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Daily meditations for the Fast of Jesus - know more about it.

Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near! - Matthew 4.17

This was one of the first messages that Jesus transmitted to His listeners. It contains two main thoughts:

(1)  Repent — the Greek word He used (μετανοέω metanoéō) indicates change of mind followed by a change of behavior. It means, “Changing your situation by changing your thoughts”. Jesus challenges us to think different so that our life can be different. Those who are living in the wrong path, in the path of self-destruction, far from God — are living that way because their thoughts are twisted. Repentance begins in the mind, with a change of thought, and it ends with an action, with a change of behavior. Without both changes, there is no repentance.

(2) The nearness of the kingdom of God — Nearness here is not only of time, but of place as well. The kingdom of God has come near to you, in other words. It is right there, right in front of you. It means opportunity, the appropriate moment, the time and place to make the most of the chance. Not everyone receives this opportunity. There are people who would give everything for the opportunity you’ve been given, to know the Thoughts of Jesus throughout these 40 days. But this chance has not come to them as yet. God has come close to us. He comes near to us in many different ways to give us the chance of salvation and to know a better life. However, in order to seize this opportunity, we have to change our thoughts and actions.

“Change your way of thinking and acting, because I am here, right next to you.” This was one of the first messages from Jesus. Refusing to change your thoughts and actions, disregarding the fact that God has come near to you, means you are sending Him away, pushing Him away from you and wasting a great chance that may never come back. “No Lord, thanks for the visit, but I am fine the way I am. I want to stick to my way of living and thinking. I would rather not be disturbed, please.” You can rest assured He will answer you and He will go towards the one who wants Him.

Application: God is near to you through this text. It was Him who brought you here. Make the most of this chance and change your way of thinking and acting. Do it now.

Do you perceive God coming near to you through these 40 Thoughts? Have you been changing your way of thinking and acting as a result of what you’ve been learning? In what way? 

- Renato Cardoso

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