Let us consider the verse Malachi 3:7.
God wants us to return to Him so that He will return to us. We who worship the Lord regularly and who are believers are those who have returned to the Lord (according to us). However, the mere fact that we worship the Lord regularly or that we exist as God’s believers does not guarantee that we have returned to the Lord.
On the other hand, there should be an obvious change in the lives of those who claim to have returned to the Lord. There should be a change in their hearts so that there will also be changes in his/her life as a whole.
A great example is the younger son who returned to his father’s house after he has realized his sin. There was a major change in his life and behavior as a whole when he returned. He was not the same when returned as when he left.
His worldly life and his status has changed. Also his behavior had changed – earlier he did not pay attention to his father’s words but when he returned, he did.
We are going to investigate those changes or traits that occur in the lives of those who have returned to the Lord.
Those who returned to the Lord will fear the Lord
If we are the one who claims that we have returned to the Lord, we should self-examine our lives that if we fear the Lord. Fear of the Lord does not mean that we seek the Lord only during the times of trouble.
There are some people who sincerely attend the church on Sundays only when there occurs a serious problem in their lives.
So what is actually fearing the Lord?
If we refer to Job 1:8, we find that those who shun evil are the ones that fear the Lord.
Evil is an obvious thing to the people of the Lord and we should always stay away from evil. Also, we should not ask the Lord if we need to do such a thing or not; there is no need to pray and ask for God’s permission to do (or not do) such an evil thing – it is so obvious that we should always stay away from the evil.
Job feared the Lord and he shunned evil. We can know about the blessings God had given to Job in verse 2, 3.
Cornelius prayed to God regularly.
We should pray to God regularly if we fear the Lord.
Acts 5:11 – When the men of the church came to know about the events and God’s judgment, they feared the Lord.
Nehemiah 5:15 – Those who fear the Lord will not torture others.
Those who returned to the Lord will talk with each other
We should be in good harmony with the others and believers of the Lord. According to Psalms 119:63, we should be a friend to all those who fear the Lord and those who follow His precepts.
We should be friendly with the others and have a smooth relationship with the others. We should tolerate the others and have a friendly attitude in our minds.
Acts 2:42 – the members of the church devoted themselves to the fellowship (which comes as a second item in the list and before the prayer). If we do not maintain a good fellowship, our prayers will go waste.
(apostles’ teaching+breaking of bread+prayer)-fellowship=waste of our spiritual efforts.
According to 1John 1:7 – If we walk in the light of the Lord, we will have a good fellowship with Lord’s people. If we have returned to the Lord we will dwell in the light and be in good fellowship.
Those who returned to the Lord will remember, honor and meditate the Lord
Psalms 19: 14 – The words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart should be pleasing in the sight of the Lord. We should therefore always meditate His words. This way, we can easily cast away all the evil thoughts and things mentioned in Mark 7:21.
Psalms 63:6 – David remembers the Lord even in his bed. If we let our mind to be idle we will be invaded by evil thoughts.
Psalms 119: 148 – Our eyes should stay open and remember our Lord and His words throughout the night.
Those who returned to the Lord will offer tithe and offerings regularly
According to Malachi 3:10, one in ten of our earnings should be offered to the church. It is God’s portion and we should not use it. If we do so, we are stealing from the Lord.
Genesis 14:18 – we should not divide the tithe and offer it to various ministries according to our will. Rather we should offer the tithe to the church where we share the bread and wine with God’s people – that is, the church where we are members.
Proverbs 3: 9 – Not only in our earnings that comes in the form of money but also in various other forms as mentioned in Numbers 31:50 and Exodus 25:2.
Exodus 35: 5 – We should offer tithe and offering to our Lord from what we own. We should be willing to bring the offering and should offer wholeheartedly.
These 4 signs are vital for those who claim to have returned to the Lord.