Mighty God, I desire a new vision for my future, a new purpose for my heart, and a new hope in You. Teach me today.
Read Mark 1:14-20
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
When we declare with sincerity and faith, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” the correct course of life is set.
“Regime change” is an unlovely expression with bad vibes for some, but it is what people in many countries long for. Regime change is what is meant by the kingdom of God. It is a longed-for event (not a place or an ideal), the coming of God to overthrow corrupt rulers and the evil spiritual forces behind them to put an end to suffering and to swallow up death itself in victory (Isa. 25:7,8; 1 Cor. 15:54). As such it is definitely “good news” (14)!
Jesus fully shared his people’s longing for regime change, even if he had different ideas of what it would look like and how it would come about. It will take the whole of Mark’s Gospel to tease this out, but here at the start Mark summarizes Jesus’ preaching to make three things clear. First, the kingdom was indeed something promised which God would bring about when “the time” was right. Second, that time was now. The kingdom “has come near” and would be put into effect (Mark will show us) through the death and resurrection of Jesus himself. Third, the kingdom would require a whole new way of thinking (“repent”) on the part of God’s people, and would demand total commitment from them.
The demand of the kingdom is then graphically illustrated by the call of the first disciples. Again we notice three things. First, they are called into a personal relationship with Jesus, not simply devotion to a cause. Second, they are to place this relationship above all other sources of security or worth, in one case daily work, in the other family solidarity. Third, they are called to be actively engaged in bringing other people to share in “the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9).
Recall how Jesus’ “call” first came to you. How has your understanding of God, his call and purposes for you grown since then?
Lord I pray today that Your Kingdom will come and Your will be done in myself, my family, my church and my nation.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.