WELCOME BACK – TO JESUS! (A message to the seeking and backslidden.)

JEREMIAH 31:33-34: “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: What is the greatest joy in life? Is it our families? Is it fulfillment in our job? is it friendships? Is it our relationship with the Lord? It is all these things – but so much more!

IT IS THE JOY OF BEING FORGIVEN!

Jeremiah was chosen by God, even before he was born, to deliver some very difficult messages to the nation of Judah. Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of the final kings of Judah, all the way to the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. His words were difficult to speak and even difficult now to read. However, amid the prophecies of judgment, there were words of hope. In the 31st chapter of Jeremiah, we read about the New Covenant God would bring. We are the firstfruits of this New Covenant!

The Old Covenant focused on the Law and God’s regulations. The Law was given to reveal sin and keep us from sinning. However, there was no capacity within man to obey the Law. Over and over again the nation of Israel strayed away from God, disobeying His Law, and finding themselves under the judgment of God. The Law was holy, just, and good. It was not a problem with the Law, it was a problem with the human heart!

  • “At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.” Romans‬ ‭7:9-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If there was ever hope for mankind it would take a change within man. Nothing outside of man could offer hope. This should speak volumes to our culture today. We look for hope in government spending, social programs, political agendas. These are just another form of the Law that failed to bring about change. We walk around under the judgment of God unless something changes deep within.

WE NEED TO BE FORGIVEN!

  • “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
  • “When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:11-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT!

What man could not do – Jesus did for us on the cross! When we place our faith in Jesus Christ we are circumcised – but not by a physical procedure. God removes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. He wipes away the entire record of our sin and gives us new life. He pours out His Holy Spirit upon us and Jesus comes to live in our new heart!

WE ARE FULLY FORGIVEN AND FULLY GOD’S CHILD!

This is why Paul can proclaim with confidence,

  • “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The hard drive, that contained all of our sins, has been wiped clean. The enemy of our souls has no basis to accuse us or condemn us. We are fully forgiven and fully pardoned. We know God and God lives within us. There is a personal relationship now that has replaced an external knowing. The Scriptures have come alive as we read them. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion and leads us daily into the wonderful fullness of the living God!

OH- THE JOY OF FULL FORGIVENESS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

Lord, this morning I pray for each person who reads this post. I pray that they can know the joy of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. I pray that they will surrender their lives to Jesus and receive a new heart and a new life!

And, for those who have backslidden and fallen away from the Lord…

LOOK UP AND SEE – THE FATHER AWAITS YOU IN OPEN ARMS!

  • “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John‬ ‭1:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬
  • “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” Luke‬ ‭15:20-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

WELCOME BACK…TO JESUS!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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