Pastor's Blog

Rend Your Hearts

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Memory verse for this week:

“’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’” Joel 2:12,13a

 The people of Joel’s day, not unlike our day, had a tendency to repent only to a certain level or degree. That shortfall is illustrated by the people tearing their garments.  This fell short of God’s standard and desire for their hearts. Joel’s plea was for the people to be broken inwardly. Richard Patterson commented, “Important as outward conformity to worship form might be, the heart condition is still more important to God.” Instead of ripping their clothes, God wants them to rip their hearts. In the same way, God desires truth and repentance from deep within our hearts instead of a mere show of polity by looking like we are right with God. While the outward appearance can satisfy man, only a broken and contrite heart can satisfy God.

Prayer points for today:

  1. Bring your heart before God and give Him full access to its secrets.
  2. Pray for each other.

Free

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Memory verse for this week:

“’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’” Joel 2:12,13a

 We do not return to the Lord with mere words. Our confession and repentance must be accompanied by a genuine broken heart over our sin evidenced by a change in mind. In Joel’s day, repentance included fasting, weeping and mourning. May we never think that true repentance is a relic of the past. Jesus said in Matthew 9:13, “For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Then by all means, let us not think we have no need to repent for that would place us in the category of people who consider themselves righteous who have no need of Christ. There is no freedom in the denial of sin. Instead, confess and repent because then you prove yourself to be the one whom Christ came to set free. 

Prayer points for today:

  1. Is there sin in your life for which you must confess and repent?
  2. Call to Him for forgiveness.

Return to Me

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Memory verse for this week:

“’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’” Joel 2:12,13a

 God’s invitation to return to Him, even after we have failed Him time and time again, is utterly astonishing. He says in effect, “I know of your idolatry. I know all about your selfishness. I am fully aware of your heart longing for created things instead of Me. I have witnessed your adultery. I hear how you use My name in vain. I know the lies you have told and all the cover-up that goes with them. I see your covetousness and how you are never happy with what you have. I know about your jealousy and envy. But I love you! I have made all the necessary provisions for your sin through My Son. Return to me; my love.”

Prayer points for today:

  1. Worship and thank the Lord in quiet prayer.

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