Tag Archives: Hosea

Isaiah 17-19; Psalm 62; 1 Corinthians 1

18The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19It is written in the Scriptures:

“I will cause the wise men to lose their wisdom.

I will make the wise men unable to understand.” Isaiah 29:14

20Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the philosopher of our times? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. 21The world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe it. 22The Jews ask for miracles as proofs. The Greeks want wisdom. 23But we preach Christ on the cross. This is a big problem to the Jews. And it seems foolish to the non-Jews. 24But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks. 25Even the foolishness of God is wiser than men. Even the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26Brothers, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28And he chose what the world thinks is not important. He chose what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29God did this so that no man can brag before him. 30It is God who has made you part of Christ Jesus. Christ has become wisdom for us from God. Christ is the reason we are right with God and have freedom from sin; Christ is the reason we are holy. 31So, as the Scripture says, “If a person brags, he should brag only about the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (ICB)

The Cross.

The symbol believers look toward for redemption. The knowledge that God’s Son, come to earth in the form of man, willingly laid Himself down as a sacrificial Lamb, so that all mankind could be saved for eternity.

In one of my ministry school classes, we were encouraged to really study the Cross, to be CSI as it were-to get intimate with the bloody crime scene of our Savior’s death; to truly understand the lengths that Jesus went to because He loves us SO much.

My favorite biblical movie to date is The Passion of the Christ. It’s my favorite because the graphic portrayal of what happened that day over 2000 years ago. For the first time I truly understood the anguish, the pain, the suffering that Jesus chose to experience for me. The childhood pictures of a pristine Christ with a crown of thorns around His curly locks, nails in His very white hands and feet, and a thin line of blood in His side blinding me to the horrors of that day fell like shackles off the eyes of my heart.

The Cross…foolishness.

In no other religion, that I have studied, do the ‘gods’ sacrifice themselves for their people. In many of those religions, the ‘gods’ actually require the people to do heinous things to their own bodies. Things like walking across fire, leaving the feet with third degree burns, or putting metal hooks in the skin and pulling their god’s chariot through the village.

And, yet, Christ did what made no sense to the wisdom of man. He laid Himself down, humbled Himself, as low as a man could go, into death, a thief’s punishment, so that upon His resurrection, everyone could be restored into right relationship with God.

Nothing I can do makes me right with God, only Jesus revives my connection to Him. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to be sin-free, only my Savior makes me blameless before the Father. No matter how righteous I act, only Christ makes me holy. Only He redeems my life and makes it truly worthy.

Yesappa, Thank You for the foolishness of the Cross.

 

Blessings, Julie

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Hosea 14, 2 Chronicles 26-27; Psalm 61; Matthew 20

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

“He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” Matthew 20:1-16

I am so intrigued by parables – the unique way of teaching through storytelling and the multifaceted truths that can be found depending on one’s perspective. Whenever I read a parable I want to better understand the layers of meaning. I can stay on the surface, looking at the outside layer that tends to pop out; I can go deeper, looking into the context within society during the time of Christ. And, I can go deeper still, to the heart of the parable, delving into the spiritual layer, asking God for insight into His heart.

As I was praying over the reading selection today, asking God to highlight what He wanted to teach me, I kept hearing the word “Grace”. When I look at myself honestly, I know I am not deserving of everything that God gives me apart from Him. In my humanness, I don’t even come close to meeting the requirements for perfection, and if I was earning a wage, my pay would be docked for all of my failings.

But fortunately, God’s grace changes everything; a gift, undeserved, makes all believers equal in God’s eyes. It doesn’t matter what the past looked like – someone on death row for murder, truly repentant before God is as righteous as someone who has gone to church her whole life, believing in Christ as a child. It doesn’t matter what the present looks like – being a missionary in a foreign country sharing Jesus with people who have never heard His name is as valuable as someone who serves the people in his church and community. It doesn’t matter if I am first in line or last in line or somewhere in the middle of the line, I will still receive the same “wage”.

