Matthew 3: Christ Calls us to Repent

One of Jesus’ first word at the start of His ministry was “repent“.

“This is the time of fulfillment.The kingdom of God is at hand. So repent (mετανοείτε), and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

I find it so fitting and perfect that these were His first words when He began His ministry. He calls us to repent. He came to earth, God in the flesh, to give man the opportunity to repent. Without Christ, people don’t even have the option to turn to God. We were born in this world stained with sin, and like we learned in my study on Matthew 1, because Adam sinned and we were all in his body when he fell and became separated from God, we all fell and became stained with sin and separated from God.

But Christ changed things. From my study on Matthew 2, we learned that the name Jesus means salvation, and that’s because He is the bridge leading us back to God. He is the hand of God, reaching out to us poor, wretched sinners, and asking us to come. He is our Maker, who suffered tremendous torture in order to give us this choice, this opportunity to repent.

So, what does repent mean?

It means to turn.

Repent means that you turn to God. Your life was on a trajectory in one direction – a direction away from God and towards damnation. But when you repent, you humbly realize that you’re a sinner in need of a saviour. The direction of your life is now towards God and away from sin.

Repent is not necessarily an outward behaviour of just “doing good things and not sinning”. Repent is such a deeper thing. It’s in the deepest corner of your heart. It’s your heart changing, turning towards God which leads to forgiveness and redemption. In this, you become born-again and actions begin to follow because of your changed heart and regeneration. Not the other way around. Heart first then behaviour changes.

Repent is such a term used so often and even in ways that the word was mistreated or misplaced. It’s been used in ways promoting a works-based salvation and been used in abusive ways. But really, the word simply means changing your heart towards God.

This happens right before you are saved and it leads to the moment of salvation.

Then, for believers, their lives and hearts are now set on the things of God and not desirous of sins that are displeasing to God. Yet, because we’re human and will always fall short and slip up, we’re called to continually turn to God and repent. But this repentance isn’t the kind to get us saved or keep our salvation, it just means that we are aware of our sin, and continually walking that narrow path of a Christian, turning to God when we mess up and trusting that He has grace for us.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Christ’s call for all to repent is so life-giving. It’s an invitation to turn our hearts to God. It’s a door that we can open into eternal life by putting our faith in Him and turning towards Him in repentance.

Repent is a beautiful word and can ignite both a spark of hope in one person and fear in another person. Spark of hope because repentance leads to salvation, and fear because if one doesn’t repent, they will suffer damnation.

Let the word repent ignite a spark of hope in your heart.

Behold, Beauty!

Have you ever looked at something so beautiful, that it takes your breath away? Reflect for a moment, on something that you beheld, that left you speechless and in awe because it was so beautiful. This happened to me today (among many other days)! I was looking at my astoundingly gorgeous, fluffy white cat, and I was speechless for a moment. Her beauty.

God made her.

In my heart, I know that an intelligent, beautiful Being created her. How could she just exist in all her exquisite beauty, without a designer?

She left me in complete awe and wonder, and looking at her made me think of Jesus even more. The Bible says that He created all things.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

1 Corinthians 1:16

Jesus made my beautiful cat. She has a glorious Creator, who intricately made every detail about her. How could anyone look at something so beautiful, and think that there is no Creator? It’s an impossibility. Just like we can’t look at a beautiful work of art, and think it just exists without a hand of intelligent design behind it.

In my mind, I just don’t understand this belief within those who do not believe in God. It’s so obvious and logical to know that paintings, great architecture, sculptures and other things were so obviously created – but when it comes to things even more complex, glorious, beautiful, intricate, breathtaking and intricate, we conclude that it just exists with absolutely no God who created these things. This is not correct.

The truth is, is that there is a God. He made all things, and He requires something from you. You exist for His purpose and not your own. So why not seek and search what this beautiful glorious Creator requires from you?

Trust me, His requirement is not burdensome. It’s freeing. It’s life-giving. It’s refreshing.

It’s necessary for life.

“But, I’m already alive!” you say. “Why do I need God when I’m already alive?”

Friend, you need God because He’s the one who gave you life, and in fact, you are currently not living.

What?!?” you exclaim. “Yes I am! I am breathing, aren’t I?”

Sure, you’re breathing, but do you have true life within yourself?

