14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14-15 NIV
One of the children from my bus had misbehaved again at school. He was reflecting on his behavioral choices and the impact of those decisions. “My teachers hate me.”
“No, they don’t.”
“They probably hate to see me come into their class.”
“No they don’t think that way. They don’t like your bad decisions. But that is because they can see better in you. They can see that you are smart and are a leader. You could be such a better student by making better choices.”
He ended by saying, “I am still in a lot of trouble.”
Jesus core message included the word “repent”. He did not use it as a “hell, fire and brimstone” message, although he was clear that judgment will come for not believing in Him. His message of repentance was truly focused on the greek meaning – change the way that you are thinking.
Surrounding his preaching of repentance are two thoughts. First, the kingdom of God is now present. There is a new governing principle that is in operation. There is authority and power that is available because of this new kingdom. Jesus spent the rest of his ministry time helping people understand what the kingdom of God looks like, how it works, and how to enter into its promises.
Second, Jesus said that this repentance (change in thinking) is associated with good news. People already know had bad they are. Where is hope for something better? Jesus was informing people that had been living with “stink’n think’n”. The good news is that there is a new way to live life. It will include a brokenness to follow God’s ways instead of your own. But, following Jesus always leads to life and light. You are not stuck in your sin and bad choices, there is a new way being offered by Jesus that is good. This new life opens the opportunity to live life full and abundantly.
Repentance is a good word that we must use in practice often. We change our thinking that does not line up with God’s viewpoint about our lives. He says I am forgiven…then I trust and believe that I am forgiven. He says I am loved…then I trust and believe that my bad decisions of selfish actions did not change His love for me.
There is so much that Jesus has in store for those who choose to follow him. He is not waiting for you to make a mistake, rather He wants you to know His love for you and your capacity to love others freely in life giving ways. You were made for so much more that is good and upright.
Blessings Love y’all