Hosea 5:15 “I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”


Wow!  Have you ever thought about the fact that God has ALL the time of eternity to wait for us to repent?  Just like He said through Hosea to Israel, He “will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face.  Isn’t that a scary thought?  It is to me.  I don’t want God to go away.  I want Him close.

But so many of us are just plain happy to have God “not in our business.”  We think we are better off that way.  But in our affliction we will earnestly seek Him – eventually.  I promise you.  It may be days, weeks, months or years, but we WILL repent one day.  We ALL will.  There is no doubt!


How many times have you said to your child, “If you will just be honest with me, it will go easier on you”?  You want them to repent and make things right.  You just want them to “confess.”  You don’t want to “afflict” them, right?  Neither does the Lord.  He wants us to come to Him humbly and repentant.  He wants to hear those words, “I am guilty.  Please forgive me.”

It is so important for us to teach our children the importance of repentance.  God is NOT going to let things slide, unlike many parents do.  Yep, I said that. We let things slide sometimes because we just don’t want to deal with it.  But God will deal with it.  So our kids need to learn that – NOW.

Are you “dealing” with it?  Are you confessing?  Are you right with Him?  The Lord wants to restore the relationship with you.  But that takes a conversation which must begin with confession.  Do that and watch the Lord respond.

Father, You want to hear us confess.  So, forgive me.  Cleanse me.  Make me whole again.  I need Your cleansing power in my life afresh and new.  Thank You for restoring me to fellowship with You.



Hosea 3:5 “Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.”


This verse reminds me of the prodigal son story.  I am sure he came trembling home to his father.  And his father welcomed him home.  You know the story, right?  But here in Hosea, the Lord is talking about Israel returning to Him after turning their backs on Him.  He still loves them.  He redeems them again, illustrated by Hosea buying back his WIFE from harlotry.  What a picture!

We read this and are amazed.  How could Hosea even want his wife back after she had left him and went back to prostituting?  I don’t know of a man who would.  Hosea probably didn’t want to, but God was using him as a living illustration to the nation.  Don’t be shocked!  We do the same thing.  We go after the world and leave God out.  We can always justify it, but we do it.


I am not asking you to try to explain to little Johnnie and Susie what is meant by “harlotry.”  When they are old enough you can do that.  The point to make to them is how we all decide to go after the world and its pleasures.  We think we know what is best for us, but we don’t.  We think we want to be free from relationships that stifle us, but we don’t.

Your children are going to want to leave home one day.  They may go through a rebellious streak.  They may even seemingly abandon their faith.  You can’t give up on them.  Just like Hosea redeemed his wife, the Lord can redeem that child and bring them back home.  You have to believe that.

But how about you?  Are you pursuing “harlotry”?  Are you trying to shake off the shackles you think are on you?  Are you trying to be free of restrictions?  Stop it!  The only reason the Lord would ever restrict you is to protect you.  Trust Him!  He knows and will always know what is best for you.

Father, thank You for restricting my movements at times.  I know that is for my good.  I want to be “home” with You.  Thank You for redeeming me through Your Son, Jesus Christ.



Revelation 21:23 “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” 


Have you ever entered a room that was dark and struggled to find the light switch?  We probably have all done that at some point.  Of course, in my house I know where all the light switches are and can find them in the pitch dark.  Can you imagine the new Jerusalem that will be lit by the glory of the Lord?  No light switch needed.

No more stumbling around in the dark.  No more dimly lit rooms.  Only the brilliance of God shining all around.  And we won’t be facing a glaring, eye piercing light.  This light will be radiating from God Himself which will beg us to behold it.  No need for sunglasses here.  Good thing because I can’t keep a pair.  Lol


This could be a fun verse to read to your child and then illustrate.  Find the darkest room of your house.  That could be a closet or a bathroom without any windows.  Cover the door jamb with a towel.  Make sure it is pitch black.  Then strike a match and see how it lights the room.  Then keep adding light (flashlight, lantern, closet light, etc.) until the whole room is radiating with light.

Then explain that a “bright” as these lights seem, they are all extinguishable.  Start turning them off one by one until all is dark again.  Contrast that with the light from God’s glory that will NEVER go out.  What a great picture of God’s brilliance that we will get to experience one day.  I can’t wait.

Are you walking around in the darkness or in the light?  Are your eyes looking down so you won’t trip or looking up to behold the King of Glory?  Even now, God wants to shine His light on you. He wants to light your path so you don’t stumble or fall.  Let Him be the light in your life today.

Father of lights, I give You all the praise for Your brilliance and luster.  You are the One who lights my world.  You are the One who illuminates my soul.



Revelation 17:14 “‘These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.’”


How many times have you recorded a sports event only to find out the score before you get to watch it?  While it may be good to know you won beforehand, it kind of ruins the suspense of watching the game, doesn’t it?  That happened to me recently. Knowing the final score before you watch the game really takes the fun out of watching it.

In the book of Revelation we have the privilege of seeing the “final score” before the end.  We win!  Jesus will overcome!  The devil will be defeated once and for all.  Why?  “Because He is Lord of lords and King of kings.”  Enough said.


