From a self-centred life to a God-centred life

They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth’ (Genesis 11:4).

Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!  Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips (Hosea 14:1-2).

Come, let us return to the Lord (Hosea 6:1).

A man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy (Matthew 8:2-3).

We begin with the tragedy of a self-centred life. We’re asking for trouble, when we say to ourselves, “Let us make a name for ourselves.” It’s better to live a God-centred life. It’s better to say, “To God be the glory.”

From there, we move on to the call to return to the Lord. We hear what God says to us about our self-centred way of life: “Your sins have been your downfall!” When we begin to take seriously what God says to us about our self-centred life, the Word of God creates in us a desire for something better. It creates in us a deep longing for a life that is centred on the Lord.

This leads us on to our reponse to the call to return to the Lord. Moved by the Spirit of the Lord, speaking to our hearts, we say, “Come, let us return to the Lord.” We pray to the Lord, “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously.” We praise the Lord, giving thanks to him for his great salvation.

When we return to the Lord, we receive God’s gift of new life. We are to live a clean life. Our sins have been forgiven by the Lord. Now, let us live a clean life, a life that brings glory to the Lord.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

What is it that cleanses us from all unrighteousness? Is it our confession of sin? No. Our confession of sin can never be anything more than a response to Jesus Christ, our Saviour. It’s “the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, that cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Having been forgiven and cleansed by our Saviour, ther Lord Jesus Christ, let us live for the glory of God.

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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