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The first line in Jesus’ first sermon was, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” The word repent is one we often here in church today, but the Greek word for repent, metanoia, means “to change one’s mind for the better,” or “to think differently.” With this understanding, we can now see that the first line of Jesus’ first sermon was, “Change your mind for the better (or think differently), for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Surely, there would’ve been some in the crowd who heard Jesus’ teaching who were wondering, what is it I’m supposed to think differently about? The answer to that question is multi-faceted but primarily has to do with the things of the heart. Some of the topics Jesus regularly taught about included fear, money, forgiving those who have wronged you, loving your enemies, as well as loving the poor, brokenhearted, and marginalized. Similarly, Jesus taught the importance of thinking differently about God, about ourselves, and about others. His entire ministry was different than what people expected from the coming Messiah, but at the same time it was everything the people of God needed it to be.
READING & PRAYERS:
EPHESIANS 4:17-24, ROMANS 12:2 (also read the commentary notes in your study bible of choice)
When Paul says to “put on your new nature” (Ephesians 4:24), he is saying what Jesus said – you are now to think and live very differently. In what way may God be inviting you to think and live differently than you used to (e.g., fear, money, forgiveness, loving others, etc.)?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess that there are still some aspects of my old nature I return to or have a difficult time letting go of. Today, help me to see clearly the destructive power of my old nature, as well as the joy and contentment of what life looks like when I am fully, wholeheartedly resting in You. May I rest in You today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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