ODJ: u-turn

October 2, 2015 

READ: Mark 1:14-20 

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (v.15).

Leslie Newbigin, a missionary in India, tells the story of his visit to a village in the Madras diocese. The village had prepared music, fireworks, garlands, fruit and dancing to welcome him. The congregation had presumed that he would come by the southern route, but Newbigin entered the village from the north. When the congregation found out, they quickly ran to welcome him. What a beautiful picture of what Jesus instructed people to do as He began His public ministry.

Jesus began ministering by preaching the good news from God. He told His listeners that God loved humanity, had come near and that His long-awaited rule was at hand. His people could experience this loving and compassionate rule in their lives through Jesus, God’s Messiah.

Although God’s salvation had arrived, many people were looking the wrong way and expecting the wrong thing (salvation from Roman oppression). And so, the arrival of God’s salvation required a unique response: turning from sin (repentance) and turning to Jesus (faith): “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15).

We have the good news! God’s salvation has arrived, and it has come in the person of Jesus. The reign of God has drawn near, but people will miss it if we don’t present it. It all begins with the Holy Spirit causing a mental revolution (Romans 12:1-2), a transformation of thinking. It continues with the expression of genuine, Holy Spirit-led sorrow for sin, confession of sin and forsaking of specific sins. Let’s continue helping people turn from the wrong way (sin), so they won’t miss the right Person—Jesus.

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: John 21:15-25

Read Acts 3:19, 5:31, and 11:18. What do these passages reveal about repentance? 
Who do you know who is leaning and looking in the wrong direction in life? What steps can you take this week to turn that person from the wrong direction so he/she doesn’t miss the right Person (Jesus)?