Category Archives: 28 – Hosea

Genuine Repentance


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 6-9; Hebrews 3

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 6:1-7

 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My family and I went to church every week, and if asked I would have called myself a Christian.  For the first 34 years of my life though, I had a wrong interpretation of repentance.  Though I called myself a Christian, I never actually read the Bible.  In my life, I knew that I was sinful.  I knew that I did things that were not pleasing to God.  At night, I would pray to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my sinfulness.  I would list out all of the bad things I had done that day for God and ask Him to forgive each one.  The problem was that in all of those years, I never really had any interest in changing my behavior.  I viewed God as a “get out of jail free card” in a sense.  I desired His forgiveness, His mercy, His blessings for my life, and His promise of salvation, but I did not desire actual change.

Our key passage today begins with Israel’s seeming repentance.  We read, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Vss. 1-3)  Now this all sounds really good.  It sounds like Israel is sorry for its sins and it sounds like Israel is ready to turn away from them and back to God.  The thing about God, however, is that He knows our hearts.  He knew that time and time again Israel called on Him for mercy and for help, but they never actually desired change.  God responded to Israel by saying, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Vs. 4)  God knew that Israel’s claims to want to return to Him were empty.  He knew that they were only interested in the material benefits God could provide.

Many people today are still misled about repentance.  People believe that as long as they are sorry for what they do, they can continue to live their lives in a sinful way without any consequences.  In fact, some churches even preach a message like this to their congregations.  They preach a “health and wealth” message of the Gospel because it is popular and it does not require actual change in the hearts of the audience.  Sadly, these churches are doing a disservice to the body of Christ because this message is not Biblical.  Time and time again in the Bible, God makes Himself perfectly clear.  He is not looking for us to simply desire forgiveness.  He is not looking for us to simply desire His mercy.  God is looking for genuine repentance.  He wants us to turn completely away from sin and turn completely toward Him.  He wants us to give up our lives of sin and replace them with lives focused on God.  Asking for forgiveness without asking God to change you is like a person calling himself a Christian without ever reading the Bible.  It is an empty gesture, and it is not what God wants for us.  Genuine repentance is a not a fleeting feeling of remorse over a sinful act.  Genuine repentance is a lifetime commitment to stop walking in the ways of evil and instead walk in the ways of God.  Anything less is like a morning mist.  Anything less is like the early dew that disappears.  Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and turn completely toward Him with everything in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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The Grass is Always Greener


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 2-5; Hebrews 2

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 2:2-8

 

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that is not very uncommon as I was driving.  I was passing by a small pasture in which a couple of cows were grazing.  The grass in the pasture was a plush green, and most of the cows seemed pretty content grazing within the fences.  The thing that caught my eye, however, was a single cow standing closest to the road.  Though this cow was standing in a nice patch of green grass, she had her head through the fence and was eating the slightly brown weeds on the other side.  It seemed this cow believed that the grass was indeed greener on the other side, and she was intent on eating it instead of eating the grass in her own pasture.   When I saw it, I knew immediately that I would be writing about that moment as an illustration here, and all I had to do was wait until the day we read Hosea chapter 2.

Today’s key passage is all about the concept that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  As we learned in yesterday’s reading, Hosea married Gomer knowing that she would be unfaithful to him.  In today’s reading we see that God’s warnings about Gomer came to fruition as we read, “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.  She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’” (Vs.5)  Gomer chased after other lovers because she believed that she could find something better than what she had at home with Hosea.  Of course, Gomer’s life was a living, breathing example of what Israel did for years.  Though Israel had everything as God’s chosen people, they were continually unfaithful to God and chased after other gods to worship, all the time believing they could find something better.  Israel, like Gomer, believed that the grass was greener on the other side.

