I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort.
The Twelve went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Not too long ago, I took a detour that proved to be a bad choice. Traffic was bad; nearly at a standstill. No end was in sight. But there was an exit! And I took it. Bad choice. The consequences were not only a trip through an undesirable neighborhood, but a dead end and an eventual return to the gridlock of the freeway – now even farther behind.
Perhaps you’ve experienced the harsh consequences of a bad decision. Most of us have at one time or another; sometimes even worse decisions than an ill-fated exit from the freeway. When it comes to such choices along the path of God’s ways the results can be devastating: broken marriages. Ruined careers. Guilty consciences. Shame. Anxiety. Death.
God calls us back from our wayward paths. God heals. God repays our trespasses with the comfort of his mercy and forgiveness. Jesus’ whole ministry was testimony to that: he came to seek and to save the lost. He came to heal the sick. He came to forgive sinners.
Our call is to repent. In repentance we turn away from our wrong course and discover God’s prevenient grace: grace that precedes even the recognition of the error of our ways. Jesus harshest words were reserved for those who – however they expressed it – spent their energy condemning others and supposing themselves to be righteous and morally superior.
We’re all sick. We’re all demon-plagued. We all need a Savior. Thank God for the comfort of Jesus’ forgiving love, the Father’s tender mercy, and the Holy Spirit’s faith-giving presence in our lives!