READ : Joel 2:12-17
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. (v. 13)
“What is at the heart of the good news God wants the world to know?” That is a question I often ask myself. My answer is that God is gracious, loving, and kind, and that he wants people to return to him. That is certainly what Joel is saying in these verses.
Of course, it is our sins that separate us from God. Our sins bring judgment and make the day of the Lord fearful to us. But heartfelt repentance and true sorrow for our sins can restore the relationship that God so earnestly desires with us.
The problem is that repentance is not high on people’s list of priorities. In fact, it’s often not even on our radar screen. Most people would rather not admit their shortcomings, let alone deeply repent of their sinfulness.
A boy was having trouble pronouncing the letter “r.” So his teacher gave him a sentence to practice: “Robert gave Richard a rap in the ribs for roasting the rabbit so rare.” Later, when the teacher asked him to recite the sentence the boy said, “Bob gave Dick a poke in the side for not cooking the bunny enough.” It’s a cute story, but look at the lengths many people go to in order to avoid the difficult “r” of repentance. But really, we can’t know God without it.
Lord, from the bottom of my heart, I truly repent of all my sins. Amen.