If you haven’t put your faith and trust in Christ and had your sins forgiven of you, then the answer is no. You do not have life within yourself. And your life is ticking away, second by second, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, until you breathe your last breath.

“That’s okay, I won’t exist any longer. No more pain and heartache and I can finally Rest In Peace”, you say.

Contrary, for those who haven’t believed in the Lord Jesus, they will not Rest In Peace once they die. They will experience eternal separation from God, and their life on earth will feel like heaven in comparison to eternity in hell. This is because for these lost souls, they denied God and His offer for salvation and they died without being forgiven and covered with the perfect blood of Christ.

So, what does He require of you?

Like I have said, His requirement brings life, peace, refreshment to your soul.

All you have to do is come to Christ. Truly, wholeheartedly, and fully come to Christ. This means that you accept that you need your God who made you. You recognize He is perfect, and you are a sinner who needs forgiveness. You let go of all of your conditions and doubts and rebellion and independence and you turn to Jesus in faith.

This is the gift that He offers, and all He requires of you is that you accept His gift. That’s it. He does the rest.

Just like my beautiful cat is pure white, Jesus will make you white as snow. You will be purified by the Holy Spirit and your new destiny will be toward Heaven.

This means that you need not worry death any longer. Because you have eternal life inside of you that is permanent. This means that all you have to look forward to is pure perfection, pleasure, and beauty of God’s presence in Heaven instead of the evils of hell.

You are here for a reason. You exist for a reason.

And it’s to turn to your God and be saved by Him.

In this, God is glorified.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

Where Is Your Treasure?

For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give, in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26 ♥️

We can’t take anything in this life with us to the grave. Material possessions are so worthless when it comes to what’s really important in life. The only thing we will be taking with us is our soul, which is more precious than all the riches in the world. In this world, people spend their lives acquiring, buying, spending, and reaching higher and higher on the ladder. They are striving for that “American dream” for their lives on this earth, yet not even giving a second thought to the condition of their soul. All these things that we human beings spend our life working for and acquiring will literally mean nothing once we’re dead. We came into this world naked, and we will return to the grave naked.

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return tither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job 1:21 ♥️

We’re taking nothing with us – not our education, our job title, our prestige, our money, our possessions, not even our family. In fact, once we die it’s only a matter of time before even our own descendants will forget us. For instance, do you know the name of your great great grandmother? Sadly, I don’t. Your life is but a vapour and will vanish. There’s one, and only one thing that will remain: your soul.

For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes 9:5♥️

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

James 4:14 ♥️

The beautiful thing is that your soul is precious to God, and God knows the hairs on your head. You are valuable to God. But you must realize that this time on earth is spent in vain if it is not spent trusting in the LORD. Because at the end of the day, we will die and nothing will matter except if you put your faith in Him for salvation. Your soul is the one thing you will take past this grave and it will either end up in heaven or hell. Your treasure be in either one of two things: it will either be in things that will perish and be completely useless and non-existent after you die, or your treasure will be in heaven.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 ♥️

The Lord Jesus mentions that we’re more valuable than many sparrows. Material or earthly treasures will vanish but spiritual treasures will remain eternal. All the treasures are found in Jesus Christ! 👑 And if you put your faith in Him, your soul will be in safe keeping even past death. And that’s more valuable than anything this world has to offer.