Sadly, it is easy for all of us to fall into this trap.  It is easy for us to believe that what someone else has is better than what we have.  There are people who believe that someone else’s house is better than their house or that someone else’s life is better than their life, so they covet what their neighbors have.  There are men and women who believe they can find something better outside of their own marriages, so they fall into adultery.  They wrongly believe they have more in common with a complete stranger than with the person at home to whom they have been married for years and with whom they have raised children.  In all of these cases, the focus is always on the wrong thing.  Instead of focusing on all of the blessings God has provided, when we focus on the things He has not provided we get into trouble.  I once heard a pastor say that if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, spend some time watering your own grass!  Never forget that more often than not, the color of the grass in your own yard or in another’s yard is simply a matter of perception.  We think the grass is going to be greener on the other side, so we jump through hoops trying to get there.  We go out of our way to stick our heads through the fence, intent on getting to the other side and ignoring the barbed wire and the thickets that are in our way.  In the end though, all we find on the other side are slightly brown weeds.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Painful Obedience


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 15,16; Hosea 1; Hebrews 1

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 1:2-11

 

Most of the time obedience to God is pretty straightforward.  Either we choose to obey Him or we do not.  When we do choose to obey Him, we really do it for two reasons.  First and foremost, we obey God because of our deep love and respect for Him.  There is a second reason, however, that we obey God.  In most cases, obedience to God is in our own best interest.  It stands to reason that the Creator of the universe knows better than anyone else what is good for us and what is bad for us.  When He tells us to do something, it is in our own best interest to obey Him.  To illustrate my point, stop and think for a second about the Ten Commandments.  If you really think about it, you will see that obedience to each one is in our own best interest.  Sometimes, though, complete and total obedience to God is a bit more difficult.  Sometimes, obedience to Him has nothing to do with our own best interest, and instead focuses on the best interest of someone else.  This is when obedience can become painful.

In today’s key passage, we find the beginning of the story of Hosea and Gomer.  Hosea was a young prophet called by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel.  Now keep in mind that Hosea was a man of God.  He was a good man who had great faith, and it would stand to reason to us that God would only want the best for Hosea.  God, however, had a different plan in mind for Hosea.  God needed Hosea’s life to be a living, breathing prophetic example to Israel.  God needed Hosea to do something that was in Israel’s best interest, but not his own.  God told Hosea, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” (Vs. 2)  Now imagine for a second that you are Hosea.  God has just told you to marry a woman who is absolutely going to cheat on you.  She is absolutely going to give birth to other men’s children.  What would you do in this situation?  The next verse of Scripture is a testament to Hosea’s faithfulness and obedience to God.  In it we read, “So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Vs. 3)  Hosea did not argue with God.  Hosea did not try to get out of it or run away.  Even knowing that his obedience to God was going to be painful for him personally, Hosea simply obeyed.

Sometimes God asks us to do things that are going to be painful for us personally.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that will be difficult.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible to us.  It is in these times when our obedience is most important.  See, obedience to God for our own best interest is pretty easy, but the real mark of our character is whether or not we will obey Him when our obedience benefits others and not ourselves.  If God asks you to do something that is going to be painful, how will you respond?  My prayer today is that we will all respond the way Hosea did.  My prayer today is that we will all simply obey.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Genuine Repentance


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 6-9; Hebrews 3

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 6:1-7

 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My family and I went to church every week, and if asked I would have called myself a Christian.  For the first 34 years of my life though, I had a wrong interpretation of repentance.  Though I called myself a Christian, I never actually read the Bible.  In my life, I knew that I was sinful.  I knew that I did things that were not pleasing to God.  At night, I would pray to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my sinfulness.  I would list out all of the bad things I had done that day for God and ask Him to forgive each one.  The problem was that in all of those years, I never really had any interest in changing my behavior.  I viewed God as a “get out of jail free card” in a sense.  I desired His forgiveness, His mercy, His blessings for my life, and His promise of salvation, but I did not desire actual change.

