Repent And Return

No matter who we are, from pope’s to peasants, we have the need of daily repentance for things done against a Holy God, knowingly or unknown to us. Some may be obvious and great sins, other lesser things we think God should place under the “curve” as teachers do to cut the class some slack. Todays Tecarta Bible devotional reading is about repentance. A. W. Tozer says in it’s close, “God will take nine steps toward us, but he will not take the tenth. He will incline us to repent, but he cannot do our repenting for us.”

Reading the devotional reminded me of the story of the prodigal son that Jesus taught about here in Luke, Luke 15:11-32

It also reminded me of one of the more severe cases of a sinful king in the land of Israel who repented only after he was taken captive and had lost it all. Amazingly to me, he was the longest reigning kings at 55 years. Think about what that says of Father God’s willingness and longsuffering (patience) for us to repent and return to Him. That king was Manasseh and the accounts of his life are written in these 2 Bible readings, 2 Chronicles 33 and 2 Kings 21

Have you ever thought what Mary was like before Jesus delivered her from those 7 demons?

The following is today’s Tecarta devotional reading, Repent and Return

The grapevines and the fig trees have all withered. The pomegranate trees, palm trees, and apple trees—yes, all the fruit trees— have dried up. All joy has dried up with them. Dress yourselves in sack-cloth, you priests! Wail, you who serve before the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God! There is no grain or wine to offer at the Temple of your God. Joel 1:12-13

The first chapter of Joel is a call to “give ear” and is addressed to leaders and elders of Judah. As the plague of locusts descends on the land surrounding Jerusalem, crops and grapevines are destroyed, every palm, pomegranate, and fruit tree is dried up, and the people are devastated. In the face of this plague, the only hope for the people of Judah is to turn to God in true repentance.

Our nation faces different enemies today, but they are no less fierce or destructive, so God calls us to turn to him while there is still time. Give me your hearts, the Lord says. Don’t just make an outward show of repentance or grief (tearing your clothes); I want a deep heart repentance, and I want you to return to me as the center of your life and your nation. Throughout the Scriptures God lays out the same pattern: if people will respond to his call, come in humility and repentance and pray, he will forgive their sins, and heal and restore their land, their lives, and their families. His promise to us is the same.

THANK YOU, GOD, for being gracious and merciful, not easily angered but filled with kindness and longing for your people. Grant not only me but our whole nation the gift of repentance, the gift of tears, so that we can return to you with all our hearts. Thank you not only for hearing my cries for help but also for bringing healing and restoration to my life today.

God will take nine steps toward us, but he will not take the tenth. He will incline us to repent, but he cannot do our repenting for us.
A. W. Tozer (1897–1963)

The One Year Bible Readings for today are Joel 1:1–3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Psalm 128:1-6 and Proverbs 29:18.

This is an excerpt from:

Praying through the Bible
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