Friday, February 5, 2010

The Overlooked Sermon of Jesus. Matthew 4:17, NIV

We love Jesus' teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. We love his words of kindness and wisdom. We are OK with the teaching of Jesus but we ignore his preaching. What did Jesus preach?

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” Matthew 4:17, NIV.

PREACHING
Preaching is different than teaching. If we reject the preaching of Jesus we will not “GET” the teaching of Jesus. Respond to the preaching first then you will be ready to be blessed by the teaching.

REPENT
We don’t like the word “Repent.” It is abused and used to manipulate others, when we hear it we cringe; but when Jesus says “repent” he is speaking in love. The message to repent is the beginning, for after Jesus preached "repent" then people were ready to hear his calling to follow.

When we repent we:

     * Examine ourselves to determine our failure to measure up to God’s standard.
     * Decide to act.
     * Admit our failings, to ourselves, others and God.
     * Resolve in earnest to turn away from our wrongdoings.
     * Set things right.
     * Conform to the purposes of God.
     * Become ready us to hear the Spirit teach us.

We must “keep short accounts with God,” which means don’t wait till later to confess our sins but as soon as we are aware confess and turn away from them.

A LIFESTYLE
Repentance is more than a prayer of confession. It must be a lifestyle. If we consistently turn from the things that are wrong, hold us down, and things that offend we will be living happier lives. A lifestyle of repentance will lead to healed relationships, inner peace, fewer apologies, and more advancement.

BLESSINGS
Why repent? We repent because, “The kingdom of heaven is near." Blessings are at hand, and repentance makes us ready for them.

Begin the practice of repentance. Pray and wait on the Lord to show you what you need to turn from. It is not fun but it will lead to blessing, renewal and joy.

To learn more about how to have a relationship with Jesus see my other blog.

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