“Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 3:1–2

Unlike many of us today, the first preachers in the Christian age focused on our need to repent of our sins; to change our ways; and to turn back to the Lord instead of continually fleeing away from Him. Come back to your home with the Lord. There is always safety for you there.

Before God can use us in his great purposes, we must first demonstrate deep love and devotion to him. Even he cannot use us in his kingdom unless we love him and have absolute dedication to himself.

In the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, the word translated “believe” is also the Greek word for “entrust, believe and absolute dedication.” As believers, are we absolutely dedicated to honoring and pleasing the Lord Jesus?

Not only John the Baptist, but also Jesus opened his own ministry with the very same words. That should give us a clue as to their importance.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say ‘repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17

Living life absent from God ends only in emptiness and frustration. Don’t you think that it is time to take both this life and eternal life seriously?

Isn’t it finally time to repent, turn to the Lord and run to him?

The Rev. Roger Galstad is pastor at Valley Bible Church, Whitehall, and Grace Communion International, Eau Claire.