Healing For The Backslidden

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 13-14 and Proverbs 8

Old Testament:  Hosea 13 – Smoke

Hosea 13:3

“Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud and like the early dew that passes away, like chaff blown off from a threshing floor and like smoke from a chimney.”

When we are young everything seems to take forever, but the older we get, the more we realize how brief life really is. It seems as though I finally get used to writing the calendar year, and suddenly it’s time to change the last a digit. There is nothing we can do to change the brevity of life, but there is much we can do to ensure that our life has a lasting impact on others… Read More

Hosea 14-Healing for the backslidden

Hosea 14:4
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.”

Backsliding refers to a condition where a person who was once closely following the Lord, is now far from Him. Israel was in a condition of perpetual backsliding. They would turn, wander, or be led away from the Lord on such a regular basis, that their experience with God was more like a roller coaster or a pendulum, than a walk with God. Hosea speaks of God healing their… Read More

Proverbs 8- Fork in the road

Proverbs 8:2
“She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet.”

Have you ever been following someone’s directions to a place you have never been, and encountered an unexpected fork in the road? When that happens, we are forced to stop, study the map again, ask for help, and make a decision as to which way to go. Solomon tells us, that in life, when we encounter the unexpected fork in the road, wisdom is there to meet us, and provide direction for our lives. While wisdom is always available to us… Read More

Bands Of Love

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 11-12 and Proverbs 7

Old Testament: Hosea 11- Bands of love

Hosea 11:4
“I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.”

God uses many different means to get man’s attention. Paul spoke of His kindness leading us to repentance and Jude wrote about saving some with fear of what is ahead, if they fail to come to Christ. Here, Hosea refers to the gentle love of God drawing Israel to Himself. Clearly, God desires all men everywhere to be saved. I wonder what we would discover if we looked at our lives through the lens of God? How many ways… Read More

Hosea 12- Unnecessary Assistance

Hosea 12:3-4
“He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us”

The story of Jacob is a very common one. Although few of us shared the womb with our brothers, and fewer still came out holding onto someone else’s foot, many of us struggle with trusting our lives into the hands of God. That was Jacob’s problem. His life was marked with great and precious promises, but he failed to see how these promises could ever be fulfilled, so he sought to assist God in bringing them to completion. This led to a life filled with stress… Read More

Proverbs 7- Falling Down

Proverbs 7:24
“Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth”

This chapter is given entirely as a warning against the danger of falling into sexual sin. It is written as a letter from a father to his son, pleading with him to avoid the things that will lead to sin. While this sin is perhaps more common among young men, it is a sin we all must avoid. The principles found in this chapter will apply to guarding against all sin. To grasp the danger being warned… Read More

Reap What You Sow

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 9 & 10 and Proverbs 6

Old Testament: Hosea 10 – Sow What

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” – Hosea 10:12

Hosea wrote of the spiritual condition of Israel, which at the time, was quite dark. Sin had led them away from the Lord and from the blessed life He had determined for them. Instead of experiencing the bounty God intended, they were on the brink of total ruin. Hosea writes to make clear their present state, as well as to provide the antidote. No matter how bad things may have become, Hosea provides the way back to… Read More

 

New Testament: Proverbs 6 – The Ant

“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain, overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” – Proverbs 6:6-8

Solomon used the natural world as a teacher of spiritual truth. Not to the extent that his understanding of God was built on what he saw in nature, but rather that nature has a way of illustrating many Biblical truths. In Proverbs, it is common to find references to the animal kingdom as a teaching method.

The ant is a means of reminding us of the need to plan ahead. To the casual observer, they seem to have no ruler, yet they all march in line to store up for the future. Solomon suggests the reason we fail to prepare for what is ahead is laziness. Twice in the passage, the man who does not plan for his future is referred to as a sluggard. Webster defines a sluggard as an habitually lazy person, or someone who is inactive. Read More

Watch It

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 7-8 & Proverbs 5

Old Testament: Hosea 7- Silly Bird

Hosea 7:11
“Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense— They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria.”

There are times in Scripture when God will resort to name calling, not as a way to be mean, but as a means of illustrating the behavior of His people. There is that famous passage in Matthew 16 where Jesus calls Peter, Satan. He does this because like the devil, Peter was attempting to stand between Jesus and the cross. Whenever a person obstructs the work of the cross, they are supporting the work of … Read More

Hosea 8- Watch Your Step

Hosea 8:11
“Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin,
They have become for him altars for sinning.”

