After remembering the birth of Jesus, the humble circumstances of His coming to earth, and the involvement of ordinary people in one of the greatest events of human history, how have our hearts changed toward Him? By New Years day, most of the decorations come down and are put away, relatives and friends have returned home and back to their regular schedules. Am I the same?
There is one condition that remains with every people group around the world; the need of the human heart. As Jesus began His ministry, He had a very simple message; “Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The human need is not solved by ‘man-made religion.’ Every individual must face the fact that there is a condition in the heart caused by sin, and the only way to reverse its consequences is through genuine repentance.
Repentance in simple terms is admitting that God is right and holy; I am wrong and unholy. His kingdom has come to me where I am, exposed my sin, and yet provided a means of removing my sin through the sacrifice of Jesus. Then He freely forgives so I am free from sin and its effects. Jesus’ birth was only the beginning of a thirty-three-and-a-half-year journey that ended in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension. The power of His kingdom accomplished our freedom at unspeakable cost, not just at His birth.
Those of us who know this freedom have a responsibility to tell others so they will know how to be free. As Paul thought about this responsibility, he told the Roman believers; “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14–15). We must ask ourselves these questions and then act on what we have been given by God.
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