“Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding.” Yes, we will come to you, for you are the LORD our God.
When we sin, God invites us to return to Him for the cure. The cure for our disobedience to God is God. He invites us to return, faithless one, and I, The Pure Bridegroom, I the Holy One, I, Who have not sinned, I the One Who has been offended, I will cure you of this sin and restore our relationship. So the One Who is sinned against, the Injured Party, invites us to return to Him in repentance and He will forgive us.(I John 1:9) Apply this to our everyday lives. If someone sins against us or harms our relationship, the way to heal that is through forgiveness. In our humanness we resist this, but Christ is our example. His love compels us to reach out to forgive and heal, even if we are the injured person.
“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord almighty.
This is the consequence of choosing sin over following God’s way. Think of a time when you did that very thing and remember the bitterness and misery you experienced. Godly Christian men and women cannot choose backsliding or sin without feeling pain- spiritual and physical- as they have forsaken the Lord their God – the One Who truly loves them. Rejoice! God has provided the way out of that misery and pain. Repent and ask forgiveness. His promises don’t fail. His love never ceases. I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you ,before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
This reminds me of Ephesians 2:10, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works , which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Whether Old Testament or New, the truth is this: God knew us before we were born, formed us in the womb, set us apart for Him, and planned the work we would do for Him. He encourages us: don’t be afraid to speak, be ready, and remember “I am with you”(vs 8).
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Years ago, God blessed me with this verse to be my “run to” verse when my mind begins to dwell on things that are less than godly. If it wanders off into places it shouldn’t go, I recall this verse, and the Lord brings my thoughts back to where they belong. It is a blessed thing to have the Word of God hid in our hearts, where we can access it at any time. It is like a spiritual “car wash” for the mind. Now, isn’t that a visual!
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
I think this is the key to the trials of life. There will be suffering while we are on this earth. How we deal with that suffering will change our lives – each time. There is a fellowship in Christ that we share in suffering, that doesn’t come to us any other time. There is an intimacy we will not forget, and it will change us. Plan on choosing the fellowship next time the suffering comes. Look for ways God is lifting you, encouraging you, strengthening you, helping you, never letting go of you. The deep things of Christ we learn during these times will remain with us as we continue to live and walk in Him.