Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 4 December 18:
1. Hosea 8:2-4 – “To me they cry, ‘My God, we—Israel—know you.’ Israel has spurned the good…. They made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but I knew it not.” Those who truly know God obey God. Those who disobey God don’t really know Him. To know Him is to love Him; to love Him is to trust and obey Him.
2. Hosea 9:1 – “Rejoice not… for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.” God calls sin spiritual whoredom while we tend to make light of sin. Sin is direct defiance to the Holiness and Sovereignty of God, and to sin after salvation is to trample upon the blood of Christ.
3. Hosea 9:7 — “The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred.” One of the common themes in the Bible is that when a people or nations turn away from God in sin, they eventually lose the spiritual sense to even understand their condition. God’s faithful prophets are considered fools while the prophets of the people truly are fools. The godless reject God’s messengers and surround themselves with false prophets who will tell them what they want to hear. False prophets proclaim ‘peace’ (with God) when there isn’t peace; they claim sin isn’t sin; they make rules that are not from God with the intent of transferring righteousness, glory, honor, and authority from God to men; they muddy the waters of God’s word in order to make room for sin and/or to promote their own agendas. They are disobedient and do not display the ‘fruit of the spirit.’ (See Galatians 5) False prophets and false congregations consider themselves ‘spiritual’ and have influence over the unfaithful but lack any real spiritual power. I wonder what messages were being delivered by talented preachers during Noah’s day right before God flooded the earth. What do you suppose was going on in the ‘churches’ of Sodom and Gomorrah prior to the destruction of those cities? When Jesus was born, most places of worship felt no impact, remaining completely unaware. Concerning his Second Coming Jesus warned, “as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” The vast majority of the very ‘religious’ will be completely unaware of the reality of the Great Judgment Day when it arrives. Now is a good time to be a ‘fool’ for Christ. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
4. Proverbs 4:7 – “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.” If you want to be wise, you have to choose to seek wisdom from God’s word. Many say they want to be wise but hardly crack that Bible. You cannot have true wisdom apart from God’s word.
5. Proverbs 4:14 – “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.” To be wise, you must also choose to reject all that is unwise, all that is sinful, all that God rejects. Have nothing to do with worthless, ungodly things.
6. Proverbs 4:18, 19 – “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” Everyone is either growing closer to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life, or farther away. No one stays where they are. If you are not getter brighter by reflecting the Light of Jesus as you get closer to Him, you are getting darker as you move farther away from Him. How will your light shine today?
7. Proverbs 4:23-27 – “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
– The Bible warns, above all else, to guard your heart, and it tells you how to do it: Watch your mouth; don’t gaze upon or ponder sinful things; consider very carefully what you are doing and why, scrutinizing your motives; and walk far away from evil and temptations, keeping your path straight towards Jesus.
– Daily choices impact your heart and your character. How do you guard your heart? Proverbs 4 gives you sound guidance.
8. Revelation 4:8 — “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” The only attribute ascribed to God in the Bible that is emphasized in repetition three times is the attribute of holiness. What does this tell you about how you should approach God? What does this tell you about how you should feel about sin?
9. Revelation 4:10 – “They cast their crowns before the throne.” True worshippers surrender all glory to God. As an ambassador for Christ, never, never be caught claiming the glory.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 Dec 18: Today, let your behavior honor and glorify the holiness of God. Your every action should be a reflection of His holiness and the power of the Holy Spirit upon your life. (Revelation 4:8)