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July 6, 2021 – Zechariah 1:3

Since yesterday morning, I have been thinking much about Zechariah 1:3 – “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” A quick search for similar invitations found in the Bible gave me at least 29 verses (surely, there are many more) in which the Lord entreats his people to return to him. Just as examples: “Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful” (Joel 2:13) & “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8). It’s important to keep in mind that an invitation to return clearly implies a previous turning away. Time after time, God calls out to his wayward people IN THEIR SIN and entreats them to come back to him: “Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness” (Jeremiah 3:22).


What an encouragement this should be to us. God does not quickly turn away from us when we turn away from him. “He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness” (Joel 2:13). When many had turned away from Jesus, he asked his disciples if they, too, would leave him. Peter did not always get things right, but he got this one right! He answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Indeed! Let us return to our God, time of repentance after time of repentance.


Christ, the blessed one, gives to all

Wonderful words of life;

Sinner, list to the loving call,

Wonderful words of life;

All so freely given,

Wooing us to heaven. –P. P. Bliss, 1874

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