Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wednesday, June 3rd: Hosea 9-11, Matthew 19 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 9-11; Matthew 19

10 10:2 Israel is a luxuriant vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased,
the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
he improved his pillars.

Israel spent their prosperity on idols.  Doesn't it seem like the more God gives, the more we spend?  We want bigger homes, nicer cars, more vacations, finer clothes, etc.  These things aren't wrong in and of themselves, but we do need to ask ourselves where our money is going and whether we are using them for God's purposes or our own.

I also found my post from a few years ago and it struck home for me once again so I thought I'd share it here....

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

You reap what you sow. Pretty much a universal truth, and an obvious one at that. At least it should be.

But somehow we like to fool ourselves into thinking that we can plant whatever kinds of seeds we want and still get a fruitful harvest. But that is delusional thinking.

We cannot live for ourselves and store up treasure in heaven at the same time.

We cannot sow seeds of rebellion (no matter how small!) and reap the rewards of righteousness. It just does not work that way.

This verse points out another crucial point to the sow/reap analogy. Yes, it is important what we sow, but it is also vitally important that the soil of our life be adequately prepared.

In my Life Application Bible it says this...
Hosea repeatedly uses illustrations about fields and crops. Here he envisions a plowed field, earth that is ready to receive seeds. It is no longer stony and hard; it has been carefully prepared, and it is available. Is your life ready for God to work in it? You can break up the unplowed ground of your heart by acknowledging your sins and receiving God's forgiveness and guidance. (emphasis mine)

Have you tried planting seeds on rocky soil (life full of unrepentant sin)? Or soil that's had all it's nutrients washed out of it (perhaps a life worn down by legalism without grace)? Or soil that's so loose nothing can take root (perhaps by mistaking freedom from sin as freedom to sin)? There are many soil conditions that can cause a huge drop in harvest production.

We need to prepare our hearts by:
reading the Word
studying the Word
memorizing the Word
focusing on God instead of ourselves
pursuing holiness
acknowledging, confessing and turning away from sin
accepting God's grace and forgiveness and forgiving ourselves
being sensitive to the Spirit's work within us

If we are diligent in preparing our hearts and lives in this way, the harvest that God will bring about in our lives will be beyond anything we could've imagined and He will say of us "Well done, good and faithful servant". All for His glory.

May it be said of us.

Our NT passage reminds us of the sanctity of the marriage bed and the seriousness of the marriage covenant.  It also spoke, once again, of the temptation to loved money instead of stewarding it for the good of others and the glory of God.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Hosea 12-14; Matthew 20:1-16


Nathan Reimer said...

I highlighted that same verse as I read through the passage (Hosea 10:12).

Even though Isreal had sinned greatly against God, He still gave them a chance to correct things by warning them to start preparing the soil and sowing the right seeds. This is a reminder for me that no matter what I've done, now is the time to start preparing the soil and to start sowing the right seeds in preparation for the future.

Pamela said...

Last Sunday, Conrad and I met a farmer couple in our church for the first time. While we were talking about our week, the husband was saying that all of his planting had just been completed and now was the hard part---the waiting for it to grow. SO much was dependent on things out of his control: temperatures, rain, sun, insects, etc. A perfect illustration of the power God has in the growing process. We can plant...but God has to make it grow.

Conrad said...

Hosea 10:12 also stood for me. We need to be productive and fruitful. This is not a tap that we can turn on and off when we choose to. We are to do so until He comes as stated in this verse.

Not so easily done. I thought this tied in well with the NT passage and the rich man parable. The disciples asked Jesus who could be saved? Jesus' response was, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

The reality is that we cannot do this on our own. I need to remember this because in general, I do not like to ask for help.