Why don’t you try this with your kids?  Give them a game to play, but before they start playing tell them you have already decided who is going to win.  What do you think they will say?  I am sure little Johnny will be thrilled if he is the one picked to win.  But if you tell him he is losing to his little sister, that might be a different story.

Explain to them that the devil already knows he is going to lose.  He knows he can’t win. That’s why he is so mad all the time and determined to bring down as many of us as he can.  And we believers are already rejoicing because we know we are going to win and nothing can defeat us.

So are you a winner or loser?  Do you have your hope placed in Jesus, Who will overcome?  Or are you still anxious about the end result?  We have no reason to worry, if we are in Christ.  There is NO WAY Satan can win.  We have the victory in our pocket, but we must trust the Lord to fight for us.

My Savior and Lord, thank you for guaranteeing my victory in Christ.  Thank You for the assurance of Christ’s lordship.  He is my hope and peace.  He is my Strong Deliverer.



Revelation 10:10 “I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.”


This passage here in Revelation reminds us of Ezekiel 3:3 when he ate the scroll that tasted like honey.  The only difference is with John it turned bitter.  It didn’t agree with his stomach.  Let me ask you something.  When something doesn’t agree with your stomach, what usually happens?  That’s right, you throw up.  I know, I know.  That’s disgusting.  But I believe that is what John was supposed to do.  He was supposed to “throw up” the words of the book so others would hear them.

Think about it.  We read the Word of God today, and it is sweet to our hearts and ears.  We enjoy our quiet times and devotions.  But do you ever “throw up” those words on others?  Do you share the sweetness with others?  Maybe the Lord needs to make the Word bitter in YOUR stomach.  We need to warn the people today just as much as John needed to back then.


Why don’t you give your children an assignment this week?  Give them a Bible verse to memorize and then have them keep record of how many times they share that verse with someone else.  Set a goal of 5 or 10 people.  If necessary, make a list of people they want to share it with.

Teaching our children to share the Word will embolden them to be a mouthpiece for the Lord.  The earlier we do that, the more “normal” it will seem.  Sure, we need to teach them to hide the Word in their hearts, but they also need to reveal it to others.

Are you hiding or revealing?  Who have you shared the Word with this week?  “Well Carl, I’ve been busy with all the holidays and stuff.”  Hogwash!  Get out there.  Share the truth of the Word with at least one person today.  I am sure you know someone who needs to be encouraged.

My Lord God, You are the Living Word.  Give me the boldness and power to share it with others.  Help me seek those who need to hear from You.



Revelation 5:12 “‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’”


Do you remember this scene in heaven?  If not, go back and read the whole chapter.  John is crying because no one is there to open and read from the book.  But the Lion of Judah steps forward.  The slain Lamb of God takes the book, and all begin to worship Him.  They ALL recognize Him as the ONLY one worthy to take and read from that book.

Our world today does not have that awe and fear of God anymore.  Most people laugh at the idea of a Holy God.  Most people today do not recognize His worthiness.  They scoff at God and mock His name.  But that does not change the fact that one day all will bow before Him.


This passage today would be a great passage to act out with your kids.  Read it to them and then gather some costumes and make a set.  When kids can visual something it becomes more real to them.  Heaven is too abstract for most people to comprehend.  Putting something in front of them to represent it can help them to conceptualize what is going on in the Word.

I particularly like imagery of Jesus being called the Lion of Judah and then the Lamb steps forth.  That’s a pretty big contrast – a lion and a lamb.  Take some time to explain the strength of the lion and the gentleness of the lamb.  Lions are imposing creatures.  Lambs are not.  Lions are protectors of their tribe.  Lambs are the sacrifice.

Aren’t you glad Jesus is both?  Aren’t you glad Jesus stands firm and advocates on your behalf?  And aren’t you glad Jesus sacrificed Himself on God’s altar for you?  Only He is worthy, because of who He is, to take that holy book and open it in heaven.  No one, not even the highest archangel, has the right.  Only One – Jesus!

Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to be the Lion and the Lamb.  Thank You He has the power and the meekness required to fulfill Your demands.  I am forever grateful.



Revelation 1:8 “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’”


The church where I serve has a Preschool that serves children 3 months through Pre-K.  It is fascinating to watch those 2, 3 and 4 year olds.  Anyone who doesn’t believe we are born sinners should work one day in a Preschool.  They would quickly change their tune.  Lol.

I enjoy watching them when they are lined up to go somewhere.  They all want to be first in line.  They will push and shove and do whatever it takes (when the teacher isn’t looking) to get to that most coveted spot in the line.  They are ALL going to the same place, but for some reason being first is better.


Our verse today tells us that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet), the beginning and the end.  He always has been and always will be.  He is ALWAYS first in line, or at least He should be.  We must teach our children this timeless truth.  When we allow Jesus to be first in our lives (in His rightful place), He will lead us safely to our destination.

