“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” *– Matthew 3:1-2 NIV*
The ministry of John began with a call to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Then, at the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus declared the same message (Matthew 4:17). Thus, this message was so important that both John and Jesus began their ministries with the same words.
It was an announcement that something amazing was happening. But to experience this Kingdom, people needed to repent. They needed to change and get ready.
This meant they needed to examine their lives. They had to search their hearts and minds and empty themselves of pride. They were required to confess their sins, humble themselves before God, and remove anything that separated them from Him, thereby making their lives pleasing to Him.
God was offering them the possibility of entering a new dimension. He wasn’t giving them a religion of rules and customs but a whole new Kingdom.
It was a life-changing message for everyone to repent so that they might experience this Kingdom. It was a Kingdom alive with the power of the Spirit and offering a new way to look at the world. Their eyes would be opened to a new dimension and their lives truly transformed.
The Kingdom of Heaven is near you. Repent of anything that prevents you from experiencing this Kingdom. Ask God to open your eyes, fill your heart and mind with His Word, and help you live in this new dimension.
Compose a prayer of repentance to prepare your heart for God’s Kingdom.
Father, open my life to the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. Help me experience the amazing things You have prepared for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading