Peter and John had a great prayer. When they were threatened by the authorities, they didn’t ask for safety. Instead they asked God to help them to be bold.
God, help us to be bold and to quickly do the things you call us to do. Thank you for your mercy for us and for the Earth. We praise you. Amen.
If you’ve heard the message of Jesus to change because the kingdom of God has come near, you may find that some changes are fairly easy. Other changes are difficult. Some habits are tough to break.
James Clear gives some great advice on how to change in his book Atomic Habits.
One thing that will help is to make changes to your environment that support the change you want. Researchers have found that even stubborn addictions can disappear if one’s environment changes.
If you replace all the junk food in your house with easy-to-grab healthy snacks, it will be easier make the switch.
What are some changes you could make to your environment that would support the changes you’d like to make in your life?
God, thank you that you help us to change. Thanks that when it looks like we’re stuck, you can help us to see a way out. We praise you. Amen.
When John the Baptist started his ministry, he had one main message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 3:2)
Repenting is changing your mind. Turning around. Doing something new.
When John was arrested and could no longer proclaim his message in public, Jesus picked up John’s message. (Matthew 4:12, 17) Then Jesus taught his disciples to carry the message to the towns where Jesus sent them. (Matthew 10:7)
Instead of just one voice, now there were many voices saying the same thing: Turn around! Change what you’re doing! Be at your best! The kingdom of heaven has come near!
This week we’ll look at some helpful ideas on how to change. But the best advice is simple: Keep at it. You won’t be able to make all the changes you want to make in an instant. In an instant, what you can do is start.
If your goal is to be more loving and one day you aren’t, don’t give up on the goal. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over.
Every day is a good day to hear the message of John the Baptist and Jesus. Change your mind! Act differently! The kingdom of God has come near!
But once you start, keep at it. Don’t quit. We become better with practice, and it may take several attempts before the change is noticeable to ourselves or others.
Keep at it. The kingdom of God has come near!
God, thank you that your kingdom has come near. Help us to live like it! And when we don’t, help us to start over. Thank you. We praise you. Amen.