Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 8, 2018
Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Zechariah 1:3-4
The love of the Lord accepts all who return to Him in humility, repentance and faith. There is no “return to sender” for those who surrender to their Savior. Similar to a dutiful, but disillusioned soldier who abandons his post out of fear, but soon returns contritely seeking mercy—the Lord of Heaven’s Armies offers forgiveness and reinstatement. Life is cruel, but the Lord is kind. Life takes, but the Lord gives. Life rejects, but the Lord accepts. Life hurts, but the Lord heals. Return to the Lord and be restored to His good graces—He gives without a need to receive.
The prophet Zechariah encouraged former followers of the Lord to once again listen to the voice of God, pay attention to what He says, turn from their evil practices and return to Him. Sinners who know better (they once tasted sweet nectar from the flower of God’s grace) are exhorted to reverse course and return to Christ. Remove the world’s ear wax of shame with the soft Q-tip of your Savior’s love, so once again hear your Good Shepherd’s voice, “I know you, you are mine”. “Return to the Lord” is a directive to action, beyond mere thoughts or sentimental feelings.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father” (Luke 15:17-20).
Have you wandered to the fringes of faith, outside the community of Christ followers who once gave you strength for life’s journey, only to wake up one day, lonely for the Lord and His people? Just because you strayed is no reason to stay in your exposed condition experiencing another’s evil intent.A season of sin is enough to make the soul sick and cause your heart to cry out to heaven for help. Remember the loving words of your parents, “You will always be my child, loved and accepted, no matter what”, such is the compassion of Christ for you. Return to your first love!
What is required of us to return to the Lord? Admission of our need for God and others is a necessary first step. Without acknowledgement of a need and commitment to change, we are only wishing for a clear conscience—lacking a clear commitment to do our best. We submit our will to our Savior’s will so we are aligned with God’s will for our life. Like the prodigal son, we return to our heavenly Father, who with arms open wide, welcomes us back! Not one who returns to the Lord regrets forgiveness and direction—a life on course is truly life.
“Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death” (Proverbs 11:19).
Heavenly Father, I return to You for forgiveness and to be in right favor with You. Use me for Your glory in Jesus’ name, amen.
What bad habit do I need to turn from and turn to Jesus?
Not one who returns to the Lord regrets forgiveness and direction—a life on course is truly life. #WisdomHunters #returntotheLord
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