Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unconditional Love

In recent weeks, I have often found myself thinking about or reading about prophets of Biblical times.  It has struck me how really hard their lives were.  They were often condemned and outcast.  Their messages were hard and did not follow popular opinion.  Truly there was nothing that was not touched by the very difficult task they were assigned. Hosea is case and point.  God told him to marry a women who would not be faithful. He was to be an example of God's relationship with Israel.  The story is gut wrenching as Hosea perseveres his very difficult marriage with even his children being names according to what God was teaching the people through him.

There are so many stories in the Bible that fit perfectly with where our world is today.  The world still often scoffs and outcast those who speak the truth of God's Word. It is not pretty and fluffy. It is hard.  The world and the enemy make it confusing with all the lies.  But there is hope!

If you read the difficult story of Hosea, then you find a story of unconditional love. Not just of Hosea to his wife but of God to His people!  Praise Him!  He has not given up on us. He is ever faithful and beckoning us to be His faithful bride.

"And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy." Hosea 2:19

It breaks my heart to think of how we break the heart of the Lord our God. He has done so much for us and yet we turn our backs.  Yet. . .He is still there for us.  The picture of unconditional love.

It is not easy and, in fact, I think it is often very hard.  But the power of our God is unimaginable. There is nothing He cannot do.  Not sure of this, then ask yourself.  Why were prophets, like Hosea, willing to do what they did?  The Lord had not only given them an incredibly hard job. . .He gave them all they needed to do the job. I have no doubt that they KNEW that God is able and willing!!!! They knew God!  The question is . . .do we know God? Are we willing to obey even when it is not popular or even makes us outcast?

Say yes, to God who created you and loves you.  Then if you dare, read Hosea.  Fall upon your face and worship God!  Make it an amazing day in your relationship with the Lord! He is waiting. . .


Friday, November 9, 2012

Sometimes Change is Good

Time has surely passed since I last posted. There have been so many changes and it has been very busy! The changes have included moving, sending a son off to military, preparing another for college (next year), etc. One of the things that has been on the forefront is finding a new church. Stepping out and visiting new churches is scary to be sure. The first visit is a bit awkward and then there is the pressure to figure out if that is where God would have you. But I believe this is part of something bigger that God has been doing in our lives.

About six months back, the Lord our God began preparing us (as a family) for something. We simply do not know what yet. God has opened our eyes to some things, allowed us to be sifted in other areas, and allowed for growth in Him.  It is with excitement and trembling we take each step forward and sometimes a few steps back. As time moves forward. . . He ask for more and more to be given to Him. Often times we are deeply convicted of something we paid no attention to in the past. And that is where I am beginning to see that change is good.

Now please know that I am not speaking against any denomination or church. I would not so long as they preach the Word of God and believe in King Jesus as Lord and Savior. There will be no denominations in Heaven and we are all the same church! That being said, it is easy to do what you have always done. For example, your comfort zone may be with a particular denomination, certain friends, style of music, or even type of building for worship. While all those things may be wonderful. . . I wonder how often they keep us from being stretched or hinder our growth? This is what I have noticed. . .

In visiting other churches, we are required to go back to the Bible for answers. It causes questions to be raised as to why we do certain things or believe certain things. So much of what we do or believe falls back on tradition rather than the Word of God.  That is dangerous ground. I have been strongly convicted over past months that I must look to the Word of God for proof of everything. Other than Jesus Himself, there is no one who has walked this earth that knows everything and always speaks 100% truth. Sure there are many who desire to speak 100% truth, but Romans 3:10 says that "As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one". So despite our best efforts, we cannot always be right.

The Bible is the very word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that every word of it is "God breathed!" Are you hungry for more of the Lord? Are you wishing He would speak to you today? He will! All you need to do is open His word and read. While reading. . .remember that you are reading the living breathing words of the God who created all things including you. His desire is to have a relationship with you and that begins with a humble heart reading His words. I pray that His Word will greatly minister in and through you today! Praising Him with you!