Until Next Time ...
SOMETHING TO PONDER
Turn Back and Choose Love
They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles you had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them. Nehemiah 9:17
I have a friend who claims to be a non-believer, but I don’t believe him. I can see a hint of his belief. One hint is that he’s asked me to pray on several occasions. So why does he claim not to believe?
One thought I have is- he thinks God doesn’t love him- leading to thinking, how could God forgive him and want to be in a relationship with him. Therefore, if God doesn’t want him, why should he want God? And what has God done for him?
Actually, I’ve tried to let him know that God doesn’t hold grudges and is waiting with open arms and I help him look back to see God has been there in many ways for him. Unfortunately, for him and for many it’s easier to ignore God, then to admit our missteps or work on building a relationship.
How many have heard or SAID= “If I went to reach for a Bible, it would jump away from my hands,” or “If I step into a church, the roof will cave in around us.” My heart sinks when I hear this and I often say-“The Bible tells us we can always seek God’s forgiveness because God loves us.” I also share that I’m living proof!
Of course, there are many examples within the Bible of this fact. One that I’m drawn to often is the passage above, but the book of Nehemiah is filled with God’s love and mercy.
The Israelites had been exiled because they had turned away from God-not caring if or how they sinned, but after seeing the light of God’s love- they chose love- turned back to God and were now allowed to return to Jerusalem. When they got back, the people were called to gather-they ate and played, but then Ezra the scribe got up and read the law to them. They confessed their sins, but they also remembered that God never abandoned them. God “heard them” when they cried out; and in compassion and mercy, God helped them.
In a similar way, God loves us and is patient with us. God won’t abandon us. In fact, God longs for us to turn to him, confess our sins, and choose love so that our relationship with God can be renewed and strengthened.
Just as I share with many- no matter your past, Jesus loves you and wants you to be part of His family. When we choose to accept this real love, we will know that we can approach God seeking forgiveness and God will give it! And in giving it-God will walk with us, help us, and guide us so we can walk along the right paths.
Dear Father, Help me choose to know your love, to turn to you so I can feel your embrace. Father God, help me to say the right words to help someone I love find you. Thank you Lord, for loving us so much that you will never leave us. Amen
Do you know someone who feels they’re too sinful for Jesus to forgive them? How can we share Jesus’ message in Mark 2:17-that tells us that he didn’t come for the righteous, but sinners”?
If you would like to talk more, email Pastor Susan- firstname.lastname@example.org.