WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 27, 2020
TOPIC: RETURN TO THE LORD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version).
The message to return to the LORD is a call to repentance. People are in different positions in their relationship with God. Some people have a Father-son relationship with Him, enjoying fellowship with Him. Some have a Father-son relationship but not in fellowship with Him.
There are also those who don’t care about God. They live their lives the way they want. Some of them even say there is no God. The Bible talks about those who don’t believe there is God. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (New King James Version). Psalm 53:1 says a similar thing.
How does God feel towards those who don’t care about Him or know Him? He loves them and gives them time to repent and acknowledge Him as God. 2 Peter 3:9b says God is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Because God desires the repentance of everyone, not destruction, He doesn’t discriminate against them in many things. They enjoy the love of God and His mercy. Psalm 11:6 says, “Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup” (New King James Version). But for now, God is showing them mercy. He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45).
Nevertheless, a time will come when the mercy of God that endures forever will expire for the unrepentant sinner. The period of grace will be over and the wrath of God will be revealed. Before then, God is calling everyone who has no relationship or fellowship with Him to return. The sinner who has not accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour came from God, for God created man in His own image.
The sinner should return to the LORD for genuine salvation. No sinner should be deceived that he doesn’t need God because of his wealth, achievements, or position. For all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
The wrath of God will be visited on any sinner who dies without surrendering his life to Jesus. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 New King James Version). Only those who have been justified by the blood of Jesus shall be saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). This goes beyond church membership or going to church; it’s about genuine salvation by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
If you’re living your life without being saved through faith in Jesus Christ, and have no fellowship with God, return to Him today. You could be a sinning Christian or a backslider. You could even be an atheist. God loves you and has a great plan for your life. Return to Him.
In Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Cyrus, an earthen king, king of Persia, before he was ever born, God said, “For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things’” (Isaiah 45:4-7 New King James Version). God created Cyrus for a purpose. He had an assignment for Him before he was born. This is true of you, too.
You may not know God; you may even be running away from Him, return to Him today. He is your Maker. Don’t consider how far you have gone; return to Him today. It’s foolish to continue on a journey when you know the destination is not good. Return to God. Psalm 73:27a says those who are far from God shall perish.
All these years, you’ve been running away from God. It’s time to return to Him. You are not getting younger. God said about Israel, “Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it. Israel is like an old man with graying hair, unaware of how weak and old he has become. His arrogance testifies against him, yet he doesn’t return to the LORD his God or even try to find him” (Hosea 7:9-10 New Living Translation).
Don’t let the grievousness of your sins keep you away from the LORD. Return to Him. No matter how serious your sins are as a non-believer or atheist, or the sin you’ve committed as a backslider. God will forgive all if you return to Him in genuine repentance. “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18 New King James Version).
Return to the LORD. He will heal you; He will restore you. The prodigal son returned and was received back by his father; he was restored (Luke 16:19-31). “Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1-2 New King James Version).
During the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah, the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders calling the children of Israel to return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (2 Chronicles 30:6a).
Verse 9 says, “For if you return to the LORD, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him” (New King James Version). Similarly, this message is a letter to those who have abandoned God or have gone far away from Him to return to Him.
God is more concerned about genuine repentance than the seriousness of your sins. He will forgive any sin once there is genuine repentance. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18). David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart — these, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:17 New King James Version).
The prophet Joel says, “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you” (Joel 2:13 New Living Translation).
Probably you’re suffering at present because of your sins, repent and return to the LORD. He will have mercy, forgive you and heal you. God is easily entreated. Hear what He says concerning Egypt: “And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them” (Isaiah 19:22 New King James Version).
God’s anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life (Psalm 30:5a). If you return to the LORD with all your hearts and serve Him, He will deliver you (1 Samuel 7:3-4). If you return to the LORD and obey His Word, He will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you (Deuteronomy 30:3).
Return to the LORD. Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. Ask God to forgive you all your sins and graciously receive you (Hosea 14:2). Don’t procrastinate further. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version). If you return to the LORD, He will return to you (Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7). Return to the LORD.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit 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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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, have mercy on me, forgive me all my sins and graciously receive me. Deliver me from the captivity that my sins have put me. Holy Spirit, convict every sinner of their sins and bring them to repentance. O LORD, let the spirit of genuine repentance come upon every backslider and sinning Christian and return to You.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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