Father, thank You that You are a God of second chances. And third and fourth and even more. When the Israelite men had sinned and taken foreign, pagan wives, there was an acceptable resolution. There were consequences, yes, but they were able to take an oath to renew their covenant with You.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he lists many types of wickedness, then says “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
In both of these cases, reconciliation was made possible because You chose to accept repentance. You cleansed them, You set them apart. You returned them to right standing with You. And the same is true for me. When I have sinned, and I come to You in the realization of what I have done, agree with You that it is sin, and am remorseful, repentant, You forgive that sin. You wash me, and set me apart, and again I am in right standing with You.
But, as with the Israelites, there are consequences. Sometimes the consequences are life-changing, and can cause ongoing problems. They had to put aside their foreign wives. Sometimes I have to put aside a relationship or something I think I really want that is not good for me.
Paul says, “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial”. Lord, there is such freedom in You. Help me be wise in that freedom. Produce in me the Fruit of the Spirit so I can be good and kind, patient and faithful, gentle and self-controlled. Show me when I am being selfish or unwise. Remind me to think and pray before I act.
Father, I offer You the relationships in my life and ask You to deepen the ones that are godly, and to distance me from any that are not. I give my time to You and ask that You show me where I waste it. Give me the strength to cut out activities that eat away time I could spend better. I give You my priorities and ask You to help me reorder them where they are not in line with Your purposes.
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Father, help me recognize what is right and just, and help me do it. When what is right and just is at odds with my selfish or prideful or greedy nature, help me overcome that nature and be led by You. Thank You for Your help in all this, and for the hope You give me. Amen