There are stories throughout the ages of people that were once very defiant towards God and may have even hated Him, but then, later on, was humble enough to pray, which caused them to come to Jesus. They may have had some sort of encounter in prayer, from a preacher, or from an evangelist speak, and were then moved by the Holy Spirit. This kind of encounter with God is what people need to turn from their sins. So they no longer wish to go back to their old way of living. Sure, it may take a while for some people to give their lives to God, but since they do now, the Lord now comes first. You can probably think of a few people like this. You may even be this type of person that I am mentioning. A person that was once for abortions, or into idolatry, homosexuality, pornography, fornication, adultery, drugs, alcohol, and other things. However, you are now convicted of these awesome and wicked things and have since repented. Praise God. What a wise choice you have made, if you are have left these things behind and are now following Jesus. Now, some of you are still struggling with things I mentioned, and are wanting to be changed still. My friends, if this is you, then call upon the name of Jesus and confess your sins openly. Confess that He is Lord and that you wish to be forgiven. If you pray this prayer, then God will come into your life and give you the strength to fully repent of anything that is keeping you back from His presence. And what is amazing is that I and others used to be like you, so there is hope. Even a man named Manasseh, in the Bible, was probably far worse than you. For this reason, we will get to what he did and how it all turned around for the good.
When it came to Manasseh, it is written that he 1“did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever.” (2 Chronicles 33:2-7) 1“So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.” (2 Chronicles 33:9-11) Wow, because of his atrocious sins, his kingdom was taken away and he was in the hands of the enemy.
As you just read, his life was far from God. He even caused many people to sin against God. But what changed him to seek God? It was him humbling himself. It is recorded that 1“when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” (2 Chronicles 33:12,13) Wow, praise God that he humbled himself enough to seek God in his trials. Not everyone does this. For this reason, did he come to know God’s mercy first hand. Because God is so good, He allowed him to become king once again. This speaks of his forgiveness. So 1“he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the Lord their God only.” (2 Chronicles 33:15-17) What you see here is Manasseh making restitution to God. This is what we call repentance in action. Even the people saw his change of heart and mind, and they began to serve the living God once again. Praise be to God. My friends, if he and others, including myself, can change our wicked ways, then anyone can. Return to the Lord Jesus, and He will graciously take you back into His fold once again. So please do this today, if you are far from God now.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people will never feel like they have sinned too much for You to forgive them. I know that I felt this way for many years of my life, while I was into pornography and it almost ruined me. I was a wreck and thought that You hated me. That there was no more love for a person such as I. My marriage was on the rocks and I could feel the hostility in the air whenever I walked into my home. I knew that these kinds of feelings were not good and it did not help my standing with you as well. But when all seemed lost, I came to you in all my brokenness and you healed me. You saw past all my sins and assured me that there was still mercy for a sinner like me. Wow, You are such a good God. There is no one like You. I just pray that people throughout the world will understand this fact. You are simply waiting for us to make a turn to follow You and then You will do the rest in our lives. We do not have to live our lives on our own and struggle in this fashion. Your peace is always there for us when we need it most. If we would just reach out our hand to You, You would always raise us up from death and unto life. Your guidance is the best I’ve ever seen and I am so much happier when I’ve listened to Your counsel than anyone else’s. Oh, how I love You, Lord. Thank You for the cross. Thank You for forgiving a wretch like me and then pointing me on the path of righteousness. I surely needed a do-over with my wife and my relationship with my kids, and all this came, the moment that You came into my life. It is awesome to believe that it started the day that I humbled myself and cried out to You in prayer. You are so good to me and always looking at my potential. Thank You. I love You, Lord. These things I pray in Your mighty Name, Jesus. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.