Monday, August 06, 2012

August 6 - As the Lord Loves

Today's Reading:
Hosea 1:1-3:5
Matthew 28:1-20
Proverbs 22:28-23:9
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Hosea 3:1-2
1 The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley."

God instructed the prophet Hosea to illustrate God's great love and faithfulness to his people by taking a wife who would be unfaithful to him. Hosea's actions and responses to his wife's unfaithfulness would be a graphic real-life demonstration of God's actions and responses to the nation of Israel.

Hosea's wife was unfaithful to him, she prostituted herself, had children by other men, and eventually left Hosea for someone else. After all that, Hosea one day found her abandoned, destitute, and being sold as a slave. God told him, "Show your love to her again." Hosea paid the price to buy her back—he saved and redeemed her. He didn't just save her; that was just the beginning. Astonishingly, Hosea brought her home to be his wife! He restored his relationship with her and said, "You are to live with me in faithfulness, and I will live with you."

Response and Action:
God loves, redeems, and restores his people. God wants to save me from unfaithfulness. He desires to restore me to a right relationship with him. I need to turn away from sin and turn to God. I need to recognize the ways I am unfaithful to God and, by God's grace, put those things aside. I want to be responsive to God's love and receive the restoration and renewal he offers. I want to honor him with my life, and to learn how to "live with him in faithfulness."

O God, thank you for your love. Look upon me in mercy and redeem me from my unfaithfulness. Thank you for Jesus, who has purchased me in by laying down his life, and for your Spirit who is renewing and restoring me. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, teach, transform, shape, and strengthen me that I might delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your name. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Luke 15:17-18
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Timothy Keller

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