Living in the Kingdom of Heaven is an equalizer not because of who I am, or what I do, or how hard or long I work; the Kingdom of Heaven is an equalizer because of the “wage”:

The“wage” IS Christ. There is no partial payment, there isn’t overtime, there is only a “full day’s wage” – His life laid down, His blood spilled, dead and buried, then risen in Glory to bring freedom and restoration – a gift of grace for everyone who accepts it, love, mercy, favor, honor, the same gift for all.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your gift of grace, the greatest, most undeserved wage I could receive. Thank You for loving me, for offering me mercy, for bestowing me with favor, and for honoring me as Your daughter. Thank You for giving me worth and making me a valuable part of Your Kingdom. Help me walk in this knowledge daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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2 Kings 18; Philemon; Hosea 11; Psalms 132, 133, 134

The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this:

“The great king, the king of Assyria, says: What can you trust in now? You say you have battle plans and power for war, but your words mean nothing. Whom are you trusting for help so that you turn against me?

“Don’t listen to Hezekiah. He is fooling you when he says, ‘The Lord will save us.’ Has a god of any other nation saved his people from the power of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? They did not save Samaria from my power. Not one of all the gods of these countries has saved his people from me. Neither can the Lord save Jerusalem from my power.” 2 Kings 18:19-20; 32b-35 (NCV)

When I am in the midst of a struggle in life, I can hear two voices at war in my head.

The voice of the enemy screams at me, shouting half-truths about the struggle and solutions to the problem, taunting me with intimidation, threatening my life, and questioning the faithfulness of my God. The enemy tries to scare me into believing that I am all alone, that maybe the Lord really isn’t all-knowing, all-powerful, that He isn’t a loving God but an angry God. The enemy attempts to turn my heart, my mind, my soul against the only True and Living God, tries to weaken my trust in Him.

“Israel, how can I give you up?

How can I give you away, Israel?

I don’t want to make you like Admah

or treat you like Zeboiim.

My heart beats for you,

and my love for you stirs up my pity.

I won’t punish you in my anger,

and I won’t destroy Israel again.

I am God and not a human;

I am the Holy One, and I am among you.

I will not come against you in anger.

Hosea 11:8-9 (NCV)

The voice of God whispers, still and small, yet clear. He speaks kindness, love. He shares His heart for me, His child; He reminds me that He will never leave me nor forsake me, even when, according to the world’s standards, I may have done something to deserve punishment. He retells His Good News – He gave His Son, the final blood sacrifice, offered me the priceless gift of grace and mercy, and provided redemption and reconciliation. He shares His strength with me, shares His truth with me, shares His wisdom with me. He gives me the answer – Trust. In. Me.

It is up to me to decide who to trust, what voice to listen to. Sometimes it is hard to hear anything but the loud, clamoring noise from the enemy camp. It is hard to stand up to the heckling and there are moments in my human weakness when I succumb to the jeers and give in. I start to believe the lies of the enemy.

Maybe Onesimus was separated from you for a short time so you could have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a loved brother. I love him very much, but you will love him even more, both as a person and as a believer in the Lord. Philemon 1:15-16 (NCV)

Then, in my feebleness, in those moments of separation from my Heavenly Father, I feel a strength that is not my own lifting me up, strengthening me. His truth rings in my ear, reverberates into my heart. His low tones rumble encouragement to my spirit and I remember the choice I made years ago to trust in Him and lean not on my own understanding. I remember that He chose me first, before the beginning of time, before I ever cared for Him. The battle of the voices ends and God’s voice resounds clear.

The Lord has chosen Jerusalem;

he wants it for his home.

He says, “This is my resting place forever.

Here is where I want to stay.

Psalm 132:13-14 (NCV)

I am in Him and He is in me forever and ever. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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2 Kings 14; 2 Timothy 4; Hosea 7; Psalms 120-122

Hosea speaks from the very heart of God.  God yearns to buy back his people from their self imposed slavery and free them from the lies they tell about themselves and the God whose name they are supposed to hold sacred.

I long to redeem them but they tell lies against me. 

God wants to comfort the aching hearts of his people, but they turn their faces from him.

