Hosea

Tuesday Devotional: Hosea 4

Read Hosea 4bible

James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Matthew 18:6

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Woe to you, teachers of the law, pastors, ministers, priests, elders, deacons, Bible study leaders, missionaries, Christians.  We are given such a gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.  However, this gift brings with it tremendous responsibility and obligation to truth and to the well-being of those we interact with and, in many cases, lead.  God pronounces a judgment through Hosea that rings true today.  The leaders and ambassadors of Jesus Christ have in many ways failed.  Many churches have lost the message of Jesus and in some cases have totally traded the presence of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for an image of a co-worker, friend, buddy, neat-guy, Jesus.

Where is obedience to His Gospel?  Where is obedience to God’s Word?  Where are self-sacrifice and humility?  Where are perseverance and the pursuit of righteousness and the active fight against the prince of this world, Satan?  Where is equality?  Where is the hunger and prayer for reconciliation as opposed to division for the sake of comfort?  Where is the unbreakable bond of marriage?  Where purity?  Where is prayer?  Where is faith?  Where is Jesus?  The message of Jesus is not easy or convenient but it is simple and true.  Why are so many people unsure about what is required of them as Christians?  Is it because they are not themselves pursuing truth in the scriptures?  Is it because they are being misled by leaders who have abandoned truth?  Is it because they are not being led at all?

It is a privilege and an honor to be called to lead someone to Christ, but have we not forgotten that there are consequences for leading them away from Him?  Repent, Teachers!  Repent, Pastors!  Repent, Priests!  Repent, Christians!  It is a gift to work alongside the Father in His work of redemption in this world but that work has clear directives that must be followed, or else.  Or else.  That sounds scary, and it should.  We are given a responsibility to shepherd, protect and care for those God has given us to disciple.  God is sovereign and this does not mean that we have to be perfect.  Far from it.  We will never be perfect. On the contrary, we will continue with our fight against sin as we disciple.  However, we are called to teach and obey a perfect covenant.  This is non-negotiable.  If we do and we make mistakes, there is grace.  If we don’t and we lead people away from Christ, there is without a doubt judgment.  Count the cost, leaders!  Are you called to lead?  Never neglect to pray for our Heavenly Father’s grace upon your endeavors.

Tuesday Devotional: Hosea 1

bibleRead Hosea 1 here. 

There are very few things that we value more than our relationships.  Relationships require us to trust beyond comfort and to make ourselves emotionally vulnerable beyond security.  When a relationship is given a firm foundation of trust, and security to flourish, we will treasure the result more than most things.  These relationships become the closest to home that we will ever find, anchoring us when all other things show signs of weakness.  However, nothing quite compares to the pain when these relationships strain, weaken and eventually break.  The pain of broken trust and safety is something that many people never recover from.  The two things that most often fracture these relationships are indifference and unfaithfulness.  The experience of one’s trust and love not being reciprocated has the power to completely break a once unstoppable heart.  The experience of trust and love being set aside for the pursuit of another love can empty a heart once so abundantly full of endless love ready to be given.  Yet the love of the creator God has extended far beyond our love for one another.  The love of the Creator has broken the bonds of time that so constrict our human relationships.  The creator God has experienced an ongoing cycle of broken “ideal relationships,” yet has continued to pursue the ones he loves.  His love, for all intents and purposes, is “crazy” and “illogical,” beyond our ability to comprehend or duplicate.  But this is the gift: love we all seek, but only God can provide.