One Year BibleTODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Joel 1:1–3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Joel 2:12-13 (ESV) “‘Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

The Old Testament ends with the prophetical books – seventeen to be exact. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked because they are generally perceived to be ‘negative.’ It seems that God, through the prophets, was continually telling His people that they were in sin and needed to stop or He would punish them.

Well, the fact is that God’s people were continually in sin, they needed to stop, or the consequences would be serious enough to make them wish they had stopped.

As much as that may sound ‘negative’ to us, we need to hear that message as well. Whether or not we realize it or are willing to admit it, we have our own sins that we tolerate, too. And if we are to become more like Jesus, those sins have to go.

Yet, there is an overwhelmingly positive aspect to God’s message in the Old Testament prophets. Just once instance is found in our Verse for Today.

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (Joel 2:12-13)

In these two verses, God holds out a very promising future if the people will return to Him. But, their return needs to be more than formality. It needs to be what they are feeling inside rather than simply an empty external show.

But, when they are return to the Lord, they will find that He is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”

Friend, that is the same God that we serve. He still calls out for us to get rid of the sin in our life, no matter how small we think it is. But, when we repent with our heart (it’s what we are feeling inside), then we will find Him more than ready to wipe the slate clean and welcome us back into fellowship with Him.