They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. 

He wants to be the reason for their parties and bring them joy deeper and fuller than they have ever dreamed of.

They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. Hosea 7:13.

God raised them up to serve him and reflect his glory, but they used the goodness he brought to turn against him.

I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. Hosea 7:15

He longed to see their hearts turned towards him and be saved from death.  Instead, they self destructed.

They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt. Hosea 7:16

I read the story of a man whose father sold him into slavery years after the Civil War (The Emancipation of Robert Sadler).  Robert Sadler learned to live to please his sadistic torturer of a master. When he finally escaped, he struggled with learning how to live as a free man. At one point, he even went back to try and serve his master. As crazy as that sounds, I can be just like Mr. Sadler and the people of Israel and Judah.  I know where true freedom lives and I am quite capable of turning away and walking the opposite direction if it were not for the patient and persistent voice of Jesus calling me back. Amazing grace.

Kathy

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2 Kings 10, 11; 2 Timothy 1; Hosea 2; Psalms 119:97-120

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (ASV)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (AMP)

For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of strength and of love and of temperance. (JUB)

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (MSG)

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control. (NCV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)

For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind. (NLV)

God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. (NOG)

For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them. (TLB)

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. (VOICE)

2 Timothy 1:7

Since I have been walking with the Lord, this is one of my go-to verses. When I am struggling in the battlefield of my mind – when I am full of anxiety and fear, filled with bitterness and resentment, feeling insignificant, overwhelmed, and out of control – it helps me remember that I have not been abandoned to my own devices. It reminds me that I am not alone, even when it sometimes feels like it, because He is in me and I am in Him (John 15:5). It reminds me that God has equipped me with the tools that I need to overcome every struggle. And, it prompts me to look to the Lord for the strength I need to triumph over the tactics of the enemy to control and manipulate my thinking and disrupt my journey.

God has given me so many gifts, not because I did anything in my life to deserve them, but because He is my Father and He loves me. The most important gift He gave me was grace given through the sacrificial payment for my sins by Jesus on the cross. At the moment I believed, in Christ’s death and resurrection, I was made new and filled by God’s Spirit. His Spirit became alive in me, and transformed my essence from one of fear and desperation to one of strength.

The original Greek1 offers deeper insight into this spiritual transformation. God gives me the inner quality and character of ability (dunameos), of love (agapes) and of sanity (sophronismou).

God is capable. He is effective, productive, powerful and mighty. Because He has empowered me and given me boldness; even in my weakness, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

God is love (1 John 4:7-9). His love enables me to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and makes it possible for me to love others generously (Matthew 22:37-39; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

God is the epitome of self-control, discipline and balance. He gives me the ability to exercise good judgment, to govern myself, to manage my emotions and not allow them to enslave me. He gives me awareness in times of danger, wisdom, forethought, and common sense. He helps me use my resources well and helps me keep my priorities in godly order.

John MacArthur says:

…all believers possess these marvelous, God-given endowments: power, to be effective in His service; love, to have the right attitude toward Him and others; and discipline, to focus and apply every part of our lives according to His will. When those endowments are all present, marvelous results occur.”2

Just as I am assured that these good gifts come from the Lord, I am certain that when I experience a spirit of dread (deilias), it is an offering from my enemy designed to trick me into taking my focus off of God. At times, because I am human, I will still experience fear and anxiety; a lack of courage will creep into my psyche or my self-confidence will wane. But, putting my focus back on God, on His goodness and grace, will help me to quickly move from a self-destructive state to a position of strength and poise. His love removes the fear, injects peace, and quiets my heart (1 John 4:18-19).

Yesappa, Thank You for Your life-giving Spirit. Thank You for being with me always. Thank You for giving me wisdom, understanding, and direction. Thank You for building strength and instilling in me the knowledge and reverence of God. Thank You for casting away my fear and replacing it with power, love, and discipline. You are my hiding place and my shield. I love Your teachings, Your Word. Help me to meditate on them throughout each day, allowing them to become a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Through You, and by You I live; only because of You, I am saved. In Jesus’ name. Amen.3

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

1Greek Word Study and Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:7

2MacArthur, J. 2 Timothy. Chicago: Moody Press.

