Posts Tagged “Hosea”

Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013

You’re almost there! This month’s schedule represents the last month of a two-year reading plan. If you’ve been with us for the whole time, you’ve read through the entire New Testament twice and the Old Testament once. If you read the additional readings each month, you completed the Old Testament twice. Congratulations!

We’ll start a new reading plan next month and I’m already looking forward to it. As I’ve read through this plan, I’ve identified things I’d like to change about next year’s plans. But that’s for another blog. If you have any ideas, please let me know. Comment on the blog, send me an email or past a message on our Facebook page.

In the meantime, don’t short-change this month’s readings. Read them with the Christmas season as a backdrop. Savor the final words of our Lord as you read through Revelation. Watch for all the prophecies about Jesus as you read through Isaiah. Enjoy and praise as you read the Psalms. Dwell in the love of God as you read 1, 2 and 3 John. I’m so looking forward to reading this month. Hope you are, too!

The following buttons will open PDFs of the November/December bookmark or all bookmarks. After the file has opened, you can print it or save it to your hard drive from your browser’s file menu.

Click here for the Sept/Oct 2013 recommended reading bookmark. Click here to download all bookmarks for 2013.

The December Reading Schedule also appears at the end of this blog.

Enjoy your reading! We’d love to hear what God speaks to your heart. Email me, leave a message on our Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog.

Blessings, Friends!
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for December is below.

2013-12Dec RecRdg

Here’s how the Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedules are organized:

  • The first two columns of the schedule allow you to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice over a two-year period. You will typically read about three chapters a day if you follow this reading plan.
  • The “Additional Readings” column put you on a plan to read through the entire Bible in one year. You will read between four and five chapters a day if you follow this plan.

Comments Comments Off on Resting at the River’s Edge – December 2013 Recommended Readings

Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013

November is the official start of the holiday season in our house – Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas follows quickly behind it. I love reading the book of Luke in November because it tells the Christmas story so well. It’s the book that will be our New Testament focus this month. Near the end of the month we’ll begin to read the book of Revelation – God’s final words to us.

Our readings take us through the Old and New Testaments over a two year period. We’re winding up our two years this month and next, so here at Apprehending Grace we’re already thinking about our 2014 plan. If you have any thoughts about how you’d like us to organize the readings, let us know. Comment on the blog, send me an email or past a message on our Facebook page.

The following buttons will open PDFs of the November/December bookmark or all bookmarks. After the file has opened, you can print it or save it to your hard drive from your browser’s file menu.

Click here for the Sept/Oct 2013 recommended reading bookmark. Click here to download all bookmarks for 2013.

The November Reading Schedule also appears at the end of this blog.

Enjoy your reading! We’d love to hear what God speaks to your heart. Email me, leave a message on our Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog.

Blessings, Friends!
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for November is below.

2013-11Nov RecRdg

Here’s how the Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedules are organized:

  • The first two columns of the schedule allow you to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice over a two-year period. You will typically read about three chapters a day if you follow this reading plan.
  • The “Additional Readings” column put you on a plan to read through the entire Bible in one year. You will read between four and five chapters a day if you follow this plan.

Comments Comments Off on Resting at the River’s Edge – November 2013 Reading Schedule

Bleeding HeartI love the Book of Hosea!
Its beautiful language and touching story illustrate allegorically the love God has for His people – people who again and again prostitute themselves with other gods. I am convicted as I read about the people of Israel chasing after other gods – because I know that I am as easily swayed by bright shiny objects as they were. And I fall in love with God again and again as I read His enduring and tender love for Israel.

When I read Hosea, my journal becomes filled with passages that speak to me. Let me share some of them with you. The only commentary I’ll add are subheads because God’s Word tells the story best.

God Punishes Israel…and Restores Her…and In the Restoration Betroths Her to Himself Forever

13    I will punish her for the days
    she burned incense to the Baals;
    she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers,
    but me she forgot,”
    declares the LORD.

14    “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her.

15    There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
    There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

16    “In that day,” declares the LORD,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’;
    you will no longer call me ‘my master.’

17    I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
    no longer will their names be invoked.

18    In that day I will make a covenant for them
    with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
    and the creatures that move along the ground.
    Bow and sword and battle
    I will abolish from the land,
    so that all may lie down in safety.

19    I will betroth you to me forever;
    I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
    in love and compassion.

20    I will betroth you in faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the LORD.

21    “In that day I will respond,”
    declares the LORD—
    “I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;

22    and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.

23    I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
    I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
Hosea 2:13-23 (NIV)

The Cause of Destruction

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6a (NIV)

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6a (NLT)

Israel’s Desire…God’s Desire

1“Come, let us return to the LORD! He has torn us in pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. 2In just a short time, he will restore us so we can live in his presence. 3Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

4“O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the LORD. “For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight. 5I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces. I have slaughtered you with my words, threatening you with death. My judgment will strike you as surely as day follows night. 6I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:1-6 (NLT)

False Worship by People Who Have Forgotten God

11“Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning! 12Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them. 13The people of Israel love their rituals of sacrifice, but to me their sacrifices are all meaningless! I will call my people to account for their sins, and I will punish them. They will go back down to Egypt.

14“Israel has built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. But they have both forgotten their Maker. Therefore, I will send down fire on their palaces and burn their fortresses.”
Hosea 8:11-14 (NLT)

Plough