WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 2, 2022
TOPIC: COME BACK TO GOD!
BY T. O. BANSO
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Corinthians 5:20 New Living Translation).
In the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin that Jesus told, there was rejoicing when the sheep and the coin were found (Luke 15:3-9). According to Jesus, just as there was rejoicing over the lost sheep found, there will also be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent or have not strayed away (Luke 15:7). Also, Jesus said as there was rejoicing over the lost coin that was found, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10 New King James Version).
Jesus said He had not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Luke 5:32; Matthew 9:13b). The Apostle Paul said, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 New King James Version). If you have strayed away from God, come back to Him today.
There was rejoicing when the prodigal son returned home after he had come back to his senses. The father received him back and threw a lavish welcome party for him (Luke 15:22-24). You may have given your life to Jesus before but you backslid. Or probably you have never given your life to Jesus at any time. Make peace with God today by giving your life to Jesus. Come back to God. You came from Him. He is your Maker.
Amos 5:4-5 says, “Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel: ‘Come back to me and live! Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile, and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” (New Living Translation). Take note of the phrase “Come back to me and live!” Sinners should come back to God. It’s only in Him that they can find life. The New King James Version renders the phrase “Come back to me and live!” as “Seek Me and live.”
Verse 6 of Amos 5 says, “Come back to the Lord and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won’t be able to quench the flames” (New Living Translation). Again, in place of the phrase “Come back to the LORD and live!” the New King James Version uses “Seek the Lord and live.”
The LORD told the Israelites, through His servant, Moses, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name” (Nehemiah 1:8-9 New King James Version).
Come back to God; don’t be like the backsliding nation of Israel that refused to heed God’s invitation to return to Him. “The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: ‘Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it” (Jeremiah 3:6-7 New King James Version).
Despite all the punishments that the LORD brought upon Israel, she refused to return to God (Amos 4:6-11). The LORD said, “I destroyed your work with diseases, mildew, and hail, but you still did not come back to me,’ says the Lord” (Haggai 2:17 New Century Version). But when they obeyed God, He blessed them (verse 19). Don’t be stubborn. Come back to God. Or turn/return to Him, as some Bible translations put it.
Return to the LORD, and He will return to you (Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7). It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone away from Him, and how deep you have sunk into sin, don’t be afraid to repent and come back to Him. Even if you used to serve God before you strayed away, come back to Him. Come back into His loving and warm embrace. He is waiting for you. He says if you return to Him, He will restore you so you can continue to serve Him (Jeremiah 15:19a).
The LORD is your stronghold; He is your place of safety, your fortress. Come back to God. “Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles” (Zechariah 9:12 New Living Translation).
You may not be a prodigal son or someone who has turned his back on God. You may be like the brother of the prodigal son or you may be a relation of someone who has rebelled against God. What are you doing about them? Don’t you desire that they come back to God, their Creator?
One of the servants of the father of the prodigal son told his older brother “Your brother is back” (Luke 15:27a New Living Translation). But his attitude was wrong. Your sinner-brother should come back to God so that there will be rejoicing in heaven; so that your Father’s heart can be glad. You may have been preaching to him, but he has not surrendered his life to Christ. It may not be your message that will draw him to Christ.
Show him love and keep doing another thing Jesus said you should do: “Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2 New King James Version). Pray that God will send to him someone who will preach to him and he will give his life to Jesus.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Sin and hell are married unless repentance proclaims the divorce.” Repent and come back to God! Paul said, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” (2 Corinthians 5:20 New Living Translation). Some Bible translations use the phrase “be reconciled to God” (New King James Version; World English Bible; New International Version; etc). Other translations such as the New Century Version and Bible in Basic English use the phrase “be at peace with God.” The Good News Translation puts the second part of 2 Corinthians 5:20 this way: “We plead on Christ’s behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends!”
Come back to God. Be reconciled to Him. Don’t continue to be an enemy of God. Be at peace with Him. Make peace with God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray that every sinner will come back to You. Every backslider will come back to You. Those who have made themselves Your enemies will make peace with You; they shall be reconciled to You in Jesus’ name. Every child of God will also have the right attitude towards sinners and backsliders and seek their comeback to God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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