December 9: “The Blessing of Repentance”

5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

TODAY’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 (CSB): “Even now — this is the LORD’s declaration — turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending 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.

But if we stop and reflect on what was taking place, we wouldn’t expect those prophets to say anything different. 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 must 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.

Joel 2:12-13 (CSB): “Even now — this is the LORD’s declaration — turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.”

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

But, when they returned to the Lord, they would find that He was (and is!) “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending 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.

road-trip-with-raj-_cbKur5I60A-unsplash
Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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