|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 1:3 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Return to Him”
The Old Testament prophet Zechariah began his short letter to the Hebrew people with a call from God, “Return to Me”. The people really needed to hear that. They had just come through one of the worst periods in the history of the Jewish people. Their homeland had been destroyed by invading armies, the city of Jerusalem had been looted, and most of the people had been carried off into captivity in pagan lands. Finally, after seventy long years of captivity, King Cyrus granted a group of them permission to return to Palestine and rebuild Jerusalem. So, after a long and dangerous trek, they were finally there. It was at that time God had Zechariah issue the call “Return to Me!”
God wanted His people back. He didn’t just want them back in the land of Palestine; He wasn’t just looking for a rebuilt Jerusalem and a restored Temple; He wanted the people back in right relationship with Him. That’s what this call was for.
Sadly, it’s a call God has had to issue to His people repeatedly over the course of history – both Jewish and Christian history – and it’s a call He continues to extend today. Individually, and as a church and as a nation, God’s people have continued their misguided ways and have drifted from Him, only to suffer terrible consequences for it. And so, God’s call has remained the same, “Return to Me”.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God promised that if as a nation His people would return to Him, confess their sins, and repent of their ways, then He would heal their land and pour out His blessings upon them. In the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 2:1-7, God declares that some of His people have forsaken their first love (Him) and He again exhorts them to return to Him. Here in Zechariah 1:3 the call to return to God was to the Hebrews as a group, but also to each person as an individual, “Return to me.”
Let me ask you this morning: Where are you in your personal relationship with the Lord? There’s an old and challenging question that is often asked which goes: “If God feels far away, guess who moved?” The obvious answer is “you did!” God doesn’t move away from us we move away from Him.
The Lord is calling to you personally today, “Return to Me and I will return to you.”
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