Beyond the Weekend

January 26 | The Turn

January 26, 2022


The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all. Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts…”. 1 Samuel 7:2-3a

Read: 1 Samuel 7:2-4
1 Samuel 7


Twenty years have passed since the return of the Ark from the Philistines. God moves in this time in the hearts of his people. As he does, the nation again “turns back” to the God who rescued them. But this is not the only “turn” that is needed. While the Israelites indeed turn TO God, Samuel calls them to turn AWAY from “the foreign gods” they continue to worship and serve. He knows it’s not enough to just turn TO God, which they do. Complete obedience also requires a turn FROM something, which they do when they “put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only” (1 Samuel 7:4).

This turning is what Jesus means when he first appears on the scene and says, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). Jesus tells his listeners to “repent,” to turn away from whatever it is they are trusting. He also tells them to “believe” in the good news that he is the Messiah. It is both a turn AWAY and turn TO. Only by doing both can we receive the kingdom of God.

Repentance is more than just a one-time decision to turn away from sin and to Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life. It’s also a lifestyle where we daily turn away from everything that can become an idol and instead turn to the Lord. It involves everything from our thoughts to our desires and our goals. True repentance is a daily attitude of the heart.


Write this prayer in your journal, “Father God, beginning today I want to live the life of repentance Jesus calls me to. I want to turn AWAY from _______________ and _______________. I turn TO YOU today to meet every need I have. Remind me of your goodness when I am tempted to return to my idols.”


Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse!

PSALMS 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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