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Friday, October 12, 2018

God Can Restore Me After I Sin

In review of Jeremiah 15:19 it says, ”If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from Jeremiah 15:17-21. In it we are told how the Lord responds to Jeremiah and his complaint about not getting help: The Lord told him, “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! In other words, “Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you!

Jeremiah had accused God of not helping him when he really needed it. But what God helps Jeremiah realize is that Jeremiah had taken his eyes off God's purpose and was feeling sorry for himself. He was angry, hurt, and afraid. In response, God didn't get angry at Jeremiah; he answered by rearranging Jeremiah's priorities. As God's mouthpiece, he was to influence the people, not let them influence him.

There are three important lessons I can take away from this passage: (1) In prayer I can reveal my deepest thoughts to God; (2) God expects me to trust him, no matter what; (3) I'm here to influence others for God.

When I became a believer in Christ, I was born again into God’s family, and from that I cannot be unborn. Although my fellowship with God can be damaged by sin, the relationship is still there. I’m only one step away from returning.

So, what should I do when I sin? One word: Return! Come back to Christ. It’s that simple.

Isaiah 1:18 says, “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow” (TLB).

If ever there were a sin I’d ever thought was unforgivable, it would be like denying Jesus three times on the night he was betrayed. But Jesus knew Peter would deny him, and he even knew Peter would come back to him. In fact, before it even happened, Jesus said to Peter in the Upper Room, “I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers” (Luke 22:32 TLB).

Jesus knew that Peter’s ministry would be more effective after his denial than it was before. And, it was! Peter wrote two of the books of the Bible called 1 and 2 Peter. Then he shared his memoirs with a relative, and that became the gospel of Mark.

There may be times when I think God has forgotten me. These verses remind me that He hasn’t. The Good Shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one. He knows how I’ve fallen away. Whether it’s happened through one giant step or a series of petty steps that have left me not as close to Christ as I used to be, I need to pray what David prayed when he came back to God after committing adultery. He said, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 51:12 NLT). David did not have to pray, “God, restore to me my salvation,” because he hadn’t lost his salvation. He had lost the joy.

No matter what I can come home to Christ, daily if needed.

Bottom Line:
If we return to him, He will restore us so we can continue to serve him and influence others.

What this means to me:
Stop any of my foolishness and worthless talk, instead speak and proclaim a worthwhile message. If you turn back to him, he will restore me and use me to influence others and not be influenced by them.

In summary, stop my foolishness, return to trusting God and he will use me to be his representative to help influence others. God will never abandon me, I have to realize that I can easily feel sorry for myself, and when I do this, I’m actually taking my eyes off of Him and His purpose. If I return, God will help me rearrange my priorities. I can also be assured that, In prayer I can reveal my deepest thoughts. I need to trust him, not matter what. Know that I'm here to influence others for him and his purposes. God uses things in my life to help build my character, even when I fall away/return. God will always pursue me, like a good shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one. I can turn from my own selfish ways and return to Christ, daily if needed.