Read: Luke 15:11-32
Have you backslidden in your faith? Maybe you are angry at God because He did not answer your prayers and you felt rejected and thus proclaim that there is no God. Maybe the busyness in your life has kept you from seeking God. You are not alone. God wants His people to turn back to Him. The Israelites had backslidden in their faith towards Yahweh God after several years. They forgot what God had done for them and worshipped idols that God abhorred. God punished the Israelites by sending them to captivity for 70 years. The Israelites were exiled from their land as a result. God promised them, “But if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name” (Neh. 1:9). Hosea 14:1 says, “O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.”
The prodigal son sold his inheritance and squandered his money. He realised his mistake when there was a famine and he had no food. He came to his senses and returned to his home to his father. He confessed his sins to his earthly father (Luke 15:20-21). When he returned, there was joy and happiness. If an earthly father can rejoice over his son who returned, imagine how much our God would be overjoyed to see His people mend their ways and return to Him.
God cares deeply about His people. He does not want anyone to perish, but have eternal life through His Son Jesus (John 3:16). Like a shepherd who lost one sheep out of hundred and went to seek for it, God also would go out to seek for you. You are precious in His sight. When you return, there will be great happiness. Jesus Himself said, “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).
The end is fast approaching. “So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm” (Joel 2:13). God always gives us a second chance. The apostle Paul said, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).