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October 16

Mark 1, 14-15 

Something to read

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here 

Something to think about

Jesus bursts onto the scene in Galilee calling his first followers. Galilee was a thriving, fertile, heavily populated area but Galilee also had a certain reputation. It had been settled by pagan nations and lots of their rituals had impacted local Jewish culture. Galilee had become morally and spiritually questionable.

And it is here that Jesus begins his ministry. Not in Jerusalem. Not in the temple. Not with the religious people but in Galilee. Probably one of the least expected places for the Messiah to turn up announcing the arrival of God’s Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is God’s reign here, His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. And the fact that the arrival of His Kingdom is announced in an-out-of-the-way location of a dubious reputation is a reminder that He initiates, not us. He chooses to bring about His Kingdom wherever he chooses, not where we might think appropriate.

Where might God be at work today without us even realising it?

Whilst it is God’s prerogative to initiate His Kingdom where and when he wants, it is our duty is to respond to Jesus and the arrival of the Kingdom. Jesus gives these two commands, to “repent” and “believe”.

The Kingdom of God begins in our lives as we repent, as we change direction and begin journeying closer to God. His reign in our lives also begins as we believe the good news that His redeeming and transforming purposes are at work in our lives as we accept Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Something to do

Read through the news headlines. What would God’s Kingdom look like in these situations if it were to break out?

Something to pray

Lord, show me where I need to change direction and live more according to Your will rather than mine. Amen. 

Today's contributor is Andy Frost, Director of Share Jesus International (SJI). Visit the SJI website.

 

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