March 10, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land." Hosea 4:1
Imagine a dusty old prophet coming into a city in Israel, taking his stand at the gate or next to the place of worship where many are gathered, and daring to point his finger at them and proclaim these condemning words from God: "The Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land." There was great prosperity. They were living off the fat of the land, and here was an old prophet talking about the "judgment of God."
WHY? Because there was no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God. Because of this, the land mourned and all who lived in it wasted away.
First, they had abandoned the principles of certainty, dependability, truth and reliability, which marked them out as a "people of God." When He called them out of Egypt, He said to them, "You are to walk in My commandments and according to My statutes. Your life is going to be a demonstration of My holiness and My truthfulness. You haven't lived that way. There is no faithfulness or evidence of your loyalty to God.
"Secondly, there is no kindness or sense of God's lovingkindness. You have the Covenant, the Law, the Commandments, the things I have instructed you to do, but you are not applying these to your life. They are but symbols of God's truth.
"Thirdly, there is no acknowledgment of Me."
He is not saying they do not know about God, but that they have forgotten WHO HE IS, do not acknowledge God as Sovereign, or do not recognize His right to reign as the Lord of their lives. The reality of God was not a practical part of their everyday life. Their concept of God was, "He's out there somewhere, some place, but we do not relate to Him."
What are you doing to acknowledge God in your life? You might say, "I'm teaching a Sunday school class, serving as a deacon, on the church board, singing in the choir, or any number of things within the church. That's what I do."
More important, HOW do you acknowledge God in your ministry? Is there evidence of His love being manifested through your life? Is there a compassionate heart for those to whom you minister? Is there a servant's attitude of intentional commitment before God? Is your heart humble and contrite before God? Do you seek the empowering of the Holy Spirit for your ministry? Are there manifestations of covenant loyalty, faithfulness, and loving-kindness? Do others see Christ magnified in your life and ministry? There's a difference between being a "religious activist" and being serious about your spiritual relationship with God, following Him as His servant and disciple.
Our concern, like Hosea's concern regarding Israel in his day, should be, "How can I make the truths and principles of God's Word applicable to all of my daily routines and envelop the whole of my life? So that what I do, where I go, what I say, what I think, and my attitudes will demonstrate that I am a servant of Christ! The reality of Christ living within our lives makes a clear distinction between "being religious" and "being spiritual" as God would have us be. Search your heart "at the foot of the cross."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-03-10
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