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Return from Backsliding to God Jehovah

Many of us at one time or another have been in the state of backsliding from the LORD. I regret to say that I have been in that condition myself, and I cry out to my God in Heaven that I never find myself in that state again as long as I shall live. As I continue to grow to know my Lord more each day, I find a loving, forgiving peace that one will NEVER find in the pleasures of this world. I am ever encouraged by God’s wonderful love and compassion as He has welcomed me back into His arms where I wish to abide for all eternity.

I am strongly convinced that our country is in the dire shape it is in, Spiritually, because so very many of His children have gone from Him and into the evil world around us. Perhaps things have become too “nice and easy” for us over the past few decades, so much that many do not see the need to be in close contact with our God. I believe Yahweh speaks to us today the same as He did through His profits of old. Jeremiah, the crying profit’s words from God to His children are as relevant to us now as they were to Israel and Judah back in His day. God watches and mourns daily as His children refuse to return to Him, just as a praying mother constantly lifts up her back-slidden children to be brought to restoration with Him. As D. L. Moody says, “God pleads over backsliders as a parent over loved ones who have gone astray; and He tries to woo them back. He asks, “What have I don that they should have forsaken Me?”

Jeremiah 2:19 “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.”

Jeremiah 3 (Notes form Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

(In repentance, it is good to think upon the sins of which we have been guilty, and the places and companies where they have been committed. How gently the Lord had corrected them! In receiving penitents, he is God, and not man. Whatever thou hast said or done hitherto, wilt thou not from this time apply to me? Will not this grace of God overcome thee? Now pardon is proclaimed, wilt thou not take the benefit? They will hope to find in him the tender compassions of a Father towards a returning prodigal. They will come to him as the Guide of their youth: youth needs a guide. Repenting sinners may encourage themselves that God will not keep his anger to the end. All God’s mercies, in every age, suggest encouragement; and what can be so desirable for the young, as to have the Lord for their Father, and the Guide of their youth? Let parents daily direct their children earnestly to seek this blessing.)

6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.

11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

(If we mark the crimes of those who break off from a religious profession, and the consequences, we see abundant reason to shun evil ways. It is dreadful to be proved more criminal than those who have actually perished in their sins; yet it will be small comfort in everlasting punishment, for them to know that others were viler than they.)

12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

(See God’s readiness to pardon sin, and the blessings reserved for gospel times. These words were proclaimed toward the north; to Israel, the ten tribes, captive in Assyria. They are directed how to return. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just to forgive them. These promises are fully to come to pass in the bringing back the Jews in after-ages. God will graciously receive those that return to him; and by his grace, he takes them out from among the rest. The ark of the covenant was not found after the captivity. The whole of that dispensation was to be done away, which took place after the multitude of believers had been greatly increased by the conversion of the Gentiles, and of the Israelites scattered among them. A happy state of the church is foretold. He can teach all to call him Father; but without thorough change of heart and life, no man can be a child of God, and we have no security for not departing from Him.)

21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

(Sin is turning aside to crooked ways. And forgetting the Lord our God is at the bottom of all sin. By sin we bring ourselves into trouble. The promise to those that return is, God will heal their backslidings, by his pardoning mercy, his quieting peace, and his renewing grace. They come devoting themselves to God. They come disclaiming all expectations of relief and succour from any but the Lord. Therefore they come depending upon him only. He is the Lord, and he only can save. It points out the great salvation from sin Jesus Christ wrought out for us. They come justifying God in their troubles, and judging themselves for their sins. True penitents learn to call sin shame, even the sin they have been most pleased with. True penitents learn to call sin death and ruin, and to charge upon it all they suffer. While men harden themselves in sin, contempt and misery are their portion: for he that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh them, shall find mercy.)

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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Contentment – the Ultimate Acceptance

Contentment is the ultimate acceptance of ourselves, our surroundings, our past, and our future. For a believer, finding contentment should take no effort whatsoever, right? I mean, Jesus has paid the price for our sin and He has given us a secure future of eternity in His presence, free of all pain and sorrow. His Word assures us of this:

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

The suffering we experience now should be viewed in light of an eternity to be spent with the Saviour – Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” God provided a way for us to be rescued from an eternity in hell–He is sufficient to meet our needs in this world that He created – Philippians 4:13, 19 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

As we travel through this journey of life, we find that this blessed state of contentment is not as easy as just saying God’s Word says such and such, so that should give us the contentment we need. Feeling satisfied when we have very real unmet needs, not letting ourselves worry when we have overwhelming concerns, having patience in letting God work when pressures abound (Be still and know that I am God)–these seem like impossible dreams. Happiness–despite heartaches caused by the past, in the midst of tragedies experienced in the present, based on promises trusted for the future–is not merely a human pursuit, but demands spiritual resources only found in the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is not possible for us to overcome life’s bumps and valleys all on our own. God does not expect us to. That is why He sent His Holy Spirit as our Helper, and He gave us His Word to meditate on daily.

God chose not to just give us contentment as a gift, for His purpose. He chose rather to teach us to be content as we allow Him to be the ruler in our lives. Contentment is something that we must learn – Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” As we trust God’s gifts to be sufficient and His assignments to be appropriate, we can accept the way we look, the means we have been given for provision, the family in which we are living, the struggles through which we have gone, the jobs we now have, being content and fulfilled in all – 2 Corinthians 3:5, 6 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” and 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God, through His Holy Spirit, taught Paul to be strong yet content in whatever infirmity he would experience, and we know that Paul suffered more infirmities for the cause of Christ than anyone. When we truly realize that God is in control of all things, it makes it easier to praise Him through our trials. He has reminded me many times as I strive to know Him more that if He has allowed “this” then He will see me through it. It is all for His glory, and rightfully so.

On the other hand, acceptance does not mean that we lie down and do nothing and just stagnate. Dissatisfaction with areas in our lives that can be changed, within Divine guidelines, may help us to see that something is missing, or something has gone awry. When this happens, we dare not adopt the “Canaan syndrome” of complaining. Remember that God’s people were not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their murmuring – Joshua 5:6 “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.” Instead of grumbling and complaining, “why me?” We are much better off if we take that dissatisfaction to the Lord and ask Him what He would challenge us to do. At the same time, we must be willing to be “content” as we work toward ultimate goals. This is the balance between “I have learned…to be content,” and “I can do all things through Christ.” (Philippians 4:11, 13)

We must trust that God has given us everything we need for each moment in time. We can be content with ourselves, our families, our surroundings, our jobs, or our pasts. As we allow ourselves to depend on the Lord, we are content while we pursue His goals for our lives.

Proverbs 16

1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Godly Women

 

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