Verse of the Day 9-3-21

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.-Joel 2:12-13

The message of every prophet that God sent to the people of Israel and the gospel message is summed up in theses two verses in the book of Joel. And what is that message? God wants you to return to him, and wants to restore the relationship with him that sin has broken. But this restoration can only happen if you come to him with the right attitude. And what is the right attitude? In order for the restoration to happen that God is talking about here you must come to God with all heart and you must humble yourself before God. But what does it look like to humble oneself before God? Humbling yourself before God means: recognizing your failures and your inabilities, showing true sorrow for your sin, and renewing your commitment to follow God’s desires, plans and purposes for your life. It also means recognizing your spiritual poverty and desperate need for God’s mercy. That is why God says that you must return to him “with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, and that is why Joel follows it up by saying “rend your hearts and not your garments”. Because to truly return to God starts with true and genuine sorrow for the sins that you have committed. With leads to God showing you his grace, compassion and love. And it ultimately ends with a healing coming on you. Remember God isn’t impressed by your showy signs of fake remorse and sorrow, instead he is impressed by the signs of true and genuine sorrow which are shown through changes in your attitudes and in your behaviors. (For more information on this topic please see the post entitled If God’s People, Who Are Called By His Name, Will Humble Themselves.)

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