Accountability, Advice, Bible, Conceit, Deceit, Deception, Fighting, Flesh, Perfection, Safety, Scripture

BENT SIGHTS

HOSEA 7:16

They turn, but not upward, they are like a loose bow; their officials will fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.”

If you have read my blogs for any length of time, you know I love to hunt. I normally hunt with a gun, but during archery season, I hunt with a crossbow. I have spent time zeroing in that crossbow. I set up a target at different distances and practice shooting to make sure I can hit what I am shooting at when the time comes. There’s nothing much more frustrating than to have a great weapon and not have it sighted so you can shoot well.

Hosea compares Israel to such a weapon – a loose bow. A loose bow will not shoot the arrow correctly. It will miss its target. It won’t hit what you aim at because the bow is deceiving you. Not only is that frustrating, but it’s also dangerous. If you are facing an enemy, you want to be able to stop them with that bow. If you can’t shoot straight, you’re in trouble.

APPLICATION

Are you a straight shooter? Is your heart aimed toward God? If we aren’t consistent in our quiet times and our prayer lives, we will begin to get off mark. We will begin to target the wrong things. Our aim will be off. Before you know it, we are totally off course. We are pursuing the wrong things. God is no longer in our view. How did that happen?

You see, our sights can be just slightly off and cause us to miss God. It doesn’t take much. Just a little distraction can cause it. Our minds start to drift. We put off our quiet times. We neglect for a few days our time with the Lord. Whamo! We are off. We have to set our sights afresh each day. We have to make sure Satan hasn’t moved in and “tweaked” our sights to make us miss. Be sure your aim is right.

I heard about a golfer this week who had an awful putting experience in his last tournament. Before he played in his next tournament, he was complaining about it. Someone asked him about his putter. It was only then that he noticed his putter was bent. There was no way he could have putted straight with it. Check out your tools and make sure you are aiming correctly.

Father, You are the only true way to measure whether I am shooting straight or not. I depend on You to be my guide.

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Accountability, Advice, Bible, Commitment, Deception, Disciplemaking, Faithfulness, Following, Foolishness, Inspirational, Obedience, Perfection, Scripture, Surrender

PANCAKES

HOSEA 7:8

Ephraim is himself thrown about with the nations; Ephraim has become a round loaf not turned over.”

I love pancakes, those golden brown, circular cakes from heaven. I love to put fruit in mine (blueberries, bananas, coconut). I have made pancakes for decades. My little girl loved them, too. But you have to cook them correctly for them to be good. You have to learn when to flip them on the skillet and cook the other side as well or they are no good. They are worthless.

Ephraim is being compared to a pancake in today’s verse. That round loaf was called an uggah, which literally means disc cake. It was cooked over coals and if not flipped, it would be burned on one side and doughy on the other. Ephraim was compared to this worthless, half-cooked uggah. Not very appetizing and certainly not good to eat.

APPLICATION

We were all like that, before Christ. Our life was centered on ourselves. We didn’t follow the Lord. We didn’t even know we were being scorched on one side like an unflipped pancake. We were destined for the trash can. Our lives, before Jesus enters our hearts, had no real meaning, especially nothing eternal. And we were clueless.

But once Christ enters our lives, everything changes. You see, when we surrender to Him, He watches over us, just like we watch over that cooking pancake. We know when to flip it to bring it to perfection. Jesus knows when to “flip” us to bring us to perfection. But notice something – it requires heat to cook that pancake. Jesus will also apply heat to us to bring us to that point of perfection. I bet you never thought of yourself as a pancake before.

There are worse things to be compared to. Pancakes are warm and delicious, especially after you drizzle a little pancake syrup on them. Man, I’m getting hungry just writing this, lol. The next time you eat pancakes, think about Hosea 7:8. It might just change the way you see breakfast and your life.

Lord, I trust You to “flip” me when it’s time. I know You are watching the heat You are applying to make me more like You.

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Advice, Bible, Blameless, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Holiness, Love, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Perfection, Promises, Scripture

ARE YOU PERFECT?

1 JOHN 2:5

“but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:”

Contrary to popular opinion, I have never been accused of being perfect. I didn’t have perfect attendance in school (never really wanted to, lol). I didn’t make a perfect score on the SAT (not even close). And I don’t have perfect pitch. So, you can see, I am far from perfect. Please, no comments from the peanut gallery.

But I am perfect in God’s eyes. Now, I don’t mean I am sinless. I mean I am perfectly forgiven. I am perfectly covered by the blood of Christ. I am perfect and complete because of Him. I strive to keep His word. John says if I do that the love of God has been perfected in me. Wow!

APPLICATION

Do you have a perfect child? If you are one of those helicopter parents (you know the type that hovers over their kids), you may think so. I hate to bust your bubble, but there is no such thing as a perfect child. Don’t believe me? Let’s put it to a test.

Challenge your child this week to be perfect. They can make no mistakes on any tests in schools. They can’t forget to do any of their chores (without reminders). They can’t say one wrong thing to you or their siblings. How long do you think they will last? One day? Two? Three? My guess is one day. It’s just not possible.

But oh, don’t leave it there. Show them this verse. There is only one way to perfection – through God’s love. Our children who strive for perfection need to know that. Our children who could care less about perfection need to know that. You need to know that. He perfects. Only He perfects you.

Perfect One, perfect me today. Pour out Your amazing love on me. Help me keep Your Word close.

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