 

Growing up, one of my favorite TV shows was Sherlock Holmes. As most of us know, he was a detective from London who used his keen skill of observation to solve crimes. Often, when he would uncover a clue, he would declare, “It’s elementary my dear Watson.” Which was an underhanded way of stating that what he discovered was obvious to anyone who would take the time to look. Hosea makes a statement that Holmes would find elementary, he declares that if a person builds an altar for sin, he will find it lead… Read More

 

Proverbs 5-On The Edge

Proverbs 5:14
“I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

“The assembly of the congregation”, or in our case, the church, was designed by God as a means to help the individual believer grow in Christ. The Word of God, corporate worship, and fellowship, were all designed by God to help each of us grow in Christ. When we come to church with a soft heart, eager to hear from God, His Word has a way of speaking directly into the things we are facing; equipping us in advance against trials and temptation. When we enter worship, with a desire to give back to God for all He has given to us, we find we draw near to Him, and surrender more of ourselves to Him. When we… Read More

 

Healthy

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 4-6 & Proverbs 4

Old Testament: Hosea 4- Confusion

Hosea 4:6
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”

The days of Hosea were very dark; the nation had wandered from the ways of God and idolatry was as common in Israel as it was in the pagan nations that surrounded it. Just about every hilltop was the site of an altar to one false god or another, and immorality was rampant throughout the land. While many factors led to their diseased spiritual condition, Hosea addresses the primary one. He says the people were so easily led… Read More

Hosea 6- Come back

Hosea 6:1
“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.”

The mercy of God is so great that He not only invites us to come to Him for salvation, but invites us to return to Him if we have wandered. After describing the spiritual condition of the nation, as though they had been involved in spiritual prostitution, God does not cast His people aside, but pleads with them to return and be restored. No matter… Read More

Proverbs 4- Healthy Home

Proverbs 4:3-4
“When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.’”

Solomon is giving us a brief glimpse into his home life. In these verses we learn he was raised in an environment of love. He proudly refers to himself as his father’s son and the only one in the sight of his mother. Whatever cultural experiences he might have had being the son of a king, his parent’s love for him was clearly evident. We also see, Solomon was raised on the Word of God. Although David carried the responsibility… Read More

 

Benefits

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Hosea 1-3 & Proverbs 3

Old Testament: Hosea 2- Undue Influence

Hosea 2:14
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.”

Hosea is ministering to people who have drifted from the Lord. Their drifting was partially caused by the spiritual confusion of the day; a result of the leaders using their influence to pressure others into ungodly practices. Young minds have always been easily influenced by those in positions of power and prestige.

We are facing similar problems today. Actors, musicians, athletes, educators, and politicians… Read More

Hosea 3- Sale Rack

Hosea 3:2
“So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley.”

At first glance, Hosea’s story seems to be a unique one. He was instructed to marry a woman who was involved in prostitution. We have three choices as to exactly what this means. Either she was currently a prostitute, had been one, or God knew she would become one. My personal opinion is, she had a promiscuous past, but had come to the Lord and been delivered, only to fall back into her previous… Read More

Proverbs 3- Benefits

Proverbs 3:1
“My Son, do not forget my law”

Have you ever heard someone ask, “What’s in it for me?” As if they will not consider the cost of doing something, unless they can understand the personal benefits they will derive. In light of that, notice how Solomon goes to great lengths to express the benefits of living a godly life… Read More

Wise Guys

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Daniel 11-12 & Proverbs 2

Old Testament: Daniel 11- Times Like These

Daniel 11:32
“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

Daniel describes a very difficult time in Israel. Constant battles between the Seleucid and Ptolemian empires have wreaked havoc on the people of God. They have been an occupied territory for several years, and now face the threat of … Read More

Daniel 12- The Shining 

Daniel 12:3
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.“

As the book of Daniel comes to a close, he receives details regarding the days leading up to the return of Christ and His future reign. Knowing the time is short, he speaks of those who will turn others to the Lord. As time ticks away and the return of Christ becomes closer, it is the duty, and should be the passion, of every believer to win others to Christ.

A few years ago, a good friend of mine was praying regarding the missions work his church was contemplating. As he prayed, and looked over a map of the region of the world they were considering, he sensed the Lord was telling him to do as much as he could, as fast as he could. That message became the driving force behind multiple missions trips, out reaches, church plants… Read More

Proverbs 2- Wise Guys

Proverbs 2:6-11
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, . . . “

Wisdom can be defined as the proper application of knowledge in any given situation, or simply knowing what to do. We have all felt, at times, that we do not know what to do. We are faced with a problem, and are crippled with indecision. It is comforting to know, God promises to give wisdom to His children. The question that remains is, how do I get my hands on the wisdom He has? There are at least three simple steps.

First, we must understand there is a difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this world. Not all advice is godly, and not every… Read More