PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:1–2 ESV
The calling to repent of one’s sins is one of the core messages of the Christian faith. From John the Baptist’s charge in Matthew 3, to the first sermon Jesus preached in Mark 1:15, to Peter’s Spirit-filled appeal in Acts 3:19, repentance is central to following Jesus. The word “repent” (metanoeō) means to change one’s mind. It’s the picture of a person walking one direction and making the cognitive decision to go the other way. To make a 180 degree turn toward Jesus and His ways. This was the message of John the Baptist as he preached, and this messages still holds true for us today. May we be a people known for turning from sin and mediocracy and turn to a Savior who came to give them life and life to the fullest. (John 10:10)
I want to encourage you today to renew your mind with the words of Christ, and to step toward His direction for your life. This may require sacrifice and it will certainly necessitate faith – but it will be the best thing for you. As sin, the flesh, and the world grapple for the desires of your heart and attention, make the disciplined attempt to turn from those things, fixing your eyes on Jesus and walking in Him. (Hebrews 12:1, Colossians 2:6)
Keep in mind that the action of repentance was never meant to be a one-time thing, rather a lifestyle thing. There’s always something we can be turning away from, and there’s always Someone – who by faith in Jesus – we can turn to. John the Baptist proclaimed: “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) Affirming the idea that repentance is something we must continue in, and by doing so Christ-like fruit will follow.
7 “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” — Proverbs 3:7-8 ESV
Father, thank You that You always make room for me to come back to You. Even when I fall, You don’t cast me out. Even when I blow it, You invite me still to return. Even when I squander your gifts and the time you’ve given me, You still treat me like the prodigal sons and wait for me to come home.
Today, I want to repent of anything that distracts me from You or causes me to sin against you. I turn from the sins that are present in my life and ask You to help me wage war on those sins and temptations. Thank You Lord, that You have already won the victory and in You I have everything I need. Help me to repent of my sins and walk powerfully in You, Your grace, and Your forgiveness! In Jesus, name, amen!