News with someone today about how they can enter the Kingdom, too. Amen.