Our key passage today begins with Israel’s seeming repentance.  We read, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Vss. 1-3)  Now this all sounds really good.  It sounds like Israel is sorry for its sins and it sounds like Israel is ready to turn away from them and back to God.  The thing about God, however, is that He knows our hearts.  He knew that time and time again Israel called on Him for mercy and for help, but they never actually desired change.  God responded to Israel by saying, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Vs. 4)  God knew that Israel’s claims to want to return to Him were empty.  He knew that they were only interested in the material benefits God could provide.

Many people today are still misled about repentance.  People believe that as long as they are sorry for what they do, they can continue to live their lives in a sinful way without any consequences.  In fact, some churches even preach a message like this to their congregations.  They preach a “health and wealth” message of the Gospel because it is popular and it does not require actual change in the hearts of the audience.  Sadly, these churches are doing a disservice to the body of Christ because this message is not Biblical.  Time and time again in the Bible, God makes Himself perfectly clear.  He is not looking for us to simply desire forgiveness.  He is not looking for us to simply desire His mercy.  God is looking for genuine repentance.  He wants us to turn completely away from sin and turn completely toward Him.  He wants us to give up our lives of sin and replace them with lives focused on God.  Asking for forgiveness without asking God to change you is like a person calling himself a Christian without ever reading the Bible.  It is an empty gesture, and it is not what God wants for us.  Genuine repentance is a not a fleeting feeling of remorse over a sinful act.  Genuine repentance is a lifetime commitment to stop walking in the ways of evil and instead walk in the ways of God.  Anything less is like a morning mist.  Anything less is like the early dew that disappears.  Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and turn completely toward Him with everything in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Grass is Always Greener


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 2-5; Hebrews 2

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 2:2-8

 

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that is not very uncommon as I was driving.  I was passing by a small pasture in which a couple of cows were grazing.  The grass in the pasture was a plush green, and most of the cows seemed pretty content grazing within the fences.  The thing that caught my eye, however, was a single cow standing closest to the road.  Though this cow was standing in a nice patch of green grass, she had her head through the fence and was eating the slightly brown weeds on the other side.  It seemed this cow believed that the grass was indeed greener on the other side, and she was intent on eating it instead of eating the grass in her own pasture.   When I saw it, I knew immediately that I would be writing about that moment as an illustration here, and all I had to do was wait until the day we read Hosea chapter 2.

Today’s key passage is all about the concept that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  As we learned in yesterday’s reading, Hosea married Gomer knowing that she would be unfaithful to him.  In today’s reading we see that God’s warnings about Gomer came to fruition as we read, “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.  She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’” (Vs.5)  Gomer chased after other lovers because she believed that she could find something better than what she had at home with Hosea.  Of course, Gomer’s life was a living, breathing example of what Israel did for years.  Though Israel had everything as God’s chosen people, they were continually unfaithful to God and chased after other gods to worship, all the time believing they could find something better.  Israel, like Gomer, believed that the grass was greener on the other side.

Sadly, it is easy for all of us to fall into this trap.  It is easy for us to believe that what someone else has is better than what we have.  There are people who believe that someone else’s house is better than their house or that someone else’s life is better than their life, so they covet what their neighbors have.  There are men and women who believe they can find something better outside of their own marriages, so they fall into adultery.  They wrongly believe they have more in common with a complete stranger than with the person at home to whom they have been married for years and with whom they have raised children.  In all of these cases, the focus is always on the wrong thing.  Instead of focusing on all of the blessings God has provided, when we focus on the things He has not provided we get into trouble.  I once heard a pastor say that if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, spend some time watering your own grass!  Never forget that more often than not, the color of the grass in your own yard or in another’s yard is simply a matter of perception.  We think the grass is going to be greener on the other side, so we jump through hoops trying to get there.  We go out of our way to stick our heads through the fence, intent on getting to the other side and ignoring the barbed wire and the thickets that are in our way.  In the end though, all we find on the other side are slightly brown weeds.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Painful Obedience


