THURSDAY JANUARY 10, 2019
THEME: RETURN TO THE LORD
TEXT: JOEL 2:12-14
12. Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
Many of us behaved in ways that are very appalling to God. We do detestable things to fellow human beings and also disobey God. When we start facing the consequences of our actions we become miserable. When our conscience begins to condemn us or when the Spirit of God convicts us and we are haunted by guilt, some of us start hating our own lives. Instead of taking positive actions, some degenerate deeper into the wrong acts, while others take to drugs, alcoholism, commits suicide or become enemies to everyone around.
At the time of Joel’s prophecy, the people of Judah were facing the consequences of their misdeeds and rebellion through plague and drought. Joel sounded the warning about the impending day of the Lord and urged them to “return to me with all your heart with fasting and weeping and mourning” (Joel 2:12). Instead of the people to truly repent and turn to the Lord, they were angry with themselves by tearing their garments and running mad. It is cultural for people of that era to tear their garments or put ashes on their heads as a sign of repentance or protest against unpleasant situations. This is not it. Hold it! Do not harm yourself out of guilt or self-pity for falling below family standards, because you have an unwanted pregnancy and a child out of wedlock; because you were withdrawn from school for failure, because you were sexually abused or molested is not enough for you to hurt yourself.
This is not to sound as if to condone sin. But God’s love is immeasurable, boundless and inexplicable. The very sinful person who has been so condemned and degraded has God’s attention and Jesus Christ would tell you that He came for you (Matt. 9:12-13). Hence, return to the Lord. Come to Jesus Christ as you are. Something good will happen to you.
HYMN EMHB 342
1: COME, let us to the Lord our God
With contrite hearts return;
Our God is gracious, nor will leave
The desolate to mourn.
2: His voice commands the tempest forth,
And stills the stormy wave;
And though His arm be strong to smite,
’Tis also strong to save.
3: Long hath the night of sorrows reigned;
The dawn shall bring us light;
God shall appear, and we shall rise
With gladness in His sight.
4: Our hearts, if God we seek to know,
Shall know Him and rejoice;
His coming like the morn shall be,
Like morning songs His voice.
5: As dew upon the tender herb,
Diffusing fragrance round;
As showers that usher in the spring,
And cheer the thirsty ground.
6: So shall His presence bless our souls,
And shed a joyful light;
That hallowed morn shall chase away
The sorrows of the night.
Joel 2:12 “Even now declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning’”
PRAYER: Lord, have mercy on me for I have no one else to run to besides You. Amen.
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