12/20/21 Return to Me

READING: Joel 1-3, Revelation 6-7

Judgment was coming to the people of God. The prophet Joel warned them strongly of such in dramatic images of a locust infestation, a drought, and an invading great army. Difficulty was on its way – but God still granted the people hope if they would simply repent and return to Him: “’Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning’” (Joel 2:12). The Lord would be willing to hear them because He is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Joel 2:13). The people were not worthy, but God was still gracious. 

This same God is still gracious to us. Even when we wander, He stands ready to receive us again if we return to Him. As an expression of our grief and repentance, we are to tear not our garments (in the ancient world, a visible expression of grief), but instead our hearts; internally, we are to be broken over our disobedience before our Creator. Our right response then is to rejoice in the Lord, knowing He has done great things among us. 

Perhaps you need to end this year with a renewed commitment to the Lord. If so, know that He is ready to receive you today. 

PRAYER: “Lord, Your grace is beyond me. Thank You.”     

DAILY ACTION STEP: Even if your life in the Lord seems strong now, recommit yourself to Him for another year. Turn to Him with all your heart.          

TOMORROW’S READING: Amos 1-5, Revelation 8-9

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