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I'm Backslidden (6 of 6)
INTRODUCTION: DEFINED - To lapse into bad habits or vices from a state of virtue, religious faith. To revert to sin or wrongdoing. To drop to a lower level as in one's morals or standards, fall away, go wrong, slip back to old ways, regress, go astray.
Proverbs 14:14, ''The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.''
There are no short-cuts to dynamic relationships with the Lord. In this text, Gomer is a picture of Israel in a backslidden state. Her ''long ways home'' involved periods of discipline, moments of desolation and despair, along with experiences of repentance and renewal. The way back is never as easy as it may seem to some, for the simple reason that we wander so far from God (walking at a guilty distance). We liter the path leading away from the Lord with the broken fragments of our relationships. While the way back may not be easy, we may be sure that it is certain.
It is to those who stand afar off, separated and removed from the Lord's purposes, that the prophet addresses his closing appeal. For every believer, troubled over both his estrangement from the Lord and the quality of his present commitment and discouraged at the level of his achievement as a disciple, these words will serve to be very encouraging.
There is a way back to God, a way out of one's present predicament. The call is personal, urgent, and pertinent. Like a rainbow after a storm, these words promise final restoration. Here is an invitation that displays God's unfailing love for His faithless people, the triumph of His grace, and the assurance of His healing, described in imagery that reveals the loving heart of God.
I. REPENTANCE. 1
The first step in returning to God is to accept responsibility for departing from Him.
''return'' - repent; this is the necessary point of beginning for every weary wanderer. God's forg ...
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