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.