When One Sinner Repents

Monday, March 30, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Garden"1 (Lyrics)

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was quite common for growing corporations to promote and relocate their executives. Having an ambitious nature, my husband chose to climb that corporate ladder more than thirty times. Unfortunately, the more successful he became, the more lost I became in the shuffle. I resented having myself and three children move across the country every six months to a year. Leaving our new church families over and over was really painful. Resentment and hopelessness festered, until my shame and guilt made praying next to impossible. Why, I wondered, had God deserted me so? Eventually, I hid my beloved Bible in a drawer marked Non-essentials, and we gave up searching for a home church altogether.

Soon, I found myself lost and wandering in the wilderness, living in a mirage built on the lie that choosing a better-paying position was of more value than being rooted in a church family and using our God-given spiritual gifts. The world had painted this illusion using a palette of fading shades of promised happiness, pleasure, and success, all the while luring me further away from the safety of my Father's loving arms. The fat paychecks fed our greed, not our souls. In the blistering hot desert of my poor choices, I searched in vain but found no green pastures or streams of cold running water to revive my thirsty soul. "Why me?" I cried out.

It did not take long before I realized what I had left behind. I felt so alone and longed for the support of my friends and church family. The sweet memories of home and all that I had turned my back on, managed to interrupt my thoughts. The words "Forgive me, Lord," escaped from my parched lips. Tears tumbled down, as my heart overflowed with remorse. I had betrayed my God and followed His enemy, Satan, the liar. In that intimate moment of confession and repentance, God's amazing grace and love washed away the filth of my sins, as He claimed me once again as His own.

If there was ever a time to stop wandering and invite Christ into your life, it is now. If there was ever a time for prayer, it is now! As the world reels with the news of over 170 countries who have contracted COVID-19, it is a time to share the "good news" of salvation. As communities draw together, without the distractions that Satan has tried to seduce us with, God's steadfast love is a beacon of hope. The faithful Father earnestly and patiently waits for us to return home. Yes, I had wandered away from my faith and my Father for a season, yet His love and amazing grace welcomed me back with open arms. Praise Jesus!

Luke 15:7b – There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, it never ceases to amaze us that You want to have a personal relationship with each one of Your children, and that You welcome us home with open arms even after we have wandered away from Your grace. Thank You for sending Jesus, Your only Son, that by shedding His blood, dying on the cross, and being raised from the dead, He has set us free from the bondage of sin and the fear of death. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <loismacs5@gmail.com>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank You.

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Lois.

    Thank you. A timely message at this moment.

    Thank you, Lois. May lots of dry and thirsty folks turn to him now.

    Very moving story that I’m sure will resonate with many in these difficult times! God bless!

    Hi Lois
    Not only moving words, but beautifully poetic. Thanks!

    Well done, Lois! Beautiful metaphors and language, heartfelt sincerity. Thank you. It isn’t just money and prestige that take us away.

    Good morning. This is such a great testimony of God and how He watches us even if we put distance between. Thank you and praying safety.

    Lois, thank you for sharing your heart with us today. I have found that through harsh realities that affected my life, I was brought closer to God, and experienced a change in my life as to what it means to be a Christian. Blessings.

    Dear Lois,
    Thank you for your wonderful, inspirational, edifying devotional.
    Blessings and Gratitude,

    Dear Lois,
    Thank you for sharing your story and showing us that God is always waiting for us to return. May your story encourage many to draw closer to God once again. Blessings.

    Dear Lois:
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. When I came back to the church, I remembered that verse as well. I also felt like a prodigal daughter coming home.
    God bless you and your family. Please stay safe and healthy.

    Thank you for sharing your story (testimony). I thank God for the many who will seek God knowing that He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.
    God bless and Stay SAFE.

    Hello Lois,
    Many thanks for this mindful devotional. Sorry to hear about the disruptions you had to deal with in past years but joyful news that you were brought back into the loving care of our Lord. Yes, He truly is ever ready to joyfully welcome us back into His kingdom and guide us along in our daily lives.
    Blessings to you for having received Him back into your life.

    Thank you, Lois, for your personal testimony of God’s faithfulness. I / we can relate, and your sharing causes me / us to recall God’s mercy in my / our own lives. That is a good thing to recall. How right you are – His love and grace are so amazing as He reaches out to us when we turn to him from that burning, empty desert that you described. I join you in your prayer that many will be moved by the Spirit in this time, to recognize their own emptiness, and ask Jesus into their heart.
    May God keep you, protect you and bless you, even as He done.

    I remember well when people were being moved or moved on their own in the stable church having good people coming in Maximum 2 years we found some wonderful people leading up the Christmas pageant then poof they were gone that went on over and over, it was difficult I am sure for families to be moving all the time. It was sure hard for these wonderful people to leave us.
    Often think of the wonderful people especially the women and kids who came and went so soon after making good friends.
    Thank God that this practice is not happening as often anymore. Enjoyed hearing about memories and things today. Watch out for scammers, they want to take advantage of anybody, do not give out any personal information.

    Your timing is excellent. Thank you for sharing.

    What a moving story.
    Thank you for sharing it.

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