Nehemiah 13; Joel 1&2
No matter how many times his people go astray, God still pleads with them to return to him. Making wine on the Sabbath, doing their shopping on that holy day, marrying foreign wives were some of the blatant sins Israel was once again committing so soon after Jerusalem was restored.
But it wasn’t just about those things that God was saddened by. His heart broke because of their hearts’ condition.
Joel 2:12-14 spoke to me today. God calls us to return to him with all our hearts. Don’t just go through the motions by tearing your clothes. Rend your hearts, he says.
The sins Israel committed came from unrepentant hearts. God is asking me today about my own heart’s condition. What part does he play in my innermost being? He wants it all. And if I truly have given him all of me, my life would reflect that in my speech, in my actions, in my business dealings, in my home.
Sin is an outward expression of the heart. That’s why we are told to guard our hearts. That’s why Jesus wants to dwell there so that we would have victory over sin. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He wants to bless us but he cannot bless sin.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your grace and compassion. Thank you for your great love. Thank you for second and third and fourth chances. God, may we rend our hearts, allow you to take up residence in our innermost beings. And may the things we do and say today reflect your Presence in our lives. Give us victory over temptation and sin as we give you our hearts.