“(Jesus), In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:3 ♥️

The One Whom My Soul Loves

Your love! Your love! Oh, Your love.
Your love drives me crazy, but in the good kind of way.
Have you ever loved God so deeply that you feel fire in your lungs and every breath you take burns for Him?
Like your heart is hot and full and you will burst any minute because you can’t hold it all inside of you?
Like you feel you’re melting like hot lava at the drinking in of His words?
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Oh yes, melting. Drinking. Drowning.
Have you ever felt so magnetized to Him that being pulled in any other direction that isn’t towards Him utterly ruins you?
So crazy in love that you would do anything for Him?
Anything.
A n y t h i n g.
A n-y-t-h-i-n-g.
That there just isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to please Him? To move Him? To make Him rejoice? To make His divine heart beat faster?
Oh! You are mine.
Your love, oh God, is experienced in my soul so profoundly that I feel at times I cannot carry on. That I desire death just so I can be with you. My love for You is so strong, so intense, that my life is nothing because it’s all for You.
Everything is nothing compared to You.
Oh! I am Yours.
My devotion is so strong that I can’t contain it. I can’t refrain it. I can’t hold it back. I can’t keep it in. I can’t box it up. I can’t shut it down. I can’t keep it quiet. Nor minimize it.
Oh! You are mine.
God, my beautiful God, You are glorious.
You are the epitome and source of pleasure. I could bathe in your pleasure forever and ever. And ever.
Oh! I am Yours.
How will I get through this life knowing that I’ll see Your face one day?
The most difficult struggle on Earth is tasting Heaven and not yet being with Him in it.
Oh God, you are God. The only God. The true God. The living God. The glorious God. You are God. My God.
My God, now and forever.
Oh! You are mine.
What an honour to know You.
To be tenderly intimate with You.
You’re so beyond my wildest dreams and oh God,
Do what you want with me here on this earth, and let it pass quickly because I want to be with You.
I want You.
My heart swells at my swirling, immersed, entrenched, never-ending deep thoughts of you.
Oh! I am Yours.
My heart is owned by You.
You own my heart. All of it.
I love You, my love.
Never let me forget Your love.
Hold me in Your arms forever.
💗

Glorify God!

🙌🏻 Let’s glorify Him. As believers, everything we do should be with the mind and heart to glorify God. Eating, drinking, sleeping, serving, loving, talking, working, playing–we should always keep this in the forefront of our mind: that as His redeemed people, glorifying God is our purpose on earth. And an astounding privilege.

The smallest things in our lives can be done to the glory of God. Even things that seem like it would never glorify Him, such as paying bills or creating a budget. Or putting the shopping cart back in the shopping cart area. Or being on time. Or choosing silence over saying something unpleasant. Or choosing an apple over junk food. Or keeping our home clean and in order. Or washing our bodies and taking care of ourselves. Yes, everyday, small, mundane things can be done to the glory of God!

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are living sacrifices poured out as an offering to Him. And the beautiful thing is, He accepts it with gladness.

Yes, the holy, unworldly, glorious God who created the heavens and earth accepts us as a living sacrifice unto Him – a pleasing aroma that is constantly reaching to His heart in Heaven.

Let’s marvel at the amazing truth that God uses us as vessels for His glory here on earth. We are able to glorify the God of Heaven. That’s a high position and not to be taken lightly.

Let’s glorify our Father in all we do!

‭‭{Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬}
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

{Zephaniah 3:17}
The LORD thy God is in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

{Revelation 8:5}
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

Deeper in God 

This is my heart’s cry: Father, Abba, my Saviour, the One Whom my soul loves! Take me  d e e p e r.  I desire to go deeper into the depths of your love. I want to drown in your living waters, your rivers of delight. You are such a precious God and I want n o t h i n g more than to serve you and glorify you and love you and lay at your perfect feet.

Let me go deeper into fellowship with you, deeper into communion with you, deeper into trusting in you, deeper into walking with you, deeper in my obedience to you.

D e e p e r.

D e e p e r.

M o r e.

Brothers and sisters in Jesus, let us never reach a point where we’ve had enough of God. Let’s stay burning hot for Him all of our days! He is so worth our passionate devotion and our hearts on fire for Him.

If we abide in Him, we will be delighted in Him. Because we can’t be delighted in Him without abiding in Him! And when we abide in Him, we go deeper with Him. When we are delighted in Him, we are on fire for Him. So let’s delight and abide.

He’s so  w o r t h y,

He’s so  w o n d e r f u l.

The depths of His love are
i n c o m p a r a b l e.

Let’s drown in His warm embrace and go deeper.

{Psalm 36:8}
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.

‭‭{Psalms‬ ‭42:1-2, 7-8‬}
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Victory in Jesus 

What a magnificent God we serve. He made the beauty of snow-laden forests yet He is so concerned and compassionate about our lives. He is dedicated to our victory over the darkness of this world. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him. He sees it all – the hurting, the pain, the weariness, the frustration, the brokenness – and oh, He cares.

He is so active in every detail of His saint’s life that if we r e a l l y knew the magnitude of His care for us, we would never have an ounce of worry, fear, or anxiety again.

