It’s Jesus’ final week on this planet. Even though the religious leaders were plotting to kill him, Jesus went to the temple courts and started teaching the people. That didn’t exactly sit well with the leaders:
Some religious people of Jesus’ day believed that calamities were the result of God’s disfavor. Jesus addressed that notion head-on by discussing two major events: (1) the massacre by the Romans of Galileans who had come to Jerusalem to worship and (2) the collapse of a tower in Siloam that killed eighteen people:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17)
John the Baptist started his ministry with the above words. So did Jesus. In my book, that means we should probably pay attention.
What exactly does “repent” mean? Basically, it’s turning away from our sins and back toward God.
Here’s how it works in my life. God gives me pretty clear directions on where He’d like me to go. But sometimes when His way gets a bit narrow or rough I toss His directions aside and take a detour.
Usually, the road starts off nice and wide and inviting. So, I step on the gas. God posts warning signs approximately every fifteen feet, but I ignore ’em. Red lights start flashing all over the dashboard and the car starts wheezing and shaking and smoking, but that just makes me stomp on the gas harder.
Suddenly, I realize that what once looked like a fabulous destination is actually the edge of a steep cliff. But just as I’m about to plunge into the abyss, God jams my foot onto the brake and we skid to a stop.
He then asks one simple question: “Ready to turn around?”
I take one last look into the pit, gulp and say “yes.” He places His hands next to mine on the steering wheel and together we execute a perfect U-turn and head back toward His narrow path.
Unfortunately, I find that I have to repeat that little lesson waaaaaay too often. But each time I learn that if I truly confess and turn away from my sins, God’s always there to forgive me and steer me back in the right direction.
Are you following God’s road map for your life? If not, repent NOW. Confess your sins, turn around and head back down God’s narrow path. His Kingdom’s a whole lot better than any other destination.