Isaiah 44:22 Redeemed…Now Return

Misty mountains

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22 

When a person purchases something, he expects to get it. The object purchased is expected to become his property and he is allowed to have it and do with it as he pleases.

Loans are often received with some object put up as collateral to ensure that the person will pay back the loan. As soon as he has made the last payment, the object that was put up for collateral is expected to be returned to him. It becomes his property again, because the full payment was made.

God is telling the people of Israel that He has paid the price for their sins and wiped them out. He had purchased their lives and now belonged to Him. Since they belonged to Him, they were to return to Him.

At the moment Jesus died upon the cross, He had paid the price for sin for every person, for all time. He bought back the people for God’s use.

Every person who has chosen to follow Jesus, has realized that he was redeemed, bought back. However, some have chosen to walk away from God in order to live in sin. They turned their backs on the redemption that Jesus had provided. Some of these fool themselves into thinking that they are following God, because they go to church, but in reality are living in sin, following the world and the devil.

God is telling these people to return to Him. Regardless of what sin a person does, God is right there willing to forgive and forget and move on. He wants every person for Himself. Because of what Jesus did, God owns the rights to every person.

If at some point in your life you have chosen to accept what Jesus did for you, you are redeemed. You were bought back at a price, the price of life. God owns you now.

Do not allow yourself to go back to the old life of sin and death. Don’t choose to give yourself back to the devil and reject the redemption Jesus has purchased for you.

If you have slipped back into a old sinful past way of living, turn around, reject sin and return to God. God is waiting for you with open arms, because you belong to Him, He has purchased your life.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that you will know you are redeemed by God; that you will know you belong to God; and that you will live your life for God.

Isaiah 9:11 Refusing To Return

Walking back

But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the Lord Almighty. Isaiah 9:11 

When difficulties hit a person, they usually try to run a different direction away from what caused the problems. Rather than learn from the difficulties, they will try to avoid the situation altogether.

Most people do not like to face the reason why they had a problem. They want to ignore it and move on. Or they just want to blame everyone else for the problems that they are facing, rather than take responsibility in the part of it.

When they refuse to take responsibility, they will often return again and again to the situation. They will repeat what brought on the difficulty again, because they did not learn from it.

Isaiah describes the people as refusing to return to God, when they knew it was He who had struck them. They had refused to seek Him out in the situation. This continued to bring on God’s anger with them.

God commonly uses difficult situations to get the attention of His people, when they are refusing to listen or obey Him. He had to use a whale to get Jonah’s attention.

People are quick to walk away from God and refuse to listen or obey Him. When God brings on a difficult situation in their life, instead of returning to Him, they get mad at Him and run the other direction.

In every situation in a believer’s life, he should be seeking God for direction. God should be at the forefront of his mind and thoughts. This is even more true when a believer has messed up and stepped into sin. God is waiting for him to return to Him in repentance to start over again.

God does not wait to destroy, but waits to restore and build up.

There will be days when you make a mistake and fall into sin. Rather than stay there, turn to God for forgiveness. There will also be days when struggles come in mighty waves. In the same way turn to God for help and strength.

Seek to know what God wants you to learn in every difficult situation. Don’t get angry with God and run, but go to Him and learn. God will build you up, rather than just tear you to pieces and destroy you.

Put God first in every area of your life and see what God can do with you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will run to God in every situation; that you will work to live for God; that you will trust God’s choices in your life; and that you willl allow God to build you up in Jesus. 

Deuteronomy 22:21 Taking Care Of Your Neighbor

Lone sheep

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. Deuteronomy 2:21

Taking care of one’s neighbor is not a very common sight to be seen. The majority of people are out for themselves and only to take care of themselves, even at the expense of others.

During the time of Moses, oxen or sheep were one of the main livelihoods of the people. It was their source of income, their help in plowing the fields and providing clothing. It was also traded for other items of need and ultimately used as a sacrifice to God.

There would be times when an ox or sheep would stray away from the owner. God had told the Israelites to not ignore it, but to immediately return it to the owner.

It is common for people to ignore the needs or property of others. Although today, most people do not use sheep or oxen for their livelihood, there are other things of value to people. People will see a neighbor’s fence falling down on the backside of the property out of normal sight. They ignore it and do not tell the neighbor anything about it.

Other times they may see something wrong in their neighbor’s property or life and will just ignore it, rather than letting the neighbor know what was seen or perceived. People are all about minding their own business, unless it affects them or it is juicy gossip.

The greatest need of any person is the need to know Jesus and receive the salvation that He offers to every believer. Most people will not say a word to the person about Jesus, because he does not want to offend the person with the gospel message. Yet, every person has the right to know.

If they have the right to get their property back, which is here today and gone tomorrow, they definitely need Jesus and the salvation He is offering them. Believers must take care of their neighbor and let them have what God wants to give them or has already allowed them to have.

Do not take anything that belongs to your neighbor, but even more so, do not keep back anything from them that can be theirs. God has salvation ready for all who believe. How can your neighbor believe, if you do not tell him.

Take time today to care for your neighbor.

I pray today that you will have God’s love for your neighbor; that you will not take anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you withhold anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you will take care of your neighbor as God takes care of you. 

2 Peter 3:8-9 God’s Patience

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9

In this final chapter of Peter’s book, he talks about people in the last days joking about the coming of Jesus. He warns that in the last days many will ask where Jesus is and why He has not yet come.

Now you are reminded to remember that God is a patient God. In reality God is outside of time because He always was and always will be. Time means very little to Him. In this way you are told that with God a thousand days are like a day and vice versa.

As a finite human being, time means a lot. Sixty years are a long time when the average lifespan is only about 80 years. Today people want everything faster and faster. When you boot up a computer and it takes 2 minutes to boot up, you get upset because your friend has one that boots up in 1 minute. Neither time is really that much time in light of the 525,600 minutes in one year, but at the moment it is a long time.

God is patient because He does not want anyone to perish. Jesus came to the earth to save every person. How valuable is one person’s soul? Jesus died for that one person so it must have a very high value. If this is correct, why not be patient to save that soul?

All around you today there will be people trying to tell you that Jesus will never come back if He has not done so by now; that Jesus failed in His promise because He has not come back yet. Look at the whole Bible and see all of the promises of God. See how many of them have already been fulfilled. Keep this in mind when you start to question about Jesus ever returning again. Even more so, keep it in mind, when you see all the evil going on around you and it looks like God has lost the battle.

As you wait for the return of Jesus seek opportunities to tell someone else about Him. Seek to bring more people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Use this time to build His kingdom, just as He is doing. Do not be discouraged. Do not lose faith. Just as the one minute really means nothing in a year, neither does a thousand years in an eternity.

I pray that today that God will give you His patience; that God will open doors for you to be His witness; that God will draw many more people to Him through you; and that you will not lose faith in His promise to return.