God forgives and restores

Published 4:22 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

When we hear the word forgive, there are several definitions.

One I like especially is to pardon or acquit of sin.

Leviticus 26:13 tells us forgiveness brings freedom and dignity.

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Exodus 30:11-16 informs us the rich and poor need it.

After forgiveness comes restoration.

Matthew 8:2-3 comes only through Christ’s healing touch. The Lord restores, replaces, renews and He also revives us. God is good and His mercy endures forever. He can bring good out of evil. He is Alpha and Omega.

In Luke 11:3, we need daily contact with Him.

Romans 1:18, God is angry with sinful people, but He still loves them. We can only know God through Jesus.

In the Old Testament, the book of Hosea teaches us that he was a prophet, and the purpose is to illustrate God’s love for his sinful people.

Although God hates sin, he still loves his people. This book was written to the northern kingdom of Israel and to all God’s people. There are 14 chapters in Hosea, but they are powerful and sends a message of God’s love for his people.

Hosea’s name means Salvation. This book is a love story.

God told Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer. This story is real, tragic and true.

The book begins with God’s marriage instructions to Hosea. After Hosea’s marriage, children were born, and each given a name signifying a divine message. Hosea was a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel. He served from 753 to 715 B.C. God told Hosea to find a wife and told him ahead of time that she would be unfaithful to him. Although there were many children, some of the offspring would be fathered by other men. God wanted the people of northern Israel to turn from their sin. God wants us to turn from our sin and return to worshiping Him.

Gomer caused Hosea many heartaches, but he continued to obey God. Just as Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea, the nation of Israel was unfaithful to God. Like Gomer, we can chase after other gods and lovers, such as the lover of power, positions, pleasure and money.

Are we chasing after God the way we should be, to seek his approval in all that we do?

Are we chasing after God to find the lost and spread the gospel by preaching, teaching, evangelizing and witnessing!

We need to take notice in the book of Hosea that after all Gomer did, Hosea, took her back. She was restored to her husband. God restores us back to Him after we feel as if we have ran out of chances. If we submit to the will of God, we will have an opportunity to be forgiven, restored, revived and owned by the Father through Jesus and will receive eternal life.

The Rev. Adren Bivins Sr. is the founder of the Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center Inc., a non-profit organization. He can be reach by calling (229) 465-3753 or 246-6331, Ext. 9832.