3Isaiah 2:11; Psalm 119:97-120

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Hosea 5, 6, 7, 8; Romans 15:1-13

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Romans 15:1-3 (MSG)

I know that these verses are speaking of spiritual weakness, however, I also believe that the same holds true for those who are experiencing physical weaknesses.

Having given birth to my second child at the end of September, I truly understand the need for the strength of helpers to help me in my current state of frailty. It has been a blessing to hear the words, “How can I help?” and know that it is genuine, from the heart, and in the footsteps of Christ.

Those who have helped me over the past week and a half have assisted me not because of their own desires for glory and recognition, but because they love me in the ways that Holy Spirit asked them to.

If it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus! So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Romans 15:4-7 (MSG)

Every time we step out of our own self-centeredness and think about the needs of another, we are growing; growing in character, in maturity, we are becoming more like Jesus. As we grow more like Christ, we become more connected to one another; we become more and more unified.

As we help others in their weaknesses they grow in strength and become fortified. Likewise, we are encouraged and more equipped to be confident in our own places of weakness.

Though it feels difficult to be in a vulnerable place, those uncomfortable experiences of fragility allow the blessings of God the Father to flow through others into ourselves. I don’t believe that He want us to have to experience those moments of neediness, but when we do and respond by relying on His love, grace, protection, and provision, directly through Him as well as through others, His healing, strengthening, glorious rain will fall down on us like rain to refresh, revive, and re-energize us.

In a couple of days we’ll feel better.
By the third day he’ll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet,
fit to face him.
We’re ready to study God,
eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks,
so sure is his daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes,
as spring rain refreshing the ground
.” Hosea 6:2-3 (MSG)

Yesappa, Thank you!

 

Welcome to the Earth, R. Hadassah Yael Serah!

(Born 28, September 2012 at 9:42am, 20.5 inches, 8 pounds, 3 ounces)

My Sweet Serah! (pronounced “Say-rah”)

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

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2 Kings 10, 2 Kings 11, 2 Timothy 1, Hosea 2, Psalm 119:97-120

Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. 2 Kings 10:16

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97

 Our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10

Read at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2010,%202%20Kings%2011,%202%20Timothy%201,%20Hosea%202,%20Psalm%20119:97-120&version=NKJV

             How can I live without the Presence of God? All five readings demonstrate and prove the intrinsic value and joyous quality of life when life is lived adhering to the Word of God! Woe to those, including me, who do NOT honor the living Lord God Almighty fully and instead worship, even slightly, anyone/thing else!! They suffer daily, and without repentance and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ shall perish after this brief life. (James 4:7; John 10:30; John 14:6; John 3:3-5, John 3:16-21, Matthew 18:1-5; Acts 4:10-12, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 10:28, Revelation 21:6-8)

2 Kings 10                Just prior to these scenes, the LORD says to Jehu: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” 2 Kings 9:3

            Jehu responds emphatically by wiping out all of his potential adversaries. Jehu states his motivation: “Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.” v.16  Jehu has Ahab’s 70 sons (v.1-11), 42 brothers of Ahaziah, king of Judah(v.12-14), and the rest of Ahab’s family (v.15-17) all killed.

               What enemies are in my midst? What strongholds, blind spots, hidden thoughts, patterns and ways which defy the LORD and are lurking to take the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ within my heart? Not people, but my own allegiances which are against the Word of God? I must hold each of these to the Truth Mirror of the Bible. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

            Then Jehu states deceptively, “I have a great sacrifice for Baal.” Jehu gathers all the Baal priests and worshippers together for “a solemn assembly for Baal. … and all …came” Then Jehu orders: “Go in and kill them; let no one come out!” Furthermore, “they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump … Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.”  (v.18-28)

