“Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1, verses 14 and 15
After his resurrection, Jesus told His disciples in Luke 24:47, repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. Notice the message is, repentance first and then forgiveness of sins. There can be no forgiveness of sins without repentance, that is without our changing our minds and the way that we think. And then on the Day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, in verse 38, when the convicted but unconverted multitude said to the apostles, "Men and brethren, what must we do? Peter gave them a very clear answer.
"Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven." (NIV)
What was the first thing that he had to do when he was the spokesman both of God and of the Church? The first requirement is, repent ‑ change the way you think.
And then Paul, speaking to the men of Athens, a very different kind of crowd ‑ intellectuals, Gentiles, not people with a Jewish background ‑ in Acts 17, verse 30, Paul tells these men:
"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but he now commands all people everywhere to repent." (NIV)
That leaves out no person and no place. All people everywhere have to repent, change their way of thinking. Now why is that? The reason is given in Isaiah. One simple verse in Isaiah gives the reason. Isaiah 53:6:
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (NIV)
That's true of every one of us. So how do we get back into fellowship with God? By repenting, by changing our way and our thinking.
Lord God, thank You for the grace that my sins have been forgiven on the basis of my repentance to You. Never again I want to go back to my own way but I want to live in fellowship with You, and to learn to listen to Your voice as my shepherd. Amen.