“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
-The word backslide has often times been misinterpreted, but we will thematically expose it as per the word of God. This word simply means to relapse into bad habits, sinful behavior, or undesirable activities. Jesus speaks to the seven churches and in this particular case to the church of Ephesus. We find Him holding the seven stars in His right hand, in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. Since they turned away from God, they needed to repent lest the lampstand in their midst is removed. Like the church of Ephesus, it is an urgent appeal to us also that we turn to God, and have the right attitude and conduct before it is too late. 1 John 1:9 reminds us that, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Let us then go back to God with sincere repentance and He will restore us by His mercy and love.
Almighty and Everlasting Father, we thank You and magnify Your holy name. Thank You for enabling us to see this new week in good health and peace. May You remember all those who are sick and suffering that You may heal their wounds. You are our God and none can compare to You. May You deliver us from all anxiety, weakness and wickedness for You are our God, all our trust is in You. May You forgive us for the times we have left Your first love. Forgive us for the times we have looked away from You and Your will dear Jesus, and wash us with Your precious blood. May You walk us with during adverse situations and times of rejoicing. May You help us to rejoice in You always. May You be with our children, that You may uphold them with Your hand of grace. May You bless our family members and respond their hearts desires. May You make a way for us even where there seems to be no way. We bless Your name and exult You now and forever. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. Amen
Further reading: Ephesians 2:8
“The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.”
-The Lord likens backsliding to divorce. The Israelites turned away from God to perform idolatry, and forget the Lord who got them out of Egypt, and the purpose for which it happened (Jeremiah 2:5-6). The Lord issued her with a certificate of divorce to end the marriage, but her sister Judah followed suite to worship after other gods and she was not afraid. The church is the bride of Christ, the congregation of believers have turned from the way of faith. A union cemented by love segregates because of adultery. The Lord made a promise to the children of Israel saying, “return, O backsliding children, “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion””(Jeremiah 3:14). The Lord is calling each one of us to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.
Oh Lord Your mercies are new every morning. You are our God and there is none like You. You are exulted Lord above the nations and above all the peoples. We have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, please forgive us. Our leaders have followed after their own interests, please forgive them and give us leaders whose hearts after You Lord. Our nation has backslidden and fallen short of Your glory Lord, remember mercy dear Jesus. May You look to us with kindness and heal our land. May You heal our land form injustice, corruption, greed, sexual immorality, murder, and many other vices. May You transform us and help us to submit to You in every area of our lives. Please forgive us dear Jesus and turn Your face towards us. May You remove every obstacle in our lives dear Jesus. May You remove every accusation against us in the courts of heaven and wash us with Your precious blood. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Habakkuk 2:1
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.”
-The backslidden soul is driven by a deceitful heart. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” A wicked heart is influenced by the pressures and pleasures of the world, and lured into the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It is therefore important to take heed to God’s word and hold onto His saving grace, for one may think he is standing yet he is falling into deep grooves of temptation.
Dear Lord Jesus, You are a good God, we thank You and worship You. Thank You for You have brought us to the beginning of a new day. May You renew our hearts with Your strength and purpose. May You forgive us of our errors and draw our hearts closer to You. May You guide us and lead not into temptations, but deliver us from all evil. May Your saving grace help us to overcome every temptation and lift us when we are falling. Help us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may be able to test and approve Your good, pleasing and perfect will. May You create in us clean hearts and renew Your steadfast spirit within us. May You bless all our leaders and those who seek elective posts that You may give them strength to serve all people according to Your will. May You give us peace even during this period of elections and guide us when voting. All glory, honor, power and strength belongs to You now and forever. Amen
Further reading: 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, Romans 12:1-2
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.””
-Peter the rock; an apostle of Jesus Christ, gradually backslide and denied Jesus. His faith was tested by the devil, and he exhibited self confidence to accompany Jesus during His trial and death. The Bible reminds us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Jesus knew that the temptation was not easy and He prayed for Peter. Matthew 26:41 reminds us to pray that we may not fall into temptations, for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Peter followed his canal mind and openly denied Jesus. These are some of the regressive steps of a backsliding soul. Most times is happens so fast that one does not realize until the rooster crows, three times.
Lord Jesus You are our Sure Foundation, our Savior, our Almighty Father. You deserve all the glory, You deserve all the honor, You deserve all the praise and thanksgiving. We are calling You to intervene in every situation in our lives. May You cover us with Your precious blood that speaks better things than that of Abel. We deny satan and follow You Jesus. May You intercede for us our loving Advocate from every accusation against us. May You fight all our battles dear Jesus. No weapon fashioned against us shall prosper and no tongue that have been raised against us in judgement shall prevail. May You vindicate us from all our trials and tribulations. May You pray for us dear Jesus that we may not fall into temptations and that we may not loose faith. We agree that we have victory in You here in earth which shall be established in heaven. Thank You Jehovah for loving us and for choosing us to serve You. May You bless us and all our family members. May You bless all the orphans, widows and street families. May You bless our nation and all nations of the world, and give us peace. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and we shall dwell in Your house Lord forever. Amen
Further reading: Matthew 10:33
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him.”
-God saves His people from backsliding. As a father guides his children when they go astray sometimes by canning, other times by verbal correction. A fathers/mothers love is felt and an impact realized when there is transformation.
Backsliding is a gradual process that takes place step by step and causes a relapse. Backsliding begins from the heart, which is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart slowly turns away from the Lord, and matters of God no longer become a priority. Reading the word of God, prayer, worshipping God and fellowship with other believers is thrown to the hind-side. The backsliding heart turn to its ways that end up in death (Proverbs14:12-14). The church of Ephesus had turned away from their first love, they needed to repent lest the lampstand in their midst is removed (Revelation 2:4-5). Further, during the days of king Josiah, the Lord likened the backsliding of the Israelites to a divorce. They turned away from the Lord and their sister Judah followed suite. The Lord exhorted them to return to Him and turn away from their harlotry (Jeremiah 3:6-8). Apostle Peter tuned away from the Lord and denied Jesus three times. He exhibited signs of self confidence instead of relying on God’s grace, he became prayerless and Jesus prayed for him that his faith may not fail, he followed the way of a canal mind and worldly patterns instead totally relying on God’s word, he became more insensitive to the word of God and finally openly denied Jesus. Like Peter, some of us have gradually turned our hearts away from God. The Lord is calling us to return to Him and He will return to us (Zechariah 1:3). God is calling us to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us, and we are renewed from double-mindedness. We are reminded to come to the throne of grace where we find mercy and grace to help us during our time of need. God is our Father He is not slow to keeping His promises. He would want anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
How awesome is Your name in all the earth Oh Lord our God. You are faithful even when we become faithless. May You sanctify our hearts and minds so that we may look for Your throne of grace when we find help during our time of deed. We look to Your cross where we find healing for our souls and entire beings. We look to Your precious blood that speaks better things than that of Abel. May You forgive us and wash us with Your precious blood. May You transform us to become more like You Jesus. We are nothing without You dear Jesus, may You heal all our wounds and help us to become fruitful according to Your merciful love. Thank You Jesus for loving us and for saving us. We love You Lord and bless Your name. May You bless us and keep us Lord. May You make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
Further reading: 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:8