Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Here is the same verse in The Message:
“Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, this most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.”
We serve a most patient God! Under grace we know we are forgiven by the blood of Christ. But, He still wants more than the outward motions of repentance (“talk is cheap” so to say). God wants to see a changed heart. He is the only one who will really ever know how deep the change goes.
Our prayer for our prodigals should be that they will repent, not only outwardly, but have a heart that is broken over their sin…
Rend your heart, _______ and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, _______, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.