Updated: Jan 4
By David Brown
God’s people had been having a really tough time when Jesus began his ministry in Judea.
A corrupt political power had conquered their nation and dominated their lives. Fear of the Romans ruled the day. Their own countrymen constantly cheated them financially. Disease was rampant. Traditional religious leaders were corrupt and offered no real solutions to their problems. In addition, their concept of God was that He was hard to understand, hard to reach and hard to please. Plus, He seemed to be completely silent and unconcerned. He hadn’t spoken to them in four hundred years!
Wow! It sort of reminds you of 2020! Right? But then Jesus came on the scene! He came with a fresh voice, a fresh message, a fresh authority and power…and he offered a fresh start for people!
We often look for a fresh start in a new year. As 2021 appears, I know most of us are hoping it will be a fresh start and very different from 2020. I’m not a prophet. I don’t know what the new year will bring. I know who can lead us through it though! Jesus can help us, lift us, strengthen, heal and encourage us, if we will only listen to him.
Jesus had fresh words for the Jews of his day! They were his very first words. Those words still live, still apply and will still bring God’s blessing to us. I’m talking about the very first message Jesus taught as he began his ministry. He taught this message throughout Galilee. And it was very good news for a troubled people. It’s still good news for you and me today!
It was very simple…but very powerful. I'll share it with you.
…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God
And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel.
Jesus’ message, which is deemed “the gospel of the kingdom of God”, had four simple points. Now remember that the word “gospel” means “good news”. Jesus’ message was not a doom and gloom message. It was GOOD NEWS!
Here are Jesus’ four points.
The Time is Now!
When Jesus said “the time is fulfilled”, he was referring to his time. The time the expected Jewish Messiah would visit God’s people. He was saying that at long last…he had arrived. He was there to help them. He was light in the midst of their darkness.
Do you realize that since that time when Jesus began his ministry, he has been consistently available to be the light in mankind’s darkness? Ever since Jesus came to earth, we have been living in the time, the now, the now moment in which Jesus is available to you and me! He’s available to all of us. God loves the whole world! That means God loves YOU! Right NOW, Jesus is reaching out to you! The time is NOW for you and Jesus to connect. The time is NOW for Jesus to help and lift you into a blessed life!
Jesus is a RIGHT NOW Jesus!
2. God is Available!
Jesus said “the kingdom of God is at hand”. In other words, “the kingdom of God is within your reach”. God’s realm, which He rules over, is available to you.
The Kingdom of God basically includes anything and everything that God is, that God does, that God offers, that God promises to human beings. It’s God’s grace, mercy, power, presence, help, strength, healing, provision, blessing…the list goes on and on! Jesus was saying that God and everything God is and does is available to us. And they’re available to us RIGHT NOW! Good news for sure!
God had become a man. He was present. They saw him. They heard him. They touched
and experienced him. God was understandable now! God was reachable now! God was
even please-able now! He was “easy to be around”! They had a fresh start!
Jesus had come to connect them with God and God’s blessings! His time was now!
Therefore their time was now! It was now their time to be helped and lifted! It was their time to be forgiven of their sins! It was their time to connect with a loving and mighty God who was moving in their midst, acting on their behalf! Good News for sure!
This is still Jesus’ message for you and me today! The time is Now for you and me! God is available to you and me! God will help us…and he’ll do it right now!
So…exactly how can it happen?
Jesus third point is that you and I must change our way of thinking! That’s what the word “repent” actually means. It means to change your mind.
Obviously, we should change our mind about sin. Sin isn’t our friend but actually a ruthless enemy, a spiritual disease and a death dealing problem. Sin is to be avoided. Sin is to be opposed. Sin is to be repented of. If we are to receive God’s help, we must join God’s team. We must adopt God’s views. We must be for what He’s for and against what He’s against!
Beyond that however, we must change our thinking about God himself! He’s not
unconcerned. He’s no longer silent. He’s not unreachable or unfathomable, nor is He
un-please-able. In fact, our faith pleases Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
He’s not hiding from us. He’s not avoiding us. He’s available…if we will believe!
4. Believe the Good News!
Do you want a fresh start in 2021? A fresh start with God? A fresh start with life?
Believe the good news…that God is available to you. That He loves you! That Jesus died
for you, paid the price for your sin and was raised from the dead on the third day…for you. Believe He will help you, strengthen you, lift you, inspire you, guide you, heal you, liberate you, bless you! Again, the list goes on and on!
Believe the simple but powerful Good News!
The time is now!
God is available!
He’s available right now!
Your Fresh Start begins Now!
Make 2021 your right now time with God!!!
Begin you Fresh Start right now!