Quiet Time with Jesus – Change Your Mind

Friday, 14 August 2015

In the book of Mark, the first words (printed in red in my Bible) spoken by Jesus were, 

The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!
— Mark 1:15

Excerpt from ‘Beginning in Christ together’

The Greek word (repent) here (Mark 1:15) means to change your mind - to think about things in a radically different way. A related Hebrew word means to change course, to look for what you need in a completely different direction. Feeling bad about your behavior or yourself is called “remorse” and is useful only when it leads to a change in behavior. We can’t always decide to change our thinking – we don’t know what we don’t know, so God often has to take the initiative. Our job is humility: the willingness for God to change our minds, the willingness to say, “I’m wrong. I’ll change course. I’ll do it your way.”

John Piper in his teaching on hope, holiness and the fear of the LORD drew my attention to something that I had not examined. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told 5 out of 7 churches to REPENT. I wrote the following verses down (emphasis mine):

(To the Church in Ephesus)
Remember the height from which you have fallen! REPENT and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
— Revelation 2:5
(To the Church in Pergamum)
REPENT therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
— Revelation 2:16
(To the Church in Thyatira)
I have given her (Jezebel) time to REPENT of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they REPENT of her ways.
— Revelation 2:21-22
(To the Church in Sardis)
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and REPENT. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
— Revelation 3:3
(To the Church in Laodicea)
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and REPENT.
— Revelation 3:19

Jesus did not mince His words. They were specific and clear. What is our response when we read (or hear) His words?

 

 

My Prayer

Dear Father God,

What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of LIFE set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 7:24-8:2)

Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to LIFE – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:34) It is God who justifies. (Romans 8:33)

Your Word is specific and clear. Help us change our heart, change our mind, and change our course. We come humbly before You, pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways. O Father God, hear our prayer, forgive our sin, heal our land. Amen.

Let us not resist or reject Your call to repentance. O Holy Spirit, come and help us to change the way we think, repent and return to God.

In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen.

Lam Yee Ling

Father, not my will but Yours be done. Amen.