August 28, 2020

REPENTANCE - Bro. T. Stephen

I greet and bless everyone in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  The blessed word that God has given for you today is from the book of  Joel 2:12, “Now therefore says, the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart,  with fasting,  with weeping, and with mourning.”

Joel is the prophet, who compares the return of the Lord,  with the invasions, of locust which devoured every crop and all vegetation. Both grain and fruit harvests failed, due to the devastating onslaught of this locust infestation. The total   destruction of Israel’s wheat and barley crops, along with the failure of the entire fruit harvest, caused farmers and priests alike to mourn and lament bitterly . Not only were the priests instructed to mourn and call for a sacred assembly, but the entire nation was commanded to fast, and to cry out to the Lord their God, in sincere repentance of heart.  The people of Israel had failed to listen to the prophetic warnings of earlier prophets. Therefore Joel appeals to the people for repentance.  

What the chewing locusts left, was eaten by the swarming locusts. And what they did not devour, was taken by the crawling locusts.  In the same way,   the day of the Lord, will be one of greatest destructions, to befall the rebellious nation of Israel. It will be a time,  such as the world has never seen,   like the  quarantine   period, or the  pandemic,   caused by COVID-19.  We now see people offering prayers    with    much reverence all over the world and many repenting of their sins  and  turning from their wicked ways and returning to God.  The entire passage compares the advance, and destruction, of this terrible locust invasion, to   a vast army of marching men-of-war,   who plunder, everything in their path, like a well organised, band of thieves.

Joel’s entire prophecy, was given to the nation of Israel.  And   many men of Israel repented of their sins and turned unto God. The continued grace and mercy of God, can be seen in His divine appeal, to the people of Judah also, to repent of their sins and return to the Lord.   The LORD, now says, ‘return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning.”

The precious truth of this passage, is that it is never too late for sinners or backsliders to turn away from their sins and   to return to the Lord with all your heart and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, for forgiveness and salvation. It is a beautiful demonstration, that  the  goodness, grace and mercy of our God, remains open to all, who will simply trust in His word, remember His goodness, genuinely return to Him with heart and soul – and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. It shows that fasting, with weeping and morning is often associated with true repentance of heart . It needs an inward change of heart.

Prayer: Our loving heavenly Father, we thank You for this blessed day. Lord we thank You for the book of Joel, which bears witness of Your goodness and grace, to all, who will trust in Your word. Teach us  the lessons that You would have us  learn from Israel’s history, and keep us  from making the same mistakes. We pray that You would help us to make   our  outward life a demonstration of a changed , inner life, which helps us to trust you with implicit obedience  in thought, word, deed and motive.

In Jesus name we pray.


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