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 15,16; Hosea 1; Hebrews 1

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 1:2-11

 

Most of the time obedience to God is pretty straightforward.  Either we choose to obey Him or we do not.  When we do choose to obey Him, we really do it for two reasons.  First and foremost, we obey God because of our deep love and respect for Him.  There is a second reason, however, that we obey God.  In most cases, obedience to God is in our own best interest.  It stands to reason that the Creator of the universe knows better than anyone else what is good for us and what is bad for us.  When He tells us to do something, it is in our own best interest to obey Him.  To illustrate my point, stop and think for a second about the Ten Commandments.  If you really think about it, you will see that obedience to each one is in our own best interest.  Sometimes, though, complete and total obedience to God is a bit more difficult.  Sometimes, obedience to Him has nothing to do with our own best interest, and instead focuses on the best interest of someone else.  This is when obedience can become painful.

In today’s key passage, we find the beginning of the story of Hosea and Gomer.  Hosea was a young prophet called by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel.  Now keep in mind that Hosea was a man of God.  He was a good man who had great faith, and it would stand to reason to us that God would only want the best for Hosea.  God, however, had a different plan in mind for Hosea.  God needed Hosea’s life to be a living, breathing prophetic example to Israel.  God needed Hosea to do something that was in Israel’s best interest, but not his own.  God told Hosea, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” (Vs. 2)  Now imagine for a second that you are Hosea.  God has just told you to marry a woman who is absolutely going to cheat on you.  She is absolutely going to give birth to other men’s children.  What would you do in this situation?  The next verse of Scripture is a testament to Hosea’s faithfulness and obedience to God.  In it we read, “So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Vs. 3)  Hosea did not argue with God.  Hosea did not try to get out of it or run away.  Even knowing that his obedience to God was going to be painful for him personally, Hosea simply obeyed.

Sometimes God asks us to do things that are going to be painful for us personally.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that will be difficult.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible to us.  It is in these times when our obedience is most important.  See, obedience to God for our own best interest is pretty easy, but the real mark of our character is whether or not we will obey Him when our obedience benefits others and not ourselves.  If God asks you to do something that is going to be painful, how will you respond?  My prayer today is that we will all respond the way Hosea did.  My prayer today is that we will all simply obey.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Genuine Repentance


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 6-9; Hebrews 3

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 6:1-7

 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My family and I went to church every week, and if asked I would have called myself a Christian.  For the first 34 years of my life though, I had a wrong interpretation of repentance.  Though I called myself a Christian, I never actually read the Bible.  In my life, I knew that I was sinful.  I knew that I did things that were not pleasing to God.  At night, I would pray to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my sinfulness.  I would list out all of the bad things I had done that day for God and ask Him to forgive each one.  The problem was that in all of those years, I never really had any interest in changing my behavior.  I viewed God as a “get out of jail free card” in a sense.  I desired His forgiveness, His mercy, His blessings for my life, and His promise of salvation, but I did not desire actual change.

Our key passage today begins with Israel’s seeming repentance.  We read, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Vss. 1-3)  Now this all sounds really good.  It sounds like Israel is sorry for its sins and it sounds like Israel is ready to turn away from them and back to God.  The thing about God, however, is that He knows our hearts.  He knew that time and time again Israel called on Him for mercy and for help, but they never actually desired change.  God responded to Israel by saying, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Vs. 4)  God knew that Israel’s claims to want to return to Him were empty.  He knew that they were only interested in the material benefits God could provide.

