by Jesse Hendley

Jesse M. Hendley
Hosea 14:1-4

I want to speak today on Backsliding, not to be
hurtful, but to be helpful. I want to warn of the
dangers in backsliding. The word itself needs no ex-
planation. It means sliding backwards, not going
forward, not making progress, deteriorating, loss
instead of gain, instead of going with God a going
away from God. Backsliding is a term we do not like to
use, nevertheless it is a Scriptural truth and it is
healthful for us to think about it. I hope you will
listen carefully now as we read Hosea, the 14th
chapter. God says:

"0 Israel, return, unto the Lord thy God, for thou
hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words,
and return to the Lord, and say unto Him, Take away
all iniquity and receive us graciously." Then verse 4:
God says, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love
them freely, for mine anger is turned away."

Now that is a wonderful statement of God. "I will heal
their backsliding." "I will love them freely." That
means He will love them not for anything in
themselves; He will love them because He can't help
loving them. It's the outreaching love of God. He
can't help it. God is the most wonderful Being in all
the universe.

Now God speaks of healing their backsliding. It is a
fall here; they must get up and come back to God. The
way we come back to God is to tell Him, in words that
come from our hearts, "Lord, take away all our
iniquity and receive us graciously." All iniquity---
not just part of it.

David cried out to the Lord after his terrible sin and
said, "Lord, purge me from mine iniquity and cleanse
me from my sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than
snow. Create in me a clean heart, 0 God." David wanted
a clean heart and steadfast spirit that wouldn't fall
any more.

"Receive us graciously"---not because we are worthy,
but just because God is a gracious God.

It is a tremendous thing to backslide because t ...

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