Return to the Lord!

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, “The LORD was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, ‘As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us.’ ”
Zechariah 1:1–6
Return to the Lord!
God’s Word is performative. It does what it says it does and it accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish. “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. And when God’s Word produces changes of heart and life, it bears beautiful fruit. The people of Judah had to learn that lesson from their tragic past lest their return from exile end in sorrow. When God’s Word meets resistance and rejection, then there will be a repeat of the same shuddering outcome seen in war-damaged Jerusalem. The good news is that God keeps returning with open arms, beckoning us to repent. He pities the guilty with a Father’s heart. In love and through the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ, He reconciles us to Him. He rescues our hearts and minds from the prison of our wrong desires and actions. He connects us to the reality of His grace that we may return to His sweet embrace and remain in it forever.
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