Many people today are still misled about repentance.  People believe that as long as they are sorry for what they do, they can continue to live their lives in a sinful way without any consequences.  In fact, some churches even preach a message like this to their congregations.  They preach a “health and wealth” message of the Gospel because it is popular and it does not require actual change in the hearts of the audience.  Sadly, these churches are doing a disservice to the body of Christ because this message is not Biblical.  Time and time again in the Bible, God makes Himself perfectly clear.  He is not looking for us to simply desire forgiveness.  He is not looking for us to simply desire His mercy.  God is looking for genuine repentance.  He wants us to turn completely away from sin and turn completely toward Him.  He wants us to give up our lives of sin and replace them with lives focused on God.  Asking for forgiveness without asking God to change you is like a person calling himself a Christian without ever reading the Bible.  It is an empty gesture, and it is not what God wants for us.  Genuine repentance is a not a fleeting feeling of remorse over a sinful act.  Genuine repentance is a lifetime commitment to stop walking in the ways of evil and instead walk in the ways of God.  Anything less is like a morning mist.  Anything less is like the early dew that disappears.  Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and turn completely toward Him with everything in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Grass is Always Greener


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 2-5; Hebrews 2

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 2:2-8

 

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that is not very uncommon as I was driving.  I was passing by a small pasture in which a couple of cows were grazing.  The grass in the pasture was a plush green, and most of the cows seemed pretty content grazing within the fences.  The thing that caught my eye, however, was a single cow standing closest to the road.  Though this cow was standing in a nice patch of green grass, she had her head through the fence and was eating the slightly brown weeds on the other side.  It seemed this cow believed that the grass was indeed greener on the other side, and she was intent on eating it instead of eating the grass in her own pasture.   When I saw it, I knew immediately that I would be writing about that moment as an illustration here, and all I had to do was wait until the day we read Hosea chapter 2.

Today’s key passage is all about the concept that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  As we learned in yesterday’s reading, Hosea married Gomer knowing that she would be unfaithful to him.  In today’s reading we see that God’s warnings about Gomer came to fruition as we read, “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.  She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’” (Vs.5)  Gomer chased after other lovers because she believed that she could find something better than what she had at home with Hosea.  Of course, Gomer’s life was a living, breathing example of what Israel did for years.  Though Israel had everything as God’s chosen people, they were continually unfaithful to God and chased after other gods to worship, all the time believing they could find something better.  Israel, like Gomer, believed that the grass was greener on the other side.

Sadly, it is easy for all of us to fall into this trap.  It is easy for us to believe that what someone else has is better than what we have.  There are people who believe that someone else’s house is better than their house or that someone else’s life is better than their life, so they covet what their neighbors have.  There are men and women who believe they can find something better outside of their own marriages, so they fall into adultery.  They wrongly believe they have more in common with a complete stranger than with the person at home to whom they have been married for years and with whom they have raised children.  In all of these cases, the focus is always on the wrong thing.  Instead of focusing on all of the blessings God has provided, when we focus on the things He has not provided we get into trouble.  I once heard a pastor say that if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, spend some time watering your own grass!  Never forget that more often than not, the color of the grass in your own yard or in another’s yard is simply a matter of perception.  We think the grass is going to be greener on the other side, so we jump through hoops trying to get there.  We go out of our way to stick our heads through the fence, intent on getting to the other side and ignoring the barbed wire and the thickets that are in our way.  In the end though, all we find on the other side are slightly brown weeds.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Painful Obedience


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 15,16; Hosea 1; Hebrews 1

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 1:2-11

 

Most of the time obedience to God is pretty straightforward.  Either we choose to obey Him or we do not.  When we do choose to obey Him, we really do it for two reasons.  First and foremost, we obey God because of our deep love and respect for Him.  There is a second reason, however, that we obey God.  In most cases, obedience to God is in our own best interest.  It stands to reason that the Creator of the universe knows better than anyone else what is good for us and what is bad for us.  When He tells us to do something, it is in our own best interest to obey Him.  To illustrate my point, stop and think for a second about the Ten Commandments.  If you really think about it, you will see that obedience to each one is in our own best interest.  Sometimes, though, complete and total obedience to God is a bit more difficult.  Sometimes, obedience to Him has nothing to do with our own best interest, and instead focuses on the best interest of someone else.  This is when obedience can become painful.

