“From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’” – Malachi 3:7
Scripture reading: 1 John 1:1-10
The LORD tells His people they had turned away from Him and His statutes. Even though the LORD gives a word of disapproval, yet there is always grace. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. This is an imperative, a command from the LORD. It means to make this a priority, to do this immediately, and turn their hearts to the LORD. This command comes with a promise, I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. The LORD is telling them that if they repent and turn from their sin and return in faith and trust, then He will also turn and no longer seek to judge them. This should make us realize that the LORD is pleased to deal with us in grace no matter what mistakes we have made. He is willing to restore us to a right relationship with Him in Christ His Son!
What is their response to this command and offer? Is it immediate repentance and faith? But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ They are in denial and they don’t believe anything is wrong. Why does the LORD come to you and confront you about sin in your life? It is because he loves you, wants to save you, and help you so that you do not continue in sin. Don’t come to Him with denial if you have fallen away from the LORD. Rather, come to Him in repentance and faith because of His grace to you. He is a forgiving God.
Suggestions for prayer
Praise the LORD that Christ is with us and has cleansed our sin with His own precious blood. Ask the LORD to restore you if you have fallen away from Him. Pray that He will help you live for Christ.
Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.