“Come to me! Come back to me!” Can you hear Him calling to you? Listen to the sound of the shofar! It is the season of Teshuvah on the Hebrew calendar. The 40 days of repentence leading up to Yom Kippor, the Day of Atonement. God is sounding the trumpet! It is time to come!!
The word “teshuvah” is often translated “repentance,” but more truly means, “returning.” During the 40 days of teshuvah, prayers of repentance are said every day; the shofar is blown, (or listened to) except on shabbat; and Psalm 27 is read each day. Here it is! one of my favorite Psalms! I’ll be reading it everyday for the next 40 days. Why don’t you join me and let’s see what God will do in our lives!
You can see the heart of God that is in Teshuvah illustrated in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, as the father welcomes the son back with open arms and celebration. God knows us so well! He knows we have wandering hearts, even though it grieves Him. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning!
Remember how Israel sinned by making a golden calf and worshipping it while Moses was away on Mt. Sinai? You would have thought that God would have dusted off His hands and said, “Away with you, one and all!” What did He do? He called Moses back to the mountain. (Moses being the representative of the people.) “Come back to me, and I will show you Who I Am.” When Moses went back to God, (probably quaking in his boots because of the evil the people had committed.) God declared that He is this: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, and forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin…..” The Father’s heart for those who return to Him! There is more to that verse about God’s justice for the unrepentant. (Ex. 34:6) But He was so forgiving to Israel in giving them a second chance.
I have mentioned before that I had a season in which I felt far from God in recent years. Have you heard the saying, “If you are feeling far from God…it wasn’t God that moved?” In His beautiful mercy and love, He has taken me back into His close fellowship. A wondrous thing! And there is room here for you! Friends, we walk in a fallen world, amid trials, toils, attacks of the enemy, and in our own natural desires and leanings. We are sheep who get off the path from time to time, but we have a Shepherd who comes looking for us, to bring us back to Himself.
NOW. IS. THE. TIME!! If you have been away from Him for a day, a week, a year, 10 years, 40 or more!! Come back! He is waiting to receive you. If you have never known the love of Jesus. He is waiting for you to open the door and let Him come in. He loves you with a passion! So much that He stretched out His arms for you, on the cross. And He will stretch out His arms for you again, to enfold you in His love.
Let’s pray: Shepherd of Love, how we are prone to wander away! Help us to hear your voice calling us back to you! Help us to turn; turn around from going our own way, and fly into your arms of love! Teach us Your way, and lead us. In Jesus’ name,
Quote for today: Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.