Jesus said: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” (Matthew 4:17)
Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God is come, and is present here and now; yet we need to see it and realize it if we are to make it real in our world. We should first realize that what Jesus is speaking of is not some far off, far distant concept that we most often think of as heaven. No, He is speaking of something very present. Something that can be found if we do as He says and change our lives.
Most translations use the term "repent" here.
The word repent often conjures up negative images of "Bible-thumping", finger pointing preachers, but in fact, it really means to turn around and make different choices; the literal definition is to change ones mind. To change ones mind and see what God would want us to see, to see how Jesus saw things, would be a radical shift in our perspective of others and ourselves; we would not relate to others in the same way, and we would find a much closers walk with God. When we find the meaning of repentance, we see the Kingdom of God clearly, as Jesus did.
Take a few minutes to answer these questions:
Do you find it hard to change your mind about some things?
What kinds of things are difficult to change your mind about?
Can you think of a time when you changed your mind about something and in doing so changed your actions in some way?
Really changing your mind requires you to exercise discipline. It may require you constantly remind yourself of the need to make that change. It seldom happens unless we recognize that there is a real need for us to make that change.
A Spiritual Discipline is one that we practice in an effort to train our minds to think more like Christ – to see the world more the way Jesus saw it, and to see people more the way that Jesus saw them. It may take a lot of time, and a lot of practice. That is why we look to form Spiritual Disciplines. They are a way that we constantly remind ourselves of what Jesus would have us to be.
Think of an example of Spiritual Discipline:
What Spiritual Discipline can you practice in your own life that will remind you of how Jesus would want you to think?
Maybe you can’t think of a Spiritual Discipline. Maybe you thought of several…
As members of a sharing, non-judgmental, community in Breakfast In The Basement, take a few moments to turn to others at your table and share with them your thoughts, or your difficulties. Both are acceptable. Then, the next time you see each other at Breakfast, or on the street, greet each other, and ask how progress is going…