Are you in a rut? Are you knowingly/unknowingly been caught in a way of doing things that you particularly don’t care that much about? You are most probably spilling precious time on doing the same thing over and over. Is that what life is really all about? I want to challenge you to get out of the rat race!!
Once at a Bible college when the chapel speaker canceled at the last-minute for the morning devotions, students started to give their testimonies. This lasted till late that afternoon. Some students waited in line two hours to confess cheating, hatefulness, indulging in worldly practices, and criticism of campus food. One student confirmed: “I’ve been here three years, and it’s about time I got straightened out.” Asked why young people are getting “straightened out” now, a student liaison replied, “They’re tired of sham.”
Mark pleaded that people will give up their selfish way of living, renounce their sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and establish a relationship with God by believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour and obey His words as it is in the Bible (Isaiah 1:18-20; Isaiah 57:15).
For this reason John the Baptist preached (Mark 1:4) “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” For John to baptise a Jew as a sign of repentance was a radical departure from Jewish custom/tradition. To be fully open to what God can give to you, don’t let custom and/or tradition hold you back. There is more than custom and tradition there is the fullness in Jesus Christ.
The word for repentance in Greek, Metanoia means literally “a change of mind” and indicating a deliberate turning. Repentance means a change of orientation/mind from the past that leads to a redirection and change of lifestyle in future.
When John challenged the people to confess sin individually, he signaled the start of a new way to relate to God.
- Repentance means to turn away from the bad stuff (of the past) by confessing it. It means to come to our senses and know what the bad stuff did to us. By turning from the stuff that keep us captivated and keep us from real life, from freedom. In order to change our minds, we have to deliberately make a decision to turn away from the bad stuff, do it and make the bad stuff right. We have to admit that we need forgiveness before we can accept it.
- Repentance also means to turn to God. We do that by praying and ask God to forgive all the wrong stuff of the past. To receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord, repent – denounce the world’s dead-end attractions, sinful temptations and harmful attitudes. 1 John 1:9 give the promise of God’s forgiveness. God’s direct response to true repentance is forgiveness. You thought that you are too sinful and too bad to be forgiven, wrong. You are not too broken to the Carpenter of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ.
Is change needed in your life before you can hear and understand Jesus’ message?