Repent and Believe

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’
Mark 1:14-15 NIV*

To repent is to intentionally turn from one way and walk in another. Feeling remorse yet staying the same doesn’t count. You might say “repent” means “straighten up and fly right”.

It’s abandoning sin and embracing God.

“Sin” raises images of evil, and those are the things we know need repenting. But I’m struck by the awareness of other types of sin that are better defined as “missing the mark”.

Specifically this verse has me thinking about the combination of “God is near… repent… believe the good news.”

On the Twolatincats blog, Lynda Schultz said “Stressed by our limitations, we hardly think to even call on the Spirit of God to illuminate the darkness of our minds, and untangle our tongues.” She was talking about that panic moment when we have a chance to speak of Jesus but can’t think quickly enough of what to say, but her words resonated in my spirit with this Scripture.

God is near. Why is it so easy to forget, to think I have to handle everything on my own? (And then to fear messing it up.) There’s such peace in knowing He is near.

Father, it looks like I’m back to praying “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.” I choose to repent, to turn away from the sense of being alone. To believe the good news that You are near.

This week’s song is Jeremy Camp’s “Right Here.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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