Merciful restoration

Please pardon me to use a popular Nigerian aphorism which says that a father may beat his child with the right hand but he draws him back in love to himself with the left hand. Jerusalem had been allowed by people to be plundered by her enemies as a result of her sins and those of her ancestors. The people of had forgotten that they had been made a chosen race for the purpose of showing forth God’s glory in the world. Instead, they had followed the sinful ways of the world which they were supposed to be light to. Their religion had become empty formalism. Despite God’s warnings through the prophets, they had remained adamant to their ways.

When we sin the first time, as Christians, we are full of remorse and we sometimes weep. But we continue to commit the same sin and even make habit of it. This is what happens when we ignore God’s warnings or admonition. The result is that we incur His wrath upon ourselves –sometimes with terrible consequences. God deals with His chosen people with a more stricter measure than He would peoples outside.
But we thank God that the steadfast love of our God does not cease towards those who forsake their transgressions and turn to Him in genuine change of heart.  The Jerusalem which had become a “by-word” and an embarrassment, will in the end find the Lord returning to live in her and transforming her fortune. This dawn of a new era will happen when the people of God return to him in repentance. He, like the father of the prodigal son, is there with outstretched arms waiting to “welcome home” all those who truly turn to Him. He gives them the peace that is guaranteed by the power of His Grace.
Are you bowed down by the burden and the consequences of your sin? Have you lost hope, thinking that you are “done-for” and that God has forsaken you? Hear the Lord’s word of comfort: “come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This peace process must start within you as an individual.
–    By Jokpeme Joseph Omode

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