Mathew 3

3 Feb

Continuing going through the book of Matthew one chapter a day with one thought for the day. Today is round two of Matthew chapter 3. For previous post see here, and for sermon at Ecclesia see here.

3:1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

In speaking on this topic subject it was actually one of the teachings at Ecclesia that I received a lot of positive input (and by positive I mean people feeling like God was working on their heart) in our 11 month history. It was interesting because the subject was repentance. Not really a wildly culturally popular subject but I think it resonated with people’s heart because we framed repentance within the first century meaning and not the associations that we make with that word today of someone with a bullhorn standing on a soapbox yelling at people.

Repentance is from the Hebrew word shuv or teshuva. It doesn’t mean to have a good cry but it means to come home. Repentance is a word of homecoming. It is a word that says that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done…you can come home again. I know you don’t believe it but you can come home again. I know others have given you the impression that you could never belong to God after what you’ve done but you can come home again.

That’s a word that only makes sense from a platform of love not hate.

So what is keeping you from coming home?

As an excercise for your heart please read Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son then read these words by Henry Nouwen from his book The Return of the Prodigal:

“Why should I leave the place where all I need to hear can be heard? The more I think about this question the more I realize that the true voice of love is a very soft and gentle voice speaking to me in the most hidden places of my being. It is not a boisterous voice forcing itself on me demanding my attention. It is the voice of a nearly blind father who has cried much and died many deaths. It is a voice that can be heard by those who allow themselves to be touched.”

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