The next time you see Gertrude or Elrod pushing and shoving in line somewhere, take a moment and share this verse.  Say, “Why don’t we let Jesus be first in line today?  Who is being like Jesus right now?”  Christ first – ALWAYS

Are you allowing Christ to guide you?  Have you given Him first place in your life?  Is He the head of the line in your life?  Those are all good questions for us.  We need to examine ourselves daily.  It is so easy to jump in front of Christ.  We may not even realize we are doing it sometimes.  But Christ promises to always be with us.  Just look at who He is – “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Father God, thank You for being first in my life.  Thank You that You will always be with me.  Help me to line up behind You and allow You to lead me daily.



Hosea 13:6 “As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, and being satisfied, their heart became proud; therefore they forgot Me.”


Isn’t it amazing how we forget about God when everything is going great?  But let one thing go wrong, and we are asking for prayer, begging for mercy and looking to heaven for answers.  It has always been that way, though.  People get satisfied and think they don’t need God as much.  Hosea saw it.  So do we.

Now, we can rationalize that, can’t we?  “Well, God is busy with all those less fortunate than me.  I won’t bother Him right now.”  So, we go about our business as if God is only called upon when we “need” Him.  Stop it!  God wants to hear from us at all times.  He desires our worship in the good times and bad.  He is God over all and through all.


The only way to teach our children this is to live it.  No amount of preaching and lecturing will get them to understand.  Consistency in the Word.  Dedication to the Body of Christ.  Discipline in our prayer life.  These are all ways to show little Johnny and Susie that Christ means more to you than just someone to call on when needed.

The next time your child is in a pinch and hollers for you, take a moment and compare this to our walk with Christ.  Don’t you want to spend time with your kids in the good times as well as the bad?  Don’t you want to rejoice in their triumphs, not just cry at their defeats?  What kind of relationship would you have with your children if you only showed up when things were bad?  Not very much of one.

So, when do you call on the Lord?  What does it take for you to reach out to Him?  Why don’t you try just talking to Him?  Let God “in on” what is happening in your life that is good.  He is already aware of it, I promise.  But He sure loves hearing you talk about it.

Father, I know you are there all the time.  I know you desire to spend time with me, not just hear my complaints.  Thank You for listening.  Thank You for loving me in the good times and bad.



Hosea 10:12 “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”


I just love this verse.  Righteousness and kindness are the crops we bring in if we seek the Lord.  He will allow those who seek Him to benefit from His blessings, but they must break up their fallow grounds.  Have you ever done that?  Have you ever broken up your fallow ground?  What is that?

Fallow ground is ground that has been allowed to be unplanted for a period of time.  Sometimes that is necessary, but as this relates to us, we tend to just not plant the good stuff.  We get complacent.  We just allow our hearts to get hard.  We have to break it up and allow the Lord to sow the right things.


How do we teach this to our kids?  Righteousness only comes from the Lord.  Your children cannot understand righteousness apart from God.  He is the only source.  And true kindness is only lived out through Christ.  Sure, you can be kind to people if you aren’t a believer.  But there will be that person who pops up who will challenge you.  For those people, you need Christ.

So, we teach this to them by making sure they know Jesus and His Word.  As they yield to Him the fallow ground is broken up.  God can plant!  They can reap!  They can live in righteousness and kindness.

I don’t know about you, but I want that.  I prefer to be kind, but sometimes I just can’t do it.  When I begin to struggle, it always comes back to my hard, rocky heart.  Will you join me today in plowing the ground of your heart?  Will you allow the Lord to sow His Spirit in you?  Oh, He wants to do so much in and through you.

My God and Father, help me to keep my heart broken and receptive to your Spirit.  Thank You for rescuing me from my own self.



Hosea 8:2 “They cry out to Me, ‘My God, we of Israel know You!’”


How many people do you know claim to know God, but their lifestyle is anything but godly?  Now, I am NOT judging.  I am simply stating an observation.  There are a lot of people who believe in God and will even call on His name when they are in trouble.  But as far as genuine commitment and surrender…well…let’s just say that’s a foreign concept.

Israel was the same way.  They were saying, “But God, we are ISRAEL!  We are Your chosen people.”  God would have none of it.  They had turned their backs on Him.  They had rejected His laws. They had spurned His love.  They had no REAL knowledge of Jehovah.  Their faith was only a convenient religion.


That is why it is so important that we teach our children that our faith is NOT about going to church.  Our faith is NOT about doing something for God.  Our faith is NOT about keeping certain rules and commands.  Our faith is all about surrender.  It’s about total abandonment to the Lord Jesus.

Gertrude and Elrod will obey most of the time, right?  But every once in a while they get that wild hair and bow up at you.  They get a rebellious spirit and want their way.  When you correct them and hand out their consequences, make sure they realize their relationship with you is not based on what they do or don’t do to please you.  They are your child because they have been birthed into your family.  And make sure they understand the same is true with God’s family.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just blow it.  I am thankful that the Lord God doesn’t toss me aside because I blew it.  He welcomes me back into the fold as I confess and repent of my sin.  He loves to see my surrender because then He can do something with me.  When I give up, He can get in and work.  As His child, I will ALWAYS be in His family.

Thank You Lord for saving my soul.  Thank You Lord for making me whole.  Thank You Lord for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free.