Suggested Reading: Hosea 7-8
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Key Verses: Hosea 7:2 and 8:7a
They do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness; now their own deeds have surrounded them; they are before my face…They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.
Five times in today’s reading we see the name of the largest tribe in Israel, Ephraim. Ephraim was farthest away geographically from the Temple in Jerusalem, and it seems that they were also furthest away from God during the time of Hosea’s ministry. Ephraim represents all ten northern tribes of Israel. To try to communicate to them their need to repent, Hosea uses word pictures like “band of robbers,” “an oven neglected by a sleeping baker,” “a silly dove caught in a net,” and farmers who “sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind.” In the first verse of our reading, God speaks through Hosea and says, “I would have healed Israel!” God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (read 2 Peter 3:9-11). But just like Hosea preaching in his day that “Israel has forgotten his Maker!” (Hosea 8:14a), God also wants to bring us close to Himself and not reject us, but our sin and our foolish pride create a wall between God and us that stops reconciliation. Jesus broke down that wall for all who repent of their sins and trust in Him. Through another prophet, the Lord says of a future time, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34b).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I repent of my sin. I pray with the man whose prayer has become so well known, “God be merciful to me, a sinner!” By Your forgiveness You erase my sin from Your records. According to Your promise, You don’t even remember my past sin. Thank You!!! I ask for Your grace for this new day so that I will be kept pure in thought, word and deed. I ask this through the only One who had no need to repent, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
A few days ago I mentioned Shauna Jenkins, daughter of our Crossroads Board Chairman, Don Simmonds, and her campaign called “MAKE YOU THINK!” Now I want to make my partners in the blogosphere aware of the son of Dr. Jerry Johnston. We see Jerry from time to time on the 100 Huntley Street TV show. Jerry’s son is Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, Ph.D. God birthed a vision called the “Christian Thinker’s Society” while Jeremiah was studying in the Griffith Papyrology Lab of Oxford University, England, in December, 2010. Now Jeremiah has rolled out the vision for implementation. I’m praying that I can in some way encourage professors and students at Southeastern University, next door to us here in the seniors mobile home park in Lakeland, Florida, to join Jeremiah in his vision. Our 21st century Jeremiah says,
“In an age of acute Biblical illiteracy, the vision of the Christian Thinkers Society is to lead the vanguard of a new movement that will have a notable impact on the shape of contemporary Christianity by providing the essential training to transform and enrich believers, Christian leaders, and Pastors who will be characterized by a thinking faith, capable to communicate confidently, and committed to escape the tendency to offer trite answers to a sceptical world.”
I’m asking my blog readers to pray for Jeremiah and share Jeremiah’s vision with others. Check out some of his videos on the internet HERE. I like Jeremiah’s slogan, “Teaching Pastors and Christians to Become Thinkers, and Thinkers to Become Christians”…and a big “AMEN” to that!!!
Yours for a greater understanding of the heart and mind of our “Maker!”