{RE:} Repent and Believe!

Monday: Repent and Believe!

It's Monday of week 4 - As we continue to journey toward resurrection and revival we are spending this week reflecting on repentance. Let's read together!

Read: Matthew 4:15-17

"On the road by the sea, across the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles -
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the shadow of death
light has dawned.

From that time Jesus began to proclaim,
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!""


Jesus is known for saying a lot of things, but his core message is the one you read above - "Repent and believe, the Kingdom of God is here!" The word repent is pretty easily misunderstood.
When Jesus announces that the people need to "REPENT!" he is not announcing judgment, the way we might imagine a person on a street corner with a picket sign would.

The word repent means "STOP! Get ready to change!" Jesus is telling people to get ready to think differently because he wants to transform them.

It can be easy to feel regret. It's pretty natural for us to feel badly when we are caught doing something wrong. But repentance? Repentance is hard.

  • Repentance requires humility - we can't repent if we think we've already got it all figured out.
    • Take time this morning to ask God to open your mind and heart to the places where you might need to "repent" (get ready to rethink and be changed).

  • Repentance requires a readiness to change - change can be uncomfortable and it takes work!
    • Are you someone who avoids change? Or who avoids the discomfort that might lead to change? How can you open yourself up to the new things God has for you?

  • Repentance requires a willingness to follow - Right after this message we find Jesus calling some of his first disciples, telling them to leave their careers, families, and plans to follow him. He may not be calling us to leave our jobs or homes, but he *is* calling us to follow him with abandon.
    • Would you say that you are following Jesus with abandon? Or are you more of a fan, cheering from the stands without much required of you? That might seem like a harsh question, but it gets to the core of what Jesus is saying. 
    • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the places where you are holding back, and for the courage to be honest about it. 

As you reflect on this passage and these questions, be assured that Jesus does not just call us to repent and then leave us. He offers a new way of living - an abundant, resurrection life. Repent and believe, get ready to change everything!


Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may love you completely,
and rightly magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

- 7th Century Gregorian Prayer


Nick Tebordo - March 28th, 2022 at 4:24am

As Kaitlyn has said, repentance is hard! Yet, Jesus is calling us out of sin to a restored “order” in our life—back to a Kingdom of Genesis 1and 2 style living. We watched The Chosen-season 1 episode 7 last night. It includes Nicodemus’ nighttime meeting with Jesus where Jesus tells Nicodemus about being “born again”. In a sense, repentance is be being “born again” again and again and again. Each time we repent order is restored. Like all wh first hear this word, Nicodemus doesn’t get it

David Edelstein - March 28th, 2022 at 5:27am

Change is difficult. Fearing the reactions of others and disrupting routines and thought patterns can be very challenging to overcome. But God knows the secrets of our heart and we can rely upon Him.

Melody - March 28th, 2022 at 6:48am

This is a good reading, well-balanced and, for me, really sensible. But I suspect that Kaitlyn has laid a lot of groundwork for us to understand these concepts with the "moment and moment" principles.

Until coming to UCC I only really knew "moment only" believers--if you couldn't point to that day you prayed at the altar or in your prayer closet or at a stadium event, you probably weren't "saved". But even if you never changed from that day on, you still had your fire insurance.

Then I believe I met people in our church who claimed you didn't need to make an actual decision to follow Jesus; that you could be raised in it or sort of become an accidental believer -- "movement only" folks.

I do believe Jesus calls us to both, clearly seen in this reading. But my question is, if someone never believes they've done anything wrong, can they truly be "saved"? If there's no repentance, is justification still possible?

Susan Blais - March 28th, 2022 at 9:10am

I once was told that repentance meant to stop, turn around, and go to the other direction. In fact, when I was praying today I could not help but think of The episode of “the chosen“ that we saw last night at the small group. It was burned in my mind that when Jesus was calling Matthew to follow him that he just turned looked at Matthew and said “Follow me“. He didn’t explain to Matthew what he meant, or what he had plans for him to do, but just turned and said “follow me“. I cannot imagine the power of those words when he actually spoke them. It must’ve been the same power when he saw me leading my life in a way that was not pleasing to him. But I believe that Jesus spoke them to me into my heart in the same manner… just the words “follow me“. I know that because that is when I stopped turned around and went in a different direction. Lord, I thank you for calling me. I thank you for caring enough for me that you put a change in my heart. Let me follow you all the days of my life. I love you lord.




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