In today’s key passage, we find the beginning of the story of Hosea and Gomer.  Hosea was a young prophet called by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel.  Now keep in mind that Hosea was a man of God.  He was a good man who had great faith, and it would stand to reason to us that God would only want the best for Hosea.  God, however, had a different plan in mind for Hosea.  God needed Hosea’s life to be a living, breathing prophetic example to Israel.  God needed Hosea to do something that was in Israel’s best interest, but not his own.  God told Hosea, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” (Vs. 2)  Now imagine for a second that you are Hosea.  God has just told you to marry a woman who is absolutely going to cheat on you.  She is absolutely going to give birth to other men’s children.  What would you do in this situation?  The next verse of Scripture is a testament to Hosea’s faithfulness and obedience to God.  In it we read, “So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Vs. 3)  Hosea did not argue with God.  Hosea did not try to get out of it or run away.  Even knowing that his obedience to God was going to be painful for him personally, Hosea simply obeyed.

Sometimes God asks us to do things that are going to be painful for us personally.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that will be difficult.  Sometimes he asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible to us.  It is in these times when our obedience is most important.  See, obedience to God for our own best interest is pretty easy, but the real mark of our character is whether or not we will obey Him when our obedience benefits others and not ourselves.  If God asks you to do something that is going to be painful, how will you respond?  My prayer today is that we will all respond the way Hosea did.  My prayer today is that we will all simply obey.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Genuine Repentance


Daily Bible Reading – Hosea 6-9; Hebrews 3

Today’s Key Passage – Hosea 6:1-7

 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My family and I went to church every week, and if asked I would have called myself a Christian.  For the first 34 years of my life though, I had a wrong interpretation of repentance.  Though I called myself a Christian, I never actually read the Bible.  In my life, I knew that I was sinful.  I knew that I did things that were not pleasing to God.  At night, I would pray to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my sinfulness.  I would list out all of the bad things I had done that day for God and ask Him to forgive each one.  The problem was that in all of those years, I never really had any interest in changing my behavior.  I viewed God as a “get out of jail free card” in a sense.  I desired His forgiveness, His mercy, His blessings for my life, and His promise of salvation, but I did not desire actual change.

Our key passage today begins with Israel’s seeming repentance.  We read, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Vss. 1-3)  Now this all sounds really good.  It sounds like Israel is sorry for its sins and it sounds like Israel is ready to turn away from them and back to God.  The thing about God, however, is that He knows our hearts.  He knew that time and time again Israel called on Him for mercy and for help, but they never actually desired change.  God responded to Israel by saying, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Vs. 4)  God knew that Israel’s claims to want to return to Him were empty.  He knew that they were only interested in the material benefits God could provide.

Many people today are still misled about repentance.  People believe that as long as they are sorry for what they do, they can continue to live their lives in a sinful way without any consequences.  In fact, some churches even preach a message like this to their congregations.  They preach a “health and wealth” message of the Gospel because it is popular and it does not require actual change in the hearts of the audience.  Sadly, these churches are doing a disservice to the body of Christ because this message is not Biblical.  Time and time again in the Bible, God makes Himself perfectly clear.  He is not looking for us to simply desire forgiveness.  He is not looking for us to simply desire His mercy.  God is looking for genuine repentance.  He wants us to turn completely away from sin and turn completely toward Him.  He wants us to give up our lives of sin and replace them with lives focused on God.  Asking for forgiveness without asking God to change you is like a person calling himself a Christian without ever reading the Bible.  It is an empty gesture, and it is not what God wants for us.  Genuine repentance is a not a fleeting feeling of remorse over a sinful act.  Genuine repentance is a lifetime commitment to stop walking in the ways of evil and instead walk in the ways of God.  Anything less is like a morning mist.  Anything less is like the early dew that disappears.  Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and turn completely toward Him with everything in your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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