Mark 1:5 is our verse of meditation today. Read it several times, over and over again. Chew on its words. Try to grab something of depth in it. Here's what came to me: 1. The people of Jerusalem and Judea left their residences and went to John. John was in the wilderness. They went into the wilderness. It's a vivid picture of the captive Jews being delivered from Egypt and going into the wilderness where they discovered a new depth of relationship to God. Are you in a wilderness right now? Don't despair. It's in the wilderness where we ready ourselves to meet God in a new, fresh way. What John offered in the wilderness was repentance, baptism and a new life in Jesus Christ. This new life can be yours today. But you must be willing to go through the wilderness. There's no other way.
2. As a part of their baptism, they were "confessing their sins." James 5 says the spiritual discipline of confessing our sins should be a regular part of our lives. We should do it "to one another." "Pretend Christianity" is devastating. It's destructive. It's hypocritical. How does a follower of Jesus overcome it? By confession. To God. To a friend. To a Life Group. Confession cleanses the soul. It lets people into our lives. It invites accountability which can prevent future bad, unwise decisions. It's a part of repentance. It needs to be reclaimed in our lives as followers of Jesus.
God was working in the hearts of the people then. He was asking them to turn away from their sin and turn back to him in preparation of the coming Messiah.
He's doing the same with us today. It's never too late to come to him. Repent. Confess. Receive his grace and love. God's love is always stronger than our sin.