Matthew 4:17 "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
When Jesus came preaching the good news of the gospel, He said to the people, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
What did Jesus mean by this? Change your mind and come My way. Turn around and go a different direction. Come into the kingdom of heaven.
He was offering life to the people of His day, but for them to receive it, they had to repent, or change their will. They had to choose God's way of doing and being right.
That's what repentance is. It's not just being sorry for something you've done, or sorrowful over a situation. It's changing your mind. It's changing your will. It's changing your direction. It's choosing God and His way. It is a return to obedience.
We sin and miss the mark, and to make things right, we have to repent. Jesus then forgives us of our sins and we are cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:7). He is our advocate with our Heavenly Father.
Romans 2:4 says, "...the goodness of God leads men to repentance." If you've never been born again, repent and ask Jesus to be your Savior. Make Jesus the Lord of your life right now and begin to move in God's direction.
If you are a believer, repentance includes choosing to obey God. It is turning back to God's ways when you realize you've sinned and missed the mark. As a Spirit-filled Christian, you know deep down inside what God wants you to do. Now, you may not want to do it, but that knowing is on the inside of you.
When you repent, you not only ask for forgiveness, but you put away from yourself that which displeases God. It includes submitting to doing something God has asked you to do. It's turning from the direction you've been going, and turning to the direction God's told you to go.
I don't care what you've done...or what you may do in the future...whether you are a believer or not, if you repent, God will forgive you and receive you cleansed and made new by the blood of Jesus. You can live a life of obedience to Him.
Don't condemn yourself, or live a life full of guilt. Repent! That's all you have to do. Just ask God for forgiveness, and change. Go the other way. Go toward God in that area of your life.
Confession: I repent and turn away from sin for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.