Accountability, Advice, Agreement, Appeasement, Bible, Commands, Commitment, Encouragement, Following, Lawlessness, Obedience, Relationships, Scripture

VIOLATED

HOSEA 6:7

“But like Adam they have violated the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously with Me.”

What does it mean to violate something? Simply put, it means to break or fail to comply with a rule or agreement. I don’t know about you, but I have been a violator all my life. I broke the rules of my childhood home. I break the speed limit quite often. And I have broken God’s commands more times than I want to admit.

Israel was a rule breaker. They knew what God’s Word said, but they continued to break it. And just like us, they thought they could get by breaking the rules. After all, they were God’s chosen people. They had a special status. God wouldn’t hold them to all those rules and commands. They were His favorites.

APPLICATION

Rules are rules for a reason. God established His commands to help guide us and protect us. He expects us to follow them.  But why do we follow them? Do we follow them to appease Him? Do we obey them so He will love us? Listen carefully. We obey His commands because we love Him.

God could simply make us obey. He is all powerful, after all. He could force us to follow all His commands like some mind numb robots. But He has given us free will. We have the freedom to be a violator or a follower. It’s really that simple. What will you be?

I want to be a follower. I know I fall short many times, but my heart is to do what is right. God knows our motives. He knows if we are rebellious or just slipped up. We are born with a sin nature that will be with us until we go to heaven. But the Holy Spirit can give us the power and wisdom to make the right choices if we will just listen to Him. Will you?

Thank You, Father, for giving me Your commands to follow. I know they are given to help me live in a way that honors You.

Standard
Accountability, Bible, Choices, Condemnation, Direction, Forgetting, Hypocrisy, Infidelity, Judgment, Lawlessness, Obedience, Punishment, Scripture

NO DEVOTION

HOSEA 4:10

“They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the prostitute, but not increase, because they gave up devoting themselves to the LORD.”

I have been devoted to a lot of things in life. I was devoted to football when I was in high school. I loved the game. Truth be known, I loved to hit people. I did everything the coach asked of me. But as soon as high school ended that devotion ended. There was no future in it for me.

Israel gave up devoting themselves to the Lord and reaped the consequences. Their resources would not be enough. No matter how much they had, it would fall short. Hosea said they played the prostitute. They had sinned and deserted the Lord. God cannot bless that kind of behavior. Israel was judged for this.

APPLICATION

What happens to us when we stop devoting ourselves to Him? The same thing. God will cease blessing us. We may not “play the prostitute,” but sin is sin. Anything can lead us away from the Lord. What in your life is doing that? If it replaces the time you spend with the Lord, it is sin. If it becomes your first love, it is sin.

Devotion to anything besides the Lord will only lead you down the wrong road. Our Lord expects obedience, but He won’t make us obey. We have to choose to obey Him. We have to choose to devote ourselves to Him. And when we do, He is there to bless and lead us. He rewards our devotion.

Now, here me clearly. We devote ourselves to Him not for what we can get out of it. We devote ourselves to Him out of love for Him. His love draws us to this point of devotion if we will only yield to it. His love will never lead us to anything but devotion.

I have devoted myself to You, O Lord. My devotion is based on my love for Your love.

Standard
Advice, Bible, Choices, Condemnation, Deceit, Judgment, Lawlessness, Obedience, Punishment, Scripture, Surrender, Testimony

DON’T FOLLOW THE LEADER

HOSEA 4:9

“And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.”

Did you ever play the game Follow the Leader? I used to love playing that game as a child. We would try to make our path as hard as possible to weed out our followers. Up hills, through ditches, whatever it took. The path was crooked and could even be considered dangerous to some.

Hosea is warning the people. Don’t follow these leaders. They are leading the people in the wrong direction. Their lifestyles are nothing to emulate. In fact, go the opposite direction is essentially what Hosea is saying. There are times when you don’t follow the leader.

APPLICATION

Have you ever been under a bad leader? What do you do? Do you follow them, no matter what? Of course, you don’t. We do have to submit to our leaders unless their leadership is illegal, immoral or unbiblical. Will that be an hard decision to make? It sure will. But to be true to the Lord, you have to make it.

When you make the decision to not follow the leader, be prepared for repercussions. You could lose your job. You could suffer payback. Remember, Peter tells us in 1 Peter that is better to suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong. The Lord has your back. Trust Him.

I have faced this a couple of times. Each time I have prayed and then gone to the leader in question and made my opposition known. So far, each time the Lord had gone before me and had softened this person’s heart. They heard me. The turned from their announced course of action. That confrontation actually brought us closely.Lord, lead me down Your path, even when that means I have to stop following those over me. I have one Master – You.