Never mistake His invisibility for inactivity.

He wants and desires our faith during our walk with Him on this earth despite not being able to see Him. He promises that those who have faith in Him yet cannot see Him will be blessed.

Our faith is what grows us, strengthens us, matures us, sanctifies us. He does it all, but it’s through our clinging to Him tightly in faith and hiding under His protection during every season in life is what makes us victorious. And it is nothing of our own strength and power, but all through His.⭐️

In Jesus Christ there is V I C T O R Y.

‭‭{John‬ ‭16:33‬}
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

‭‭{John‬ ‭20:29‬}
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

{1 John 5:4-5}
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

‭‭‭‭{Romans‬ ‭5:1-5‬}
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

‭‭

Worship God and Only God

Worshiping and loving Jesus edifies our soul and fills our hearts.

Many who are disconnected from their Creator do not realize this, but loving God h e a l s us. Because we were made for Him and we were made by Him. We need Him.

Refusing to worship Him and love Him actually damages us. Why? Because human beings were made to worship; and, if we’re not worshiping our Maker, we’re worshiping  s o m e t h i n g  else. Something that is unworthy of the worship of our hearts. Something that we should not be worshiping.

Alcohol, money, fame, possessions, attention, family, excitement, beauty, drugs, work, sports, food, comfort, hobbies, education, intellect, sex, self, other human beings, false gods and idols made of human hands.

These are just a few things that humans will latch on to if they aren’t clinging to the One who breathed the breath of life into their lungs.

Worship is  a n y t h i n g  that takes the highest precedence in our minds and hearts. And if it’s not God, then it is something created, which will ultimately damage us in greater ways than we can imagine.

But He heals us. He makes us whole. He forgives us. He makes us new.

We’re broken without Him. There’s no way around it. No matter how good and full one’s life looks like on the outside, we are utterly broken and lost if He do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the only one who is truly worthy of our worship and praise.

Go to him and find true fullness and wholeness and healing and love.

When you find Him and experience true freedom, you won’t be able to do anything b u t worship and praise the majestic, delightful, worthy God of heaven.

{Exodus 34:14}
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

{Matthew 13:15-16}
For this the people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

{Genesis 2:7}
The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God Wants Us

He has everything, He made everything, He owns everything. Yet…

He still. wants. us.

He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.

If you have a relationship with God, thank Him for His loving desire to be in an intimate relationship with you. Thank Him that He loves and wants you so much that He endured abandonment, torture, sorrow, loneliness, pain, heartache, mockery, blasphemies, maliciousness, unjust treatment, wrongful murder and left His glory in heaven because…

H E . W A N T S . Y O U.

So if you ever feel unloved, alone, or like nobody cares, don’t. Because Someone greater than all others loves you, is with you, and cares.

What a loving, tender, caring God we have.✨🌸💓

{Psalm 27:10}
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.”

‭‭‭‭{Isaiah‬ ‭43:2-5‬}
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

The Glory of God

✨Worship our Maker this morning and reflect on His glory! He is a glorious King and so deserving of our praise. Don’t let this day pass before you magnify His greatness in your hearts. He knows when you notice Him. When you pause to soak in the beauty of His glory and majesty. When you delight in Him just for who He is. And it moves His divine heart.

Sing to Him in your hearts and praise Him for His:

M e r c y
L o v e
G r a c e
G o o d n e s s
T r u t h f u l n e s s
T r u s t w o r t h i n e s s
G e n t l e n e s s
K i n d n e s s
F o r g i v e n e s s
P at i e n c e
F a i t h f u l n e s s
T e n d e r n e s s
S e r v i t u d e
L o n g s u f f e r i n g
W r a t h
C a r e
J u s t i c e
S o v e r e i g n t y
J e a l o u s y
B e a u t y
E x c e l l e n c e
P u r i t y
F la w l e s s n e s s
I m m u t a b i l i t y
H u m b l n e s s
R i g h t e o u s n e s s
M a j e s t y
P o w e r
P e r f e c t i o n
H o l i n e s s
W o r t h i n e s s
S a l v a t i o n

Praise and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. For He is glorious in all of His ways.✨

K I N G . J E S U S . F O R E V E R

‭‭{Psalms‬ ‭96}
Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord!
He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.