Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Return to the Lord

These words are recorded in the book of Hosea; “O Israel, return to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; Take words with you, And return to the LORD. Say to Him, Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips” (Hosea 14:1-2).

Robert Robinson had been converted out of a life of sin, and at the age of 23, wrote the hymn “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Sadly, Robinson wandered far from the faith and like the Prodigal Son, journeyed into the distant country of carnality.

One day – when he was traveling by stagecoach and sitting beside a young woman engrossed in her book. She ran across a verse she thought was beautiful and asked him what he thought of it. As tears swelled up in his eyes, Robinson said, “Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.” (Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories, p. 52)

The story is told of a lamb that passed a pig pen each day on the way with its mother to the pasture. Watching the pigs wallow in the mud seemed like fun, and on an especially hot day the lamb asked his mother if he could jump the fence and wallow in the cool mud. She replied, “No.” The lamb then asked the usual question, “Why?” The mother just said, “Sheep don't wallow.”

This didn’t satisfy the lamb. He felt that she had “put him down.” So, as soon as his mother was out of sight, he ran to the pig pen and jumped the fence. He was soon feeling the cool mud on his feet, legs, and stomach, as he wallowed deeper and deeper in the mud. After a while, he decided he had better go back to his mother, but found that he couldn’t move.

He was stuck from the weight of the mud which had gotten into his wool. His pleasure had now become his prison. He cried out and was rescued by the kind shepherd. When cleaned and returned to the fold, the mother told him, “Remember, sheep don’t wallow.”

Sin is like that. It looks so nice, and we think we can escape whenever we wish, but it just isn't so. Our pleasures soon become our prisons. We must always remember, “Christians don't wallow.” God tells us in 2 Peter 2:20-22, "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A DOG RETURNS TO HIS OWN VOMIT,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

When our life on this earth ends, all that will matter is if we have been obedient and faithful to almighty God, who will judge us (Hebrews 9:27). This life is very short, but eternity is without end. Live for eternity, not for the now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


Men, have you ever tried to fix something and just couldn't quite get it to work. You could not get the item fixed right. If so, you'll appreciate this sticker I recently saw on the side of a company truck specializing in home repair:

"We will fix what your husband fixed."

Whether the problem is the plumbing, electrical, flooring, or bathrooms, it's usually better off in the hands of someone who is skilled and trustworthy in those areas.

That's the way it is with sin – and the struggles within us that resist our efforts to mend it. Jeremiah denounced the greedy prophets and priests of his day who "healed the the hurt of God's people slightly, saying, Peace, Peace!" (Jeremiah 6:14). They did not change themselves nor lead the people to spiritual transformation.

So the Lord called the people to follow His way: Jeremiah 6:16 says; “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'”

Centuries later, Jesus, the Son of God said: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The parts of our lives that we have tried and failed to repair can be restored by the hand of God. Through faith in Christ, we can be made whole!

Life's fractures can be mended
By faith in Christ the Lord
At first the pain but then the gain
And usefulness restored.
— Hess