Return to Me

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Two-minute read.

“Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.”

Nehemiah 1:8-9

Return to me.

With arms stretched wide, God waits for us to return to Him.  Repeatedly throughout scripture, we see the Lord’s grace given to those who return to Him. The exile and return to Jerusalem exemplify God’s fulfillment of His promise to Moses. A deeper meaning exists; the Lord will gather everyone into His kingdom one day. Return to Me, the Lord says, and I will gather you to the place I have chosen and where My name dwells forever.

Unfaithfulness to the Lord happens. Life’s pressures cause us to forget God as we try to solve problems in our humanness. Often, we don’t turn back to the Lord until we’ve exhausted every possibility. Nehemiah started with God, acknowledging and confessing, then reminding the Lord of His words to Moses. Did God forget His words? No, in reminding the Lord, Nehemiah also reminded himself of what the Jewish nation needed to do: return to God.

“For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9b

Every morning, God has new mercies waiting for you. No matter what the day before held, we needn’t fear telling the Lord. Filled with grace and compassion, God won’t turn His face from us because of our sins. Like the prodigal son returning home after squandering all he had, God waits patiently for our return, welcoming us warmly.

Nehemiah and his people returned to the Lord. Embracing God’s commandments, they experienced His grace and compassion. Guiding and directing His flock, the Lord protected the nation as they rebuilt Jerusalem and its wall. Upon completion, the priest, Ezra, read from the Law of Moses. The people responded by worshiping and bowing their heads to the ground, honoring their Redeemer.

Humbling ourselves before God, returning and worshipping Him will give us a fresh start. Repeatedly, when we fall, the Lord waits to pick us up. As His children, God doesn’t want any to perish. Accepting our imperfections, seeking the Lord’s guidance, and remaining faithful to His commands will give us life to the fullest. No longer will we carry the world’s worries on our shoulders; instead, we will experience God’s unconditional love and mercy as we return to Him again and again.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • How have you strayed from God lately?
  • What do you experience when you return to the Lord?


Lord, forgive us for straying from You.  Thank You for always taking us back. Please help us stay on the straight, narrow path as we tune into the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Protect us from temptation, deliver us from evil. In all we do, let us honor and serve You.  Guide and direct us, letting Your favor reign in our lives as we faithfully follow You.  IJNIP. Amen

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