Archive for the ‘Hosea’ Category

Refreshing rain from heaven

February 23rd, 2016 by Maureen

I will be to [you] like a refreshing dew from heaven.  [You]  will again live under my shade. [You]  will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. [You]  will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. Hos. 14:5a, 7

The puny harvest we squeeze out beyond His shadow happens in drought conditions. We may develop systems and personas to meet someone’s else’s vision of Christianity. We may build  hothouse churches and grow something that has a fake, mass-produced,quality about it. It is as if we are plants on foreign soil needing to be carefully regulated and maintained to survive. There is an honesty that feels organic and real in lives lived out in His shade. There we find authentic refreshment, nourishment, and growth. We are natives to His environment, created to thrive there, growing wild and free.

Lord, thank You for desiring and creating such beauty and hope for me and flourishing in me, beyond my own  interpretation of what it means to be Yours.

What was Jesus doing on Saturday?

April 19th, 2014 by Maureen

From the hand of Sheol I do ransom them, From death I redeem them, Where [is] thy plague, O death? Where thy destruction, O Sheol? Hos. 13:14 YLT

There are several theological views on what Jesus was doing on Saturday. One: He was suffering hell in place of sinners; Two: He was proclaiming victory to fallen angels held in the pit; Three: He was preaching the gospel to souls who lived before He came. Four: He was simply asleep having completed His work on Calvary. Whatever each of us believes about that Saturday, the bottom line is that Jesus is the Victor over death, Satan, or any power or obstacle imaginable, even time.

Lord, I am so grateful that nothing can separate me from Your love.

Made in the shade

June 27th, 2013 by Maureen

I will be to [you] like a refreshing dew from heaven.  [You]  will again live under my shade. [You]  will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. [You]  will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon. Hos. 14:5a, 7

The puny harvest we squeeze out beyond His shadow happens in drought conditions;  or we may build  hothouse churches and grow something that has has a fake, mass-produced quality about it. There is an honesty that feels organic and real in lives lived out in His shade. There we find authentic refreshment, nourishment, and growth.

Lord, thank You for desiring such beauty and hope for me.

No boundaries

June 26th, 2013 by Maureen

Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. Hos. 14:4

God knew we wouldn’t be able to white knuckle our way to good behavior or attitudes, or even faith. He sent Messiah so that we could be healed instead of judged; so Jesus makes the “then” in Hosea is “now” in 2013. His healing is not so that someday we will be fit to be loved by Him., instead His love has no boundaries. He knows and loves who we were then, who we are right now, and who we shall become.

Thank You for Your boundless love.

A little tenderness

May 2nd, 2013 by Maureen

But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. Hos. 2:14

These were Hosea’s words to his unfaithful wife. This is Hosea’s prophecy about the Lord’s words to unfaithful Israel. These are the tender words of Jesus when we fail to follow Him. When we mess up our feelings of shame and condemnation can make us want to hide from Him just when He is tenderly inviting us to walk and talk.

Lord, thank you for tender restoration;  help me show tenderness rather than condemnation toward others who need to hear Your voice.

Lessons from Madagascar

April 22nd, 2013 by Maureen

I am the Holy One living among you,
and I will not come to destroy.
For someday the people will follow me.
I, the Lord, will roar like a lion. Hos. 11:9b-10a

Sometimes a restless spirit is not a sign that we need rest, but that our domesticated spirits pace, like lions in a cage at the zoo. When we hear HIs roar we are meant to run after Him. But the allure of comfort, safety, provision, and admiration can make it harder to break out and rush toward the wild adventure the Lion of Judah calls us to have with Him.

Lord, You are no tame lion. Give me courage.

The only thing you can really depend on

October 27th, 2012 by Maureen

Assyria cannot save us, nor can our warhorses. Never again will we say to the idols we have made, ‘You are our gods.’ No, in you alone do the orphans find mercy. Hosea 14:3

Only when we stop relying on our own strength, let go of self-comforting behaviors, and stop depending on other people to be sources of strength or comfort can we fully depend on God. Sometimes friends desert us or we lose the things we leaned on for identity, purpose, or comfort. Our dependence on God is what allows us to be fully engulfed in His comfort. I can’t resist sharing Comfort Ye My People, a song from the 70’s by the band Lamb based on Hosea 14.

Lord, no more will I turn to others for help, nor will I turn to myself.

 

God’s true colors

May 11th, 2012 by Maureen

I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. Hos. 14:8

Ever put on a pair of sunglasses that makes everything look green? Maybe life needs a lens like that. When things look bleak God might  looks less loving, caring or powerful than He really is. Praying, reading the Bible, hearing about others’ experiences with Him,  and seeking out encouraging friends who love Him help us see God’s true colors.

Lord, forgive me when I despair. Help me see You as your really are in those times.

 

Soul gardener

April 13th, 2011 by Maureen

Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you. Hos. 10:12

Righteousness is not about being good when we feel like being bad, it’s about soaking up Christ’s nature. What we want, what we like, even what we are changes because our  hearts receive the nature and nurture of Jesus. Christ is the seed, the sun, and the rain; we just work the dirt.

Lord, help me to plow up the hard places in my heart and bloom.

His grace is enough

March 22nd, 2011 by Maureen

Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. Hos. 14:4

This is God’s response when we say to Him “in You alone.” God is not our last resort or a fallback plan after we’ve tried everything else we want to try. He offers healing for the control issues, insecurities, or impulsiveness that cause us to try to meet our own needs, feed unhealthy desires, and chase distractions instead of trusting Him for satisfaction and fulfillment.

Lord, you are my first and only hope.

Declare your dependence

November 3rd, 2010 by Maureen

Stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.  I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Hos. 14:8

Things we enjoy can become idols if we look to them as sources of happiness, security, or comfort. Not only are we not designed to depend on our idols, we aren’t made to be self-sufficient either. We are God’s dependents, beautifully needy, nourished and restored by his extravagant love.

Lord,  I’m depending on you.