In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. ”
– Matthew 3:1-2 NLT
Have you ever had a situation that’s difficult to face, and when it came down to it you handled it badly?
I have -loads of times! I am far from perfect and sometimes I mess up. I did this recently:
In a discussion someone said some stuff and I took offence to it. I allowed this offence to grow into a silent grudge. This silent grudge grew into anger and bitterness of heart. I was thinking and functioning in error – in sinfulness.
Six months later I had another discussion with a close friend. I shared the details of the above situation. He gave me the following advice:
“Let go of it and get over it!”
Straightforward, simple hard advice spoken in love. He was saying to me what John is preaching in these verses:
“Repent of your sins, and turn to God”.
God doesn’t want us to stay in negative cycles of living and being. He loves us enough to say hard things to us because he loves us without measure.
When I took my friend’s advice and let go of my ‘sinful’ attitude it changed my heart. Only the gospel of Jesus can do this for us. Only Jesus can transform us from the inside out. This is exactly why the whole bible centres upon him.
John was preaching Jesus’ message of repentance and belief.
My friend was reminding me how to live like Jesus, and for Jesus.
As we repent and turn from our sinful ways God’s kingdom fills our lives. This love gives us faith, hope and generous hearts towards others. The call to repent and believe is not a salvation prayer theme – it is a discipleship principle to be lived out in the daily relationships and situations we face. Perhaps this is why John wasn’t in a synagogue preaching – this message is for all people at all times in rvery wilderness of live.
May we live daily in christ-centred repentance and belief.