From that time on Jesus began to preach,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Matthew writes this verse in the account of Jesus’ life as Jesus is taking His ministry public. And Matthew gives us the very succinct summary of Jesus’ ministry and the Gospel message that He preached: “Repent.”
It seems prevalent in the church today to teach and focus on Jesus’ unending love. And that is appropriate – Jesus’ love is unmatched. And His love for us is found in the call to repentance. The call to repentance is a message of patience.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
At the heart of repentance is the idea of a transformation. The transforming of our mind from the way we were thinking to a new way of thinking. More specifically … from an unholy, sinful way of thinking to a way of thinking that aligns with God’s.
In order to do that we must take a long look in the mirror and see our own broken way of thinking and compare it to see God’s way of thinking. We need to be honest with ourselves. We need the courage and humility to admit that we need repentance.
This is the hardest part – to look into the mirror with courage and humility … and admit that we need repentance.
And yet, God is faithful to lead us, convince us, convict us that we are in need. And then He loves us in such a way as not to leave us there … but to restore us, to heal us, to lead us to wholeness.
This process of repentance – restoration – wholeness is not a one time act. It is meant to be a ongoing process that starts in our complete brokenness and depravity and ends when we are made completely whole, perfect.
Therefore, the question for us is simple but not easy: What do you need to repent of today?