            What do I worship? Spending time with whom? Doing what? Buying, selling, ingesting, imbibing, drugging, watching, listening, wasting time, … Are there idols, images or thoughts which are Not Christ centered or Biblical? Am I valuing my own pleasures, desires or a prideful self-image? Break those temples Lord Jesus! Reveal to me the revelry in my own heart and break my heart for what breaks Yours! I give you full reign over my heart, eyes, hands and will. Psalm 51  

            Jehu did a fabulous job of rooting out all the “sickness” which was against the Holy God. God noticed (as always!), “the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” v.30

              My zeal has consumed me, Because my enemies have forgotten Your words. Psalm 119:139, Numbers 25:13, Psalm 69:9, John 2:17 

2 Kings 11                Meanwhile in Judah, after Ahaziah dies, his mother “arose and destroyed all the royal heirs.” v.1 But God’s remnant remained! A grandson, Joash, is hidden “in the house of the LORD for six years” while the queen mother harshly rules Judah.  “In the seventh year Jehoiada,” the LORD’s priest, “brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony” When the queen found out, she “tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” and was swiftly killed.

             To what do I cry “Treason! Treason!”? What crosses my line of sensibilities? What raises my hackles? Do I yell it in rebuff when someone wants me to stop being self indulgent? Do I yell it when others are involved in wrong around me? Treason to whom? To myself, my family, my culture or to my King?  

             “Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD, the king, and the people, that they should be the LORD’s people, … went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. … They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, … And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. … So all the people of the land rejoiced”

             What legacy am I leaving for my children? One of the Lord God Almighty or not? Eternal life or eternal death? Or is it a mixture by which a half truth is really a full lie? What high places of sin are not torn down in me so that I cannot see it in my children? Luke 6:41-42

            Lord, cleanse me more and cleanse my entire family so that we all stand in worship of You 24/7/365 no matter where we are!! May the people of my household rejoice in You, their Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ All Ways!! 

2 Timothy 1              What has God given to me? To you? “the genuine faith…  the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

             What MUST I do about it? “do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, … for the gospel according to the power of God, … Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, … according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began”  

            Why? Because “our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”

            Resolutely I agree: “I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

            How can I do this? “Hold fast the pattern of sound words”, most specifically the Word of God.

           It is impossible to live for the Lord God Almighty, the God of the Old and New Testaments, unless I am filled with His Holy Spirit. (Acts 4:31, Romans 15:13, Acts 13:52, Ephesians 5:18, John 15:26, John 16:13, Psalm 31:5, John 4:24)

           Furthermore, I can feel spurned by those who live in the “mixture” of lies and truth: compromised, rationalized and excused half-belief in the Word of God. (v. 12-14) Lord Jesus, please open the eyes of their heart to Your saving death. Cause in them a desperate need for Your cleansing Blood. Make them aware that nothing else will suffice the wrath of God. (Romans 1:18, Romans 2:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, John 3:36, 1 Peter 1:17-21)

Hosea 2         Just like we read in the 2 Kings 10-11, the Lord God is Jealous (Exodus 34:14) for us, His people. Being double minded, unfaithful and hard hearted is unacceptable within the Covenant of Love we have by the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 4:10).

              The Lord God shows us mercy by revealing to us who we are and how we are compared to His Holiness, and then by doing something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.  

            Hosea 2:        Mercy is shown. … Bring charges against… Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, … And expose her, … her children, For they are the children of harlotry. … behaved shamefully.

              I will hedge up your way with thorns,  And wall her in, Then she will say, ‘ I will go and return to my first husband,’ 

             Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,  And no one shall deliver her from My hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, …I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. … But Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

The Lord God is a Jealous God – Who loves us for our own benefit!

             “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. …  She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth,… “And it shall be, in that day,”  Says the LORD, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’ For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant ….”

            “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD. And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”

Psalm 119:97-120               To You, my Sovereign Lord and God!  May my heart speak this to You with no falsehood or hidden sin:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word.
For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your Words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Therefore I hate every false way.

I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your Word.   

The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart..
         
I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,…

You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, or their deceit is falsehood.
My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments.

How I praise You my Creator, Redeemer, Lord and Father!

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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