“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
Before Jesus comes into His ministry, John the Baptist comes first, preparing the way. He comes preaching a message that the Kingdom is coming, but first the people need to repent of their sins and turn to God. That’s the order of things. The advancement of the Kingdom begins with repentance. Becoming Kingdom people starts with turning to God. We can’t do this without Him. We can’t carry on the way we always have. We need to turn from our past and turn to something better.
Every saint had a past, but the promise of the Kingdom is that every sinner can have a future. Forgiveness is available to all who will call upon the name of the Lord. Because of the Cross and the blood that Jesus shed we can all have countless second chances when we fail. We all fall short of God’s glory. We all need His mercy and grace. Wherever you are at on this journey there is grace. There is forgiveness. When we repent of our sins and turn to God we are no longer defined by our past. We are defined by the Kingdom. We become Kingdom people rather than the mess-ups we once were.
Before we really get into what it means to live as Kingdom people, how we live in the here and now and also yet to come of God’s Kingdom we need to start with repentance. Before Jesus began His earthly ministry the call went out to the people to repent. Before we can join in His work of advancing the Kingdom we too must repent, humble ourselves before God, acknowledge our shortcomings and turn to Him for forgiveness. And then once we are right with God we can start pointing others to Him too.
• What do I, personally, need to repent of right now?
• Do we define ourselves by our past, or by the grace and mercy God has shown us through the cross?
• How can we share that grace and mercy with others?
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14