“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you…And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
“Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days, he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.”
See the faithfulness of the Lord here. Moses’ words in Deuteronomy foretell not only the exile, in which the Israelites forsake the Lord and His commands and experience the consequences Moses warned them about in the previous chapter, but also their return to the Lord and His forgiveness. His compassion. His regathering of His people. His purifying of their hearts so that they will love Him fully, with all their heart and all their soul. Because that is what He desires from us. That is what He delights in. Not mere outward obedience, but obedience that flows from a heart that loves Him, a heart that is joyful and glad in Him, a heart that trusts Him and His goodness and wisdom.
There is hope here for us when we fail. And there is hope here for those who feel so far away from Him they can’t see how He could ever welcome them into His presence. The Lord will not turn you away. It does not matter how far you have fallen. Come, return to the Lord. He will revive you, breathing life into your heart and your soul. He desires your healing, your abundant life, your salvation. Your freedom.
“For this promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39). The Lord is calling you to Himself. Not to punish you, but to cover you with love and grace and to fill you with the fullness of His presence, where there is fullness of joy. Fullness of a joy that is not hindered by shame or fear, because Jesus’ sacrifice was enough. He paid the price for you and ransomed you for God, to reconcile you and bring you into His presence, into His family. You are made whole and complete in Him, free to live in the light of the Lord and to experience the great love He has for you, His faithfulness to forgive you fully, and His ability to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him…Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him…There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:9, 15-16, 18).
Let the perfect love of God cast out your fear today. Come, return to the Lord. You will find Him compassionate and faithful. You will find your belonging, your home, your hope in Him. For Christ went to the cross and rose again from the dead, that you might find life and freedom and relationship with God through Him.