BEFORE JESUS SHOWED UP
MATTHEW 3:1-3 NKJ
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’ ”
John the Baptist, contrary to popular belief, was not the founder of the Southern Baptist denomination. But he was a forerunner of Jesus. He came on the scene in Israel before Jesus was revealed to the nation.
And John had a special message. Repent. Nothing really elaborate or complicated, just repent.
The word repent involves two words that mean to change the mind. When used in context regarding God, it can be a true regret or sorrow accompanied by a true change of heart and mind toward God.
Before Jesus showed up, the message from God through John was change. Change the way you think and change your heart towards God. John's message was bold. He called out the religious hypocrisy and abuse that was taking place in the nation. And his message stirred the nation to the point that many thought that John was the Messiah.
But John knew his role. Prepare the way of the Lord. Get the people ready for the true Messiah. To get ready for Jesus, there first needed to be a change of hearts and minds in the people.
The word repent today is too often associated with hellfire and brimstone-type preaching. But there is a principle here we don't want to overlook. Before we see Jesus show up in our lives, there must be a change of heart and mind on our part. We often want God to do something amazing in our lives, but there are beliefs and attitudes, and behaviors standing in the way.
Therefore, it's not uncommon to be asking God for help or wisdom in a particular area, and the Holy Spirit is nudging us to make an adjustment in a different area of our life.
I have prayed about business or financial challenges and had the Lord prompt me to change how I treated Joy or my need to forgive someone. Repentance preceded the answer. Before Jesus showed up, John the Baptist called for change. That same principle is still working today.
So, if the Lord is prompting you to change, to repent, do it. And get happy something good is about to show up.
Dear Lord, help me make the changes in any area that needs to be made right. I want to have a clear path for You to work in my life.