I suggest that every believer ought to be a part of a small Bible reading group.  Our group reads one or two chapters a day from the New Testament and exchanges emails with our takeaways.  Two tangible benefits flow from participation in our group. First, we engage the Bible in community.  Second, we share some of the events going on in our lives. 

So that I retain a record of my reading, I use a Bible that allows me to take notes.  The specific New Testament is the Journaling New Testament Inductive Edition by Crossway.  The translation is the English Standard Version. 

Matthew 3-4

During my reading of Matthew 3-4, one takeaway was the call to repent found in Matthew 3:2, 8; 4:17 (ESV):

2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”… 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. … 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The ESV translates the Greek verb metanoeō as “repent.” The Logos 9 sense of the verb is:

Sense: to reconsider (repent) – to have a change of self (heart and mind) that abandons former dispositions and results in a new self, new behavior, and regret over former behavior and dispositions.

Another interesting point is that repentance is a component of the irreducible minimum of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, although sanctification is a process, a believer will display the fruit of genuine repentance.

Also, it is interesting that John the Baptist pointed out the two kinds of people, i.e., saved people and lost people, when he said at Matthew 3:10, 12 (ESV):

10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. …  12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, your eternal destination is hell unless God intervenes.  But, your destiny can change. 

Today can be the day of your salvation!  Please see my blog ( for a description of how you can be saved.  You can also go to another article at my blog ( ). 

Please send me any comments to or use the comments feature of the blog.

NOTICE OF PERMISSIONS – I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and publishers possess in their works.  I thus try my best not to violate any copyright rights other authors and publishers possess in their works.  The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and to secure direct permission for specific works. 

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  The quotations from news sources are fair use.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations marked “RSV” or “NRSV” are from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

The Scriptures marked “NET” are quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved”.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture marked “GW” is taken from the God’s Word Bible that is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission.