In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."
— Matthew 3:1-2 NLT
So often the things we most desire, the things we are looking for most earnestly, are near us, but we miss them. When looking for something when I was young, I often heard: "If it had been a snake, it would have bitten you." We would "give our eye teeth" to have been witnesses of all the things that will transpire from the baptism of John down to the giving of the Great Commission. We will see so many people who come into Matthew's story of Jesus and who just flat out miss him and God's Kingdom. How could they be so close to Jesus and not recognize him? The Kingdom and God's Son are right in front of their eyes! But, the key to finding the Kingdom, both in their day and in our own, is our willingness to change our hearts and reform our lives to live passionately for God as we trust his grace to save and redeem us. Those who followed John were ready to find Jesus and his Kingdom. Those who refused to repent missed it.
Holy God, Almighty Father, and King of Heaven, I confess that I often lose my way and live for myself. This selfishness hurts my family, those I work with, and me. But, dear Father, I know it hurts you most of all, because it blinds me to your truth, hardens me to your grace, and makes it so difficult for me to yield my life to Jesus as Lord. By the power of your Spirit, transform me to be like your Son. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matthew 11:21
- 2 Timothy 2:23-26
- 1 Corinthians 2:7-8
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, January 17, 2021
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.