Matthew 4:17 - Repentance and The New Year.

Matthew 4:17 - Repentance For The New Year.

Matthew 4:17 (NLT) From then on Jesus began to preach, "Repent 
of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." 

Matthew 4:17 (TLB) From then on, Jesus began to preach, "Turn 
from sin and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." 

John the Baptist and Jesus both called for persons to repent in 
preparation for the kingdom of heaven. Repentance is necessary for those 
entering the kingdom of God.... We must turn from our sin to His salvation. 
[Disciple SB] 

Jesus started his ministry with the same message people had 
heard from John the Baptist: "Repent of your sins and turn to God for 
the Kingdom of Heaven is near." ... The message is the same today as 
when Jesus and John gave it. Turning to God means turning away from 
ourselves, our self-centeredness and independence. It means turning our 
lives over to God's direction and control. What are you facing that 
you can submit to God's guidance? [One Year NLT SB re Mat. 4:17, 23, 

God's kingdom is the central focus of the teaching of Jesus. The 
kingdom of God means, primarily, the sovereign and righteous rule of God 
over the lives of those who have accepted His rule and are striving 
to live in accordance with His will. The kingdom of God is both a 
present reality and a future culminating hope. Life in the kingdom, 
whether present or future, is God-centered and God-controlled. [Disciple 

   Fishermen standing beside the Sea of Galilee acted with 
radical obedience. Jesus called them to follow him, and they did. For 
all of them, this was the change of a lifetime. They would never go 
back. Their radical obedience would change the world. 
   Obedience is a threatening word in today's culture, but it 
need not be that way. Obeying God means that your life is constantly 
changing for the better. You seek to do what you know God would want you 
to do. You still have freedom to make choices, and at times you 
will make the wrong choice - everybody does! But as you get to know 
God and his Word better, you'll learn how to live in a way that 
pleases him. The more you obey him, the more you'll find that doing so 
brings deep, long-lasting fulfillment and joy. [The One Year Bible for 
New Believers re Mat. 4:18-20] 

   Everywhere Jesus went He proclaimed the twofold message of 
repentance and faith in God (Mar.1:15).  The faith He proclaimed was not 
mere mental assent, but the kind of faith that produces change in 
people's lives. There is no such thing as biblical faith that does not 
produce obedience... 
   It is important to note that the Bible identifies both a true 
and a false repentance.  2Cor.7:10 says, "Godly grief produces a 
repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief 
produces death."  Godly grief is true repentance, and true repentance is 
more than contrition.  A person may be sorrowful over his sins yet 
unrepentant because he is sorrowing for the wrong reasons.  Instead of 
sorrowing because his sins have hurt and disappointed God, he may just 
feel bad because his sins have been personally painful, stressful, or 
costly, or because his sins have been found out.  If there is no change 
in character, there has been no true repentance.... 
   The results of false repentance are seen everywhere in the 
church.  Hearts are unbroken.  Sin is covered up... And many professing 
Christians do not walk in the light with God and one another.  The fruit of 
true repentance is a change of mind, heart, and behavior.  [Floyd 
McClung; Time with God devotional SB] 


   Most people long to be smarter. To increase their IQ, some 
try the latest "brain foods," while others take up brain-stimulating 
hobbies. Intelligence is a priceless commodity. The smarter people are, 
the more money they can make, the more respect they will receive, 
and the more influence they will have.  
   Although it's good to be smart, intelligence isn't 
everything. In fact, three men in this reading have something more important 
- wisdom. Wisdom may seem to be more difficult to gain than 
intelligence, but these men show how easy it is to start down the road in that 
direction. As you read, follow the example of these men. Read Matthew 
   Three astrologers from the east traveled a great distance to 
a foreign land to find Jesus. They said they wanted to worship 
him, but that was only half true. As soon as they found Jesus, they 
also honored him as king by giving gifts. Then they left (Matthew 
2:1-12). Though their encounter with Jesus probably lasted only a day, 
the wisdom they displayed in worshiping him has been recorded for 
   Today, many people demonstrate foolishness in their attitudes 
and actions toward Jesus. Some treat him as a quaint and harmless 
idealist, too human to be worshiped. Others expect him to accommodate 
them. Some even treat Jesus with contempt and irreverence. Yet those 
who are wise recognize Jesus for who he is and feel a personal 
responsibility to bow down to and serve him.  
   Honor Jesus in your attitude and actions. Give your life to 
him because he gave his for you, and don't forget to give him the 
praise and worship he deserves. In doing this, you will be truly wise.  
[The One Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re vss.