1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
When we confess Christ as Savior and Lord, we are restored to God. It really is that simple. We become to God as Adam was before the fall (I'm not leaving out Eve, but before the fall, they were one flesh...the same name. Check it out).
He ‘heals our backsliding’ and ‘loves us freely.’ It’s a pretty incredible thing to consider being loved freely by God.
Have you ever loved someone, freely? Loved them in a way when you really didn’t care how they felt about you. You just gave and showered and did for and lavished on that person for the pure joy of doing it? If you are capable of that kind of selfless adoration, that level of unquestioned devotion, how much more God?
There are 2 conditions of salvation through Christ: confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). That’s it. That’s the entirety of salvation. But, oh what this simple confession reveals.
What lies before you is the opportunity to deepen and cultivate the relationship. Once you confess, God through Christ is all in. There is nothing under heaven that would be denied to you. But, you have to be open and willing and yielded to the Lordship of Christ.
I guess the real question becomes, can you be open and yielded and willing to be loved freely? Are you able to prosper in all undertakings as led by the Holy Spirit? To posses all of the land given to you, wherever you place your foot? Would you be willing to give up the idols you’ve made with your own hands for…for…well, frankly, for God?
My pastor is fond of telling the story about how two boys tried to fool an old wise man. One of the boys held a bird behind his back and the other asked the old man if the bird was dead or alive. Their plan was to kill the bird if he said alive or to let it live if he said dead.
The old man considered and answered “Whether the bird lives or dies is in your hands.”
We often make the mistake of seeing eternity and service to God as a form of indentured servitude or through the lens of loss. We spend too much time and energy on the “don’t do this” and “can’t do that” and “gotta give up these” that we’ve been presented with all our lives. Like those boys, we see the result as something that is done to us. We don’t realize how much of the relationship is in our hands.
If you are in relationship with Christ, you are loved freely and completely. What you take in from Christ is up to you, not Him. He has made ‘all’ available. If you settle for crumbs and scraps, for a relationship that is anything less than intimate, that’s on you, not Him.
And even if you haven’t confessed Christ, the offer and opportunity are the same. The fullness of salvation doesn’t change over time. You don’t have to go through some kind of 12 step program to get to Jesus. The season of availability is limited only by the number of breaths you take. Of course, like a 401K, there are benefits to getting in early, but the offer remains the same. You simply confess and believe. Then receive the love given freely.
-Sis. Stephanie Robinson
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455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor