Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Book of Matthew: Morning Moments with God-Day 7

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       Day 7: Jesus Preaches Repentance!

       Matthew 4:12-17
Take time to read the four verses from your Bible so you can fully understand today's insight.

"When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee." (Matthew 4:12) Our precious, desert preacher, John the Baptist, was in prison. I guess we knew it was coming, but it wasn't from the Pharisees or the Sadducees, like we would have thought. (We'll learn more about that later). John in prison. It must have broken Jesus' heart. I know it does mine. 

"Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali- to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 
Land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles-
the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned."
(Matthew 4:13-16)

I love how everything Jesus does is in accordance with the Scriptures-Old Testament. I love how every part of His life was to fulfill the Lord's plan. From Mary, to Joseph, to John the Baptist and now where He is to go and preach. All the very details of Jesus' life was part of the plan God had to bring Him to the world that we could see that He is the One God, Messiah brought into this world to save us. The One who brought light to a lost world- "the people living in darkness have seen a great light;--a light has dawned." Jesus is our hope, our light! I had been living in darkness for eighteen years before I met Jesus. Then He came and His light enveloped my darkness. Hope came. Joy came. Love came.

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17)  I also love that Jesus was preaching the exact words of John the Baptist- "Repent! for the kingdom of heaven is near." I love it. I don't know if I can explain well enough the feeling in my heart right now. Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, is in jail. Jesus knows that John has run the very, extremely, good race for God and his life is coming to an early end. The soldier has fallen. I see Jesus coming in, very human, very God, picking up John's 'flag' and going forth in the war. Jesus picks up where John left off - Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. I love it. I love how much Jesus loves. I love His passion for people. I love His passion for us. 

Now when the words, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near" are said, they are even more true-the kingdom of God is 'here!' Jesus is here! Jesus has come! Jesus goes down the road that John the Baptist had opened in obedience to the Father. 

Pray with me:
Father, thank you for your most excellent plan! Thank you for all you did to bring Jesus to us and make Him known to us! Thank you for our salvation through Him. Thank you for all the saints you sent out to prepare our hearts for the Good News of Jesus. We receive Jesus into our hearts and pray a prayer of repentance. Lord, I repent of my sin _______, (confess whatever is in your heart) and ask you to forgive me, make me whole and turn my life around that I may walk with Jesus on the path you have for me. Amen. 

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