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.
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
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.