Good morning, Lord Jesus. In my prayers and worship, in these offerings of the first fruits of day, I draw near to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God and welcome You to draw near to me.
"Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.... Then Jesus said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men' " (Mark 1:14-17).
At One Direction Community we are beginning tonight a time together discerning and reflection the Gospel of Mark and it’s application on us as disciples of Jesus trying to imitate Jesus. I read through the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel again this morning the first word spoken by Jesus in this Gospel stood out to me.
The first words of Jesus in this gospel of the kingdom of God is not "Believe in Me" or "Follow Me" or "Go into all the world and make disciples of Me." His word’s are not "Go, be baptized in the Holy Spirit, pursue the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit, save souls, heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, storm the gates of hell, preach with power, teach with authority, grow up into the maturity of Christlikeness, as you are being transformed and conformed into the image of the Son of God." Without question, these are all part of the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 6:7; Matthew 10:8 and 28:18-20; John 14:12 and 20:21; Luke 9:1-2; Acts 1:4-8). However, all these powerful commands and worthy aspirations are not first.
Jesus' first word of the gospel of the kingdom of God is simply "Repent."
Before we do anything else, we must repent. We must make a choice to turn to Jesus: to change our mind, to have a change of heart, to trust You and entrust our lives to You, as best as we can and all by Your grace, just as we are. We must simply repent. Repentance is the first thing required to enter the Kingdom of God.
And it's not just a one-time choice, a one-time prayer, a one-time “X” we put on a day of our spiritual calendar. Something we check off once as completed on a check list. It's choosing a lifestyle of repentance -- choosing to continue to turn our hearts over to Christ, every moment of every day. It's the on-going attitude of a heart of being transformed by the renewing of minds, being conformed to the image of the Son of God, being filled with Your Spirit, and being empowered to be more like Christ every day.
We can't do any of that in our own power. We can't even desire any of that in our own will. Apart from You, we can do nothing that would ever bring any good or lasting fruit for ourselves or for others. You have to give us the desire and the power. However You're always so ready to do just that. Our part is to make that choice and keep on making that choice. Our part is to repent.
We repent because the kingdom of God is at hand. And as we repent, the kingdom of God begins to live and grow in our heart -- for "the kingdom of God is within (us)" (Luke 17:21). "For the kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
So come, Holy Spirit. Move in my heart, remove any pride and move me to repent and keep on repenting in a lifestyle of repentance, allowing You to keep changing my mind, my heart, and my soul into who I'm created me to be, a reflection of Jesus. Abba Father, let Your kingdom come and Your will be done, here on earth and here in my heart, as I continue to turn and entrust my heart to You.
As Your Word proclaims and promises, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). Come, Lord Jesus. "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'" (Revelation 22:17) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My family, I pray today you will take time to simply repent. That you will daily choose to repent and embrace the kingdom of God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength as best as you can and all by God's grace, that the King of the kingdom may advance His kingdom in you and in the world around you every day, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!
Gary Liederbach-Lead Follower
One Direction Community
Please share your prayers and reflections in the comment box below.
Please become a monthly partner of support in our ministry.