Joel 2:12-19; Revelation 19:11-21; Luke 15:1-10
God and all of his angels rejoice when even one sinner repents. Lost sheep and even prodigals are welcomed into the kingdom if they turn to God, rending their hearts through faith in Christ. For God is slow to anger and is bursting with love toward sinners—but they must turn to him; they must repent.
God uses his Word to accomplish this purpose in the hearts and minds of stubborn sinners. His love is persistent, a romance for the ages if only because he has courted humanity through those ages. His is a stubborn love, tarrying so that as many as possible may repent (2 Pet 3:9).
Nevertheless, the day of the Lord is coming. When the heavens are opened and he who is called Faithful and True, and the Word of God returns, he comes back in judgment. The same Word that was used to woo and offer his great love will now be utilized to faithfully and justly judge all who would not turn to him. From the mouth of the Word of God will come a sharp sword (Heb 4:12) to strike down the unrepentant.
While time remains, turn to God who loves you.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your great patience and stubborn love. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC and Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Advance, NC.