Theme of the Week: Hosea
Bible Verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
This week we have been studying the book of Hosea. In it, we learned about the relentless love of God that chases us down, even when it might seem we do not want to be found. God’s love is greater than our shame, it is greater than our mistakes and he longs for us to be in communion with him again.
As you reflect on some of the main points of this devotional, how is God asking you to respond?
Unfaithfulness Creates Distance
God actually desires that his people choose his ways. He offers countless opportunities for us to get it right. God is always capable of finding a way to span the distance that we in our waywardness so blithely create.
Hope is Stronger than Shame
The vulnerability occasioned by open shame is a portal to the kind of full confession that draws out the tenderness of God. It is the place of repentance where restoration begins. God turns this valley of trouble into a door of hope.
Like a parent giving a child a time-out in the corner to adjust an attitude, a divinely-orchestrated withdrawal from indulgence can help any of us to see more clearly and live more wisely. This means shedding our wayward behaviors and tuning into patterns of living that God endorses and promotes.
Welcome Back Sinner
Reconciliation is the very heart of the Christian gospel. God wants his followers to orient their lives to his nature. He’s not much interested in religious practices that don’t effectively attune our hearts to God. He wants his ways to inform the ordinary of our lives.
How Can I Give You Up?
God is like a caring parent who detests the conduct of the rebelling child, yet cannot bring himself to confront the issue with the full force of the law; who yearns to allow the badly behaved to escape the consequences of their folly. He withholds his wrath. In due course, he promises they will be returned to their homes (11:11).
This level of compassion, of willingness to forgive and restore the repentant, is a key element of the nature of God. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8). Depend on it.
These writings were previously published in theStory by Scripture Union. Used with permission.
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