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“ ‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning’.” Joel 2:12 NIV
During a time of prosperity, the people of Israel let down their guard and descended into a period of moral depravity and pagan worship. God Almighty caused a plague of locusts, fire and drought to come on the land as a warning that judgment was on its way. Then God sent the prophet Joel to tell the people to turn back to Him. He told them it wasn’t too late. Repetition provides emphasis. Twice in this passage, God says to return to Him. Twice the prophet appeals to “your heart,” which is the seat of the mind, emotions and will. The solution to sin and moral decay is to repent and return. When we repent, we acknowledge our sin, consider the weight of our sin, turn away from sin, and turn toward the Lord. This requires a true change of belief and attitude. The grief, weeping and mourning described in Scripture reflect that change. One way to express this sorrow is by fasting which helps us to focus on our Lord, asking Him to search our hearts. Through confession, repentance and renouncing our sin, and receiving our Lord’s forgiveness, the Holy Spirit will bring change. History tells us that the Northern Kingdom of Israel did not repent and was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was devastated by the invading army, but King Hezekiah turned to the Lord, and Jerusalem was saved. God’s call to repentance still stands. Which choice will you make?
Lord Jesus, thank You that Your call to repentance still stands.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, as You search our hearts and we confess, repent and renounce our sin, and accept Your forgiveness, You bring change in our lives through Your Holy Spirit. AMEN
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
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