Seek Treasures Here and Now
Part of the Lent season is giving up something so that we can embrace and discover the treasures and blessings that God intends for us. Too often, we block them or seek them where they are not to be found. In our lent journey, we seek to come closer to God and take steps to bring more of God into our life.
On this, the first Sunday of lent let us take a closer look at Mark 1:14-15: Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
It seems straight forward, yet there is much here to looked at.
At first, it looks like a simple proclamation, Jesus announcing the good news calling for repentance and belief. Nothing out the normal, right? Wrong. Lets us take a closer look and see what we find.
The good news of God—what is this good news? What is so good about it that Jesus proclaims it? What is new about it that it begs for proclamation? God loves you (Yes! You!) as you are, but loves way too much to leave you that way. God is going to do in Jesus what you could never do on your own. With God, all things are possible that leaves nothing out. So, this really is good news, the best possible news. And it is for everyone, everywhere. That is what makes this good news good, news, and worth proclamation.
The time has come—the past times, especially of God’s acts of salvation for Israel, reach their climax in this present time of salvation through Jesus. In Jesus, everything that God has been doing, promised to do, hinted at, and desired to do is fulfilled in and thorough the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the full and complete revelation God. When you see and know Jesus, you see and know God.
The kingdom of God—books have been written on this. I cannot and will not do justice to this concept in a few words. I can touch on hint at the meaning of it. The kingdom of God is the place where God’s reign is fully realized over the transformed universe and in the hearts of all His redeemed people. This kingdom is “at hand” in the sense that the coming of Jesus sets in motion all that will bring about its actualization. The Kingdom has been and remains present now. God is in the process of making present His reign here and now. This reign is eternal. The Kingdom is everything God intends and desires for this life and the next. We are agents of the Kingdom project when we do the will of God.
Repent and believe—God requires repentance and belief in response to this news. The natural and right response to hearing this good news is repentance and belief. This is a heart issue not a mere intellectual, abstract assertion. God desires our heart. God wants a relationship that just doesn’t go through the motions but trusts in the love and grace of God offered freely in Jesus. God wants us to live with and in Him. We are to offer everything, our life to the glory of God.
We are to seek treasures here and now, to realize that where we are the situation we find ourselves in is holy. We should live our life as it happens, not regret the past or fear the future, but be present to the now.
My hope, my prayer is that this reflection will help you see there is more than meets the eye in scripture and live this lent season deeper than before. This season can transform us into what we ought to be, our true self.