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Jeremiah 16:14-15
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.”

Jeremiah’s message was a warning of coming judgment and a call to return to the Lord. He predicted the Babylonians would soon overthrow Israel and take the people captive. He promised that those who turned to the Lord would experience the mercy of God, and one day the nation would be allowed to return to the land. It is here that a wonderful promise is made to the backslider. He declares, God will be known to them, not only as the one who redeemed them from Egypt, but also as the one who brought them back from Babylon. God is the God of salvation, and the God who brings the wayward home.

Throughout Scripture, we find God not only redeeming the lost, but also reaching out for those who have wandered, fallen, or returned to the life from which they were once redeemed. Jesus spoke of His desire to go after lost sheep, hunt for lost coins, and celebrate the return of a prodigal son.

Falling away from Christ is not the end. Jesus will welcome you back no matter how far you have fallen. He loves you and wants to be known, not only as the God who saved you, but as the one who restores the fallen.

Pastor Jim

 

More Or Less 

Job 11:6
“…Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves.”

Scattered throughout the book of Job are some of the most amazing truths about God and His treatment of man. Here, Zophar reveals something about the way God deals with sin in the life of the believer. We know, because of the great love God has for us, He will chasten us when we misbehave. The chastening is not only punitive, but is designed to bring us out of sin, before it destroys us. We see in the story of the Prodigal, God will allow everything we trust in to fall apart, in order to bring us to our senses, so we might return to Him. That being said, notice what Zophar declares,

“Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves.”

In His infinite mercy, God does not give us, His children, what we deserve. He holds back His wrath and only gives what will awaken us from our spiritual slumber, and bring us back to Himself. There is however, an inherent danger with mercy. That is, we begin to think His kindness means He approves of our bad behavior. If you are practicing something the Word of God forbids, do not allow yourself to think the patience of God implies His approval of your actions. Remember, His kindness is designed to bring you to repentance. The very fact He does not give what we deserve, is the reason we should let go of sinful behaviors and follow after the Lord.

Pastor Jim