TOPIC:“The Beauty of a Returning Backslider”
“Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22, NIV)
I knew a man that once believed in Christ and knew His protecting care and guiding influence in his life. In those early days of his Christian life he experienced the joy of forgiveness and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But then something happened to him. He started to slide into periods of loose living, indifference, and failure, until the reality of the living Christ was no longer his experience.
And just like that man there are scores of believers who have relapsed back into the old life of sin and self and have fallen away from the God who loves them and the Christ who died for them. I wonder: Is there someone in reach of my voice that because of some failure in your life, whether small or great, you feel a great distance from your Father God? The majesty of His presence has been lost to you. The intimate joy of having fellowship with your Heavenly Father has gone out of your soul. Like David the Psalmist the cry of your heart is: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” (Psalms 51:12, NLT).
If you desire the beauty of God's forgiveness and fellowship to come flowing back into your life, if you wish God to set the music going again in your Christian experience, then this message is for you. Listen again to God's message to Israel through His prophet Jeremiah: “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding” (3:22).
Let's begin with this: For the returning backslider there must be a time to REMEMBER. In writing to Judah and their sister nation to the north, Israel, God commanded Jeremiah to deliver a message to His chosen people to remember the way it was in those early days when He formed them into a covenant nation. He wants to bring to their minds those virtues that once characterized their lives.
Hear the words of the Jeremiah the prophet as found in chapter 2 verses 1 through . . .