Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Turn back

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Lamentations 4-5; Psalm 30

TO CHEW ON: "Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old." Lamentations 5:21

The bleak book of Lamentations ends on a bright note—the possibility of returning to God.

Stories of repentance (turning back to God) run through the Bible.
  • David repented after committing adultery and murder (Psalm 51:1-19).
  • Josiah repented when the priests found and read the books of the law (2 Kings 22:11,19).
  • The pagan Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:6-9).
  • Even evil King Ahab repented after hearing about God's coming judgment from Elijah (1 Kings 21:27).

I love the story of the Prodigal Son and the wording Luke uses to describe his return: "But when he came to himself he said...I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned...'" (Luke 15:17-18).

I'm sure you can remember your own coming to yourself, that moment when you 'repented' (turned, changed direction) from unbelief to faith, self-direction to God-direction. I know I can. I tell my story here (end of "My Rambling Story").

Of course following that one moment of big repentance when life takes a whole different direction, there are hundreds of smaller repentances. Each time we find ourselves again taking control of our lives and letting our old carnal self have the upper hand we can repent, turn back and be restored and renewed.

Jack Hayford says about repentance:

"The implications of biblical repentance are threefold:
1. Renunciation and reversal.
2. Submission and teachability.
3. Continued shapeability.

There is no birth into the kingdom without hearing the call to salvation, renouncing one's sin and turning from sin toward Christ the Saviour (Acts 3:19)" - Jack Hayford, "Repentance," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1293.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for drawing me back go Yourself. I pray for the prodigals in my life, that You will bring them home in the same way. Amen.

MORE: Praise is Rising by Brenton Brown and Paul Baloche
"Hear the sound of hearts returning to You
We turn to You
In Your kingdom broken lives are renewed;
You make us new..."

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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