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March 15 – Preparing our hearts

…rend your hearts and not your garments..” – Joel 2:13

Scripture reading: Joel 2:1-14

A Christian’s goal is fellowship with the Lord. The prophet Joel encourages us onward toward that goal, even as his message encouraged the people of his own day. Joel told the people that God was interested in their hearts more than in outward actions. The ancient Israelites would weep, fast and rend their garments as a sign of grief and repentance, but all too easily these outward actions were just that, outward, with no spiritual meaning.

The prophetic message that God gave to Joel is clear: when you draw near to God be sure that you are sincere. As we live before the Lord today and all the days that He will give us, we must make sure that our relationship with the Lord Jesus is not just a going-through-the-motions, but rather a matter of our repentant heart and renewed mind.

Our reading from Joel also contains a marvellous assurance from the Lord. When we rend our hearts and not our garments, verse 13 tells us, God will be gracious. He will be merciful, tender and compassionate, blessing us in love. He will be slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, providing for our salvation and all our needs, physical and spiritual, because He loves us.

The goal is fellowship with the Lord. To experience this, exercise your faith and return to the Lord. Christ has opened the way by His sacrificial death. Repent in all sincerity and do so in the good hope of receiving God’s blessings of forgiveness, mercy, and love.

Suggestions for prayer

Make your request to the Lord that He would lead you in the path of fellowship with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus. Praise Him for His forgiveness, mercy and love.

Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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