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Joel 2:13. Is it Time for You to Return to God?

Joel 2 13

Have you ever thought that you have sinned so much that God would not ever want anything to do with you? Maybe it isn’t how many sins but that you have one big bad sin that you have lived with for a while. Maybe you had a time in your life as a child where you asked Christ into your life but now that your older you are not living a Christ-filled life. Maybe you have turned away from God out of anger. Maybe you’re not a “big sinner” but more like you have a problem with lots of little sins or even just a sin here and there that catches you at your weakest moment. Whatever is keeping you from turning back to God, there is no reason to stay away. Joel  2:13 says, “Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate slow to anger and abounding in love.” The Bible is full of people who messed up with some pretty big sins, yet when they asked God to forgive them, He did and He was able to do amazing things through their lives. Take a look at these well-known Bible people:

  • Noah got drunk
  • Jacob was a liar
  • Moses was a murderer
  • Rahab was a prostitute (yet through her descendants, Christ was born!)
  • David was a murderer and adulterer
  • Jonah ran away from God
  • Peter denied Christ
  • The Disciples fell asleep while praying
  • Martha was a worrier
  • The Samaritan Woman was divorced….more than once and when she met Christ she was living with a man she wasn’t married to
  • Paul persecuted and killed Christians before his Damascus Road experience

My friend, there is absolutely nothing keeping you from experiencing God’s forgiveness and mercy except for your own hard heart and stubbornness. That little voice telling you your sin is too big is nothing but a lie from Satan. The voice telling you you’ve sinned too much; yup, that belongs to Satan too. That voice saying you’re not good enough? Yup, that one too. Here is what God says:

  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him, might be saved.” John 3:16
  • “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your hear that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For I is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
  • “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:15
  • “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

While there are many other verses that tell of God’s grace, love and forgiveness, one of my favorite examples in the Bible is when a woman in the New Testament was caught in the very act of adultery. Under the Jewish law, the woman was to be stoned to death. The Pharisees, however, saw it as a prime time to try to trick Jesus and trip him up in his theology so they bring the woman to Jesus and ask him what they should do with her. Jesus doesn’t say a word. He just leans over and begins writing in the sand. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Jesus wrote. Maybe he wrote a list of sins, we don’t really know. All we do know is that whatever he wrote, one by one the woman’s accusers turn and left until none of them are left standing there. Jesus than asks the woman, “Where are your accusers?” When she looked around and saw they were all gone she tells Jesus there are none. Jesus’ response was, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

Dear reader, whatever your sin…big or small…a one time sin or your so caught up in it you can’t seem to stop… if you will come to Him with a repentant heart and ask him to forgive you, Jesus stands ready to take you by the hand and say, “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.” The lyrics from “O Come To The Altar” by Elevation Worship says it well. Read the lyrics here or click on the link in the song title and hear it on youtube.

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling

Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with The precious blood of Jesus Christ

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