DON’T FOLLOW THE LEADER

HOSEA 4:9

“And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.”

Did you ever play the game Follow the Leader? I used to love playing that game as a child. We would try to make our path as hard as possible to weed out our followers. Up hills, through ditches, whatever it took. The path was crooked and could even be considered dangerous to some.

Hosea is warning the people. Don’t follow these leaders. They are leading the people in the wrong direction. Their lifestyles are nothing to emulate. In fact, go the opposite direction is essentially what Hosea is saying. There are times when you don’t follow the leader.

APPLICATION

Have you ever been under a bad leader? What do you do? Do you follow them, no matter what? Of course, you don’t. We do have to submit to our leaders unless their leadership is illegal, immoral or unbiblical. Will that be an hard decision to make? It sure will. But to be true to the Lord, you have to make it.

When you make the decision to not follow the leader, be prepared for repercussions. You could lose your job. You could suffer payback. Remember, Peter tells us in 1 Peter that is better to suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong. The Lord has your back. Trust Him.

I have faced this a couple of times. Each time I have prayed and then gone to the leader in question and made my opposition known. So far, each time the Lord had gone before me and had softened this person’s heart. They heard me. The turned from their announced course of action. That confrontation actually brought us closely.

Lord, lead me down Your path, even when that means I have to stop following those over me. I have one Master – You.

Standard
Accountability, Bible, Confession, Deceit, Deception, Enemies, Following, Greed, Judgment, Lawlessness, Obedience, Scripture, Sin

DON’T STOP SINNING

HOSEA 4:8

“They feed on the sin of My people, and long for their wrongdoing.”

Some people urge people to sin. They want others to participate in the same behavior they are involved in, so they won’t feel so bad. They want to bring people down to their level. When I was saved, I had to choose to not hang out with some of my former friends because I knew their habits (my former ones) would hold me back from growing with Christ.

Hosea is talking about the sinful behavior of the priests. They were actually profiting from the people’s sins, so they didn’t really want them to stop sinning. The more sins, the more they benefitted. So, why would they want to stop this? They were essentially saying, “Keep on sinning. We like the offerings you bring us.”

APPLICATION

Now, before you become too judgmental, let’s look at ourselves. Does our behavior encourage people to sin or repent? Do they see us living in a manner that gives glory to God or ourselves? You see, we are no better than those priests in Hosea’s day if we aren’t doing everything we can to point others to Jesus.

Our lives aren’t our own. The very moment we gave our hearts to Jesus He took over. We live to honor Him. We love to honor Him. We work to honor Him. Do you see a theme here? It’s all about Him, not us. So, let me encourage you to do that.

Today live your life with one purpose – to give Him glory. Instead of encouraging others to sin by your behavior, how about encouraging them to walk with Jesus? Don’t be like the priests. Don’t profit off of someone else’s sin. Don’t rejoice in their sinful behavior. No! Turn them to Jesus.

Lord, help me point others to Jesus in all that I do. Let my every thought and action be done to honor You.

Standard
Abiding, Accountability, Battles, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Choices, Confession, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Following, Lawlessness, Mentoring, Parenting, Sin

IF A EQUALS B

1 JOHN 3:4

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”

Okay, let’s be honest. Who likes Geometry? Can I see a show of hands? Lol. I am sure there is someone out there who does, just not me. I mean, it wasn’t the course itself. I just didn’t see the need to memorize all those formulas. If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. Right?

John isn’t exactly writing a Geometry problem here, but it’s close. If we live a lifestyle of sin, he says we also live a lifestyle of lawlessness. So, sin is lawlessness. Close your books and go home. There it is. John is warning us about our choices and the ramifications of it. Sin is a disregard for God’s laws, plain and simple.

APPLICATION

When your children disobey you, they don’t realize (most of the time) that they are disregarding your authority. They just want to do what they want to do. But the truth is they are stating by their actions that they don’t care what you say. Your rules don’t matter to them.

The next time you have to discipline your child for something talk about how this reflects on their spiritual life. Listen, before you accuse me of spiritualizing everything, everything is spiritual. We are in a constant battle every day of the flesh against the spirit. Just because our children are too young to understand that doesn’t make it not true. Point them to His Word.

Do you realize your choices you make every day are a reflection of your belief in God? We trust or we don’t. We believe or we don’t. We follow or we don’t. Every choice we make is at some level a spiritual choice. It’s a reflection of who we are in Christ. As you make your choices today, stop and ask yourself how God can be glorified in the process.

I choose You, Lord. I want to honor You with the choices I make today.

Standard