Return to the Father
“If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me” (Jeremiah 15:19 NLT).
All of us that follow Jesus have many things in common. One of which is that we are all sinners. As we become a believer in Christ, we are born again into God’s family. Once you are born again you cannot be unborn. Our relationship with God can, and will be, damaged by sin. However, read this closely – no matter the sin- the relationship is still there. The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the Two Brothers, Lost Son, Loving Father, or Lovesick Father) appears in Luke 15:11–32. The love of our Father is unconditional, as is His grace. We as humans tend to deem some sin to be acceptable and some not. For example, sloth is a deadly sin, but we tend to look at it as far more acceptable than murder. God considers all sin equal. So, if we feel that our sin is too great to receive forgiveness and we cannot return to Christ, we are underestimating the power in His blood. Christ did not come for the righteous but rather for the sinners. So, that means He came for me and for you.
So, what can we do to regain our relationship with the Father? 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.” As we earnestly repent our sins, they are forgiven. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
If ever there were a sin you’d think was unforgivable, it would be the same as denying Jesus three times on the night He was betrayed. 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).
Our Lord knew that Peter’s ministry would be more effective after his denial than it was before. Peter wrote two of the books of the Bible known as 1 and 2 Peter. Then he shared his memoirs with a relative, and that’s the gospel of Mark. Peter, who denied Jesus three times on that fateful night, was the rock of which Jesus built His church and was later recognized as the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Sometimes we think that God has forgotten us, but He has not. The Good Shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one. He knows how you’ve fallen away. It can happen through one big step or a series of small steps that have distanced you from Him. Regardless, we 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). David did not have to pray, “God, restore to me my salvation,” because he hadn’t lost his salvation. He had lost his joy.
Prayer: Dear God, We are humbled by your unconditional love for us. Our sins separate us from you and as such we can do nothing. Restore in us a clean heart, accept our earnest plea for forgiveness of our sins, and provide us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics…
The Battle for Purity
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 ESV).According to recent statistics, there are over 24.5 million web sites dedicated to pornography. A report by Bridges and Wosnitzer in 2007 found that there are 13,000 porn videos produced annually with revenue of $13 billion. In the same year, 507 movies from Hollywood produced $8.8 billion. Another report found that over 25% of all internet searches are for pornographic material. I am certain that what was true in 2007 has not gotten any better today. Marketing advertisers have long used sex and scantily…
Amen is the Beginning of Discipleship
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV).
One of the more challenging scriptures for me has been from 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” The first time I read this I wondered how can I get anything done if I am constantly praying? As I grew and matured spiritually, I began to believe that it is indeed possible to pray nonstop. It’s possible because we can cultivate a spirit that is habitually devotional, keeping our hearts attuned to God. The Greek word for “without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonian 5:17 is “adialeiptos,”…
The ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ Attributes
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
“The Fruit of the Holy Spirit” is a Biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a Christian. According to Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). These are all characteristics of the Holy Spirit’s active presence in lives and a healthy Christian soul contains all of the…