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Daily Devotionals

Voice of the Lord

Devotional for 4th of Tishrei, 5781

Return, Isra'el, to ADONAI your God, for your guilt has made you stumble (Hosea 14:1 [2]).

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The prophets called Israel to turn away from sin and make teshuvah (repentance) unto God. No matter how far Israel had wandered, return was always possible. Teshuvah was also Yeshua's opening message: "Turn from your sins to God [do teshuvah], for the Kingdom of Heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17). Yeshua, however, shifted the emphasis in his proclamation of teshuvah. He came not only to call the lost to teshuvah, but to "seek and save what was lost" (Luke 19:10).

When a shepherd finds his lost sheep, he returns with it, rejoicing. Likewise, there is joy in heaven when one sinner returns to God. Teshuvah is not so much a religious requirement as it is a restoration of relationship. Our Father has great joy when a child is restored to him, but the "99 righteous people who have no need to repent" (Luke 15:7) never seem to share this joy. The joy of teshuvah is for those sheep who know they have wandered and who have been found by their loving shepherd.

...look for any trace of self-righteousness in my life that keeps me at a distance from God and unable to experience his joy.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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