“From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”Matthew 4:17
Jesus is announcing that the kingdom of heaven has come to earth. Jesus is saying that God’s reign has come into contact with mankind through Himself. This is the good news that Jesus is God in the flesh and has come to mankind. In Jesus, God’s reign is accessible to us all.
When the King comes close to us, we need to respond with the appropriate respect. How do you respond to the idea of Jesus reigning over you and becoming your Lord? Some reject Jesus’ Lordship because they don’t want Jesus telling them what to do. But Jesus says that the right response to His reign in your life is repentance.
What does it mean to repent? It means to have a change of mind or a change of direction. When Jesus invites us to enter a relationship with Him as Lord of our lives, the first step in entering that relationship is to turn away from our disobedience and turn toward God. Jesus is inviting you to repent so that you can enter His kingdom. In order for Jesus to be your King, you must surrender to His rule in your life. There is no salvation without repentance. A preacher once said, “Repentance is an inner change of heart and mind and an outward change of life.”
Heavenly Father, I want to come into Your kingdom and be in a relationship with Jesus. Help me to repent. Show me how to turn away from disobeying You and turn toward obeying You. Please change my heart and make me new. Give me the desire to follow You and know You better. Jesus, please be the Lord of my life and lead me into a life of devotion to You. Thank You for loving me. Amen.