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March 12, 2024

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Matthew 4:17 NLT

 

TODAY’S THOUGHT

The message that Jesus preached was powerful and pointed— “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

 

The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is found thirty-two times in Matthew’s Gospel. The phrase “kingdom of God” is only found five times. Because of their reverence for the name of God the Jews would not mention “God” but would substitute the word “heaven.” In the gospels of Mark and Luke the writers used “kingdom of God” in the parallel passages where Matthew uses “kingdom of heaven.”

 

Either phrase brings the same concept of the place where God’s rules. “Kingdom” means “rule, reign, authority” rather than a geographical place of a specific realm. So “kingdom of heaven” means the place where God rules. 

 

Jesus preaches that if we want to live under the rule of God, we must begin the process by repentance. Repentance means a turning away from sin. Literally the word means “to turn around.” 

 

The other day I was driving and realized I was going the wrong direction. I had to turn around to get to where I wanted to go. I “repented” and changed my direction. That change allowed me to get where I wanted to go.

 

I suggest that unless we repent of all known sin in our lives, we will not find ourselves living under the rule and dominion of Father God. Instead, we will be ruled by our flesh and sin nature. Our flesh and sin nature are always wanting to pull us away from God’s desires for our life. 

 

God wants to bless us and have us live in His favor. But we can’t live in the blessing and favor of God if He is not reigning in our lives. If God blessed me while I was under the control of sin, then God would be rewarding my bad behavior. 

 

Is there anything in your life that is keeping you from living in the favor of God? Perhaps it is time today to repent and turn around. 

 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Holy Spirit, I ask You to show me anything in my life that is hindering Your kingdom from being fully released in me. Give me the courage and ability to turn away from all sin and live in holiness before You. Let today be a fresh direction in my life.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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I choose to live with the Holy Spirit being in total charge of my life. I want God’s kingdom to come and will to be done daily in and through me.

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Lord, I desperately know what I need to repent of . You have given me so many chances. And I truly want to do better.

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