By Rev Angela Bosfield Palacious
- The now is here
In Jonah 3:1-5, we read that Nineveh’s time had come. Jonah ran away, but God changed his direction using the big fish. Jonah gives the warning of 40 days before the city’s destruction. The leaders and people all repent individually and collectively, wearing sackcloth and ashes, and fasting.
They are saved because of God’s compassion, and this can be true for us. Today is our day to repent, and now is our time for national revival and transformation. Examine your conscience using passages such as 1 Corinthians 13 (love passage), Galatians 5 (Fruit of the Spirit), Colossians 3 (Christian character).
- The time has come
It is time to follow Jesus. It is time to answer the call to service, discipleship and disciple making. In Mark 1:14-20, we are told that Simon and Andrew left their nets at once, just as James and John when approached after.
It is a call to action since time is getting shorter. Are we ready to put Jesus first? As it was then, the message is still that the Kingdom of God is near, we need to repent and believe the Good News.
- What is the Good News?
Hebrews 9:24 speaks to it, for example, and what we can conclude from the New Testament is that Jesus is:
• The son of God
• The crucified saviour
• Our loving Lord
• Our door to eternal life
• The one who goes so that the Holy Spirit can come to be our sanctifier, guide and healer.
- Who needs to hear the Good News?
Everyone needs the Lord: The lost, sick, sorrowful, dying, addicted, broken-hearted, the successful, rich, poor, and the list goes on. Consider persons at school, work, in the neighbourhood and wider community, along with family and friends.
Before reading any further, do the following now:
• Choose someone to pray for
• Strategise an approach
• Ask God for boldness to obey
• Promise God to be faithful
- How do you begin?
• Listen carefully to the person’s spoken or unspoken needs as the Spirit leads.
• Respond with your experience briefly to connect with the person’s story. For example, Psalm 62 encourages you to recall who God is for you and this is what you can share. If God is indeed your rest, hope, rock, salvation, fortress, refuge, and loving rewarder, then begin there.
Next, refer to some Scriptures about Jesus as bread, living water, shepherd, vine, door and healer, before pointing to Jesus’ life and ministry, death and resurrection.
Finally, pray together and keep in contact, inviting the person to church, and other church groups, or encouraging the person to become more regular if a church home already exists.
As you seek God’s will and God’s way, let us always give God the glory. Indeed, now is the time to repent, follow, worship, serve, be a faithful disciple and make new ones intentionally.
• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.