Matthew 3:1-2 Time To Repent

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:1-2

Warnings come all the time, everywhere a person goes. Most warnings are to alert a person of danger ahead. Most often it is a physical danger that is physically ahead.

Some people either do not see the warning signs or just ignore them and fall into dangerous situations that harm them or even kill them. Others heed the warning signs and take caution to avoid the danger.

John the Baptist comes on the scene telling everyone to repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.

When most people hear about the kingdom of heaven, they think of peace, joy, and no suffering. While these are true aspects of heaven that most will desire, most will ignore the requirement to get into heaven.

God is a perfect and holy God who cannot be around sin. Since He cannot be around sin, He demands that His followers become sinless. Once man has sinned, there is no way for himself to become sinless.

Jesus has provided the way by dying upon the cross and paying for all those sins. All a person has to do is repent of those sins and follow Jesus.

Just as in the time of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven is near. Jesus is very close to returning to bring an end to this world and bring judgement upon all mankind.

Knowing this, today is the day to repent of all sins. God is waiting, ready and able to forgive of all sins. He does not anyone to die in their sins and miss out on heaven and eternity with Him.

Every person needs to repent of all sins today, while there is still time.

The call that John the Baptist had for the Israelites still holds for you today. God’s kingdom is even nearer today than it was during his time.

If you have not done so already, today is the day to repent of all sins. Turn away from all sin and follow Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Do not allow another day to pass without repentance. God has great things in store for you in this life and for all eternity, if you will follow Him with all of your life.

Repent for Jesus may return today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent of all your sins; that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; and that you will look forward to the return of Jesus.

Acts 13:52 Joy Amidst Persecution

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52

When trouble hits a person, most people get depressed or discouraged. During attempts to accomplish something, it is common for a person to run into some roadblocks. Often this discourages the person and he gives up in order to try something different.

Joy is rarely seen in a person in the midst of major problems. Instead of joy one will see anger, frustration, depression, or fear. The focus or desire is often lost or given up.

As the disciples were preaching the gospel, many Jewish leaders were against them and pushed them out. The disciples left the area with joy and with God’s Holy Spirit.

The world does not like to hear the gospel message of Jesus. There are also many ‘believers’ in the church who get offended at hearing the full truth in God’s word. It means that they are wrong and must change. These people will often push out or persecute true believers who are preaching the whole of God’s word.

Just as the world gets depressed and discouraged, many believers will also get depressed and discouraged under persecution. This occurs because people have the wrong focus. Too many believers expect an easy, problem free life as a believer. Jesus actually promised the exact opposite.

Those who are going through trouble and persecution can have joy knowing that they are walking the path God has for them and that God is with them. During persecution, the believer can pick up and move on to the next location to reach others who are willing to listen. They do not need to stay stuck in one place, wallowing in despair of failure.

The joy of God’s salvation and presence gives the believer strength to move on despite all troubles.

As you are a witness for Jesus there will come times of trouble or persecution. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged or to give up. Look to God for your joy and strength.

Remember how much persecution Jesus went through for you. Remember that Jesus promised persecution. But also remember that God has promised you eternal life in the end with no more suffering.

Walk with joy and God’s Holy Spirit moving forward to a new place. Find new places to be a witness. Seek out others who will listen. Do not stop or give up. God is with you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that God will fill you with His joy; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; and that God will give you strength during persecution and troubles.

Acts 8:4 Persecution Can Work For The Good

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Acts 8:4

When problems arise due to belief or choices made, many will abandon the beliefs. Others will choose to move away. When they move, they will carry with them their traditions and beliefs to wherever they move.

Some will keep those beliefs in the new location. Many will abandon the beliefs, because they do not want the same problems in the new place. They are seeking a new identity, rather than being bold with who they are.

After Stephen was killed, the persecution against the church increased greatly. Many believers moved to new locations to escape the persecution. Wherever they went they continued to spread the gospel message.

Persecution is something Jesus had promised will occur. Very few people look forward toward persecution and try to avoid it. It is often seen as something completely bad.

It is common to hear of believers complaining of persecution for their beliefs. They rise up and fight back, rather than just keep spreading the gospel message.

While it is terrible to go through persecution, it can get people to move to somewhere new. The moving will open new doors to spread the gospel message. Regardless of where a believer lives, there are people who need to hear the message of Jesus. Rather than staying and complaining about the persecution, one can seek to find new people to tell the message to.

God is willing and able to use persecution for His good. If the persecution had not occurred in the New Testament, the message of Jesus would not have spread to the whole world. As believers choose to keep preaching the word of God wherever they go, the church will continue to grow and have an influence in this world.

Everyday you will go to some place that has people who need to hear the gospel message. You may have times where you have to move to a new location for some reason. Regardless of where you are or why you are there, spread the gospel message. Seek to stay true to who you are in Jesus and let others know about Him.

Do not fear persecution and hide and be silent, but allow God to use it to be His witness in this world. Allow God to move you to new places to let new people know about His great love and salvation He will provide.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength in persecution; that you will spread the gospel message wherever you are; and that you will allow God to use you to be His witness.

1 Corinthians 9:16 What Needs To Be Said

 

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For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16

Paul had just stated that he was willing to do whatever it takes to get the gospel message to the people. He did not want to hinder it from getting to anyone who needs to hear it. Now he states that he must preach the gospel message, regardless of any cost.

People usually look for a benefit in doing something. There has to be a benefit in doing an action, prior to their desiring to do it.

When a person invests money, he expects to receive a significant increase in his investment. When a person exercises, he expects to see immediate results in the workout. The benefit can be a quick, short-term one or a long-term one. If there is no direct benefit, however, he will most likely stop the action and not continue it.

Believers will often do certain actions because they know there are some great benefits to it. However, there are some things, that regardless of what benefits one may or may not receive, it needs to be done.

Preaching the gospel is one action every believer should do, regardless of the benefits. When the gospel is preached, sometimes it will be well received, while other times it may bring on persecution.

Many believers will stop the preaching when the persecution begins. They do not want to receive trouble, yet, the gospel still needs to be preached.

No believer is a believer, unless someone had preached the gospel to him. One must hear, before he can believe.

The preaching of the gospel is just sharing what Jesus did in the life of a believer. Telling others why he believes in Jesus.

One of the great priorities in your life should be to preach the gospel message. There are billions of people in this world who are dying not knowing the salvation Jesus provides. They need a chance to hear the gospel message.

Be willing to share what God is doing in your life with everyone you meet. Do not be the one who did not share, when you had the opportunity. This may be the one reason a person does not get into heaven and goes to hell.

Don’t make your life only about yourself, but about others in telling the gospel message.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will tell others about Jesus; that God will remove fear of telling the gospel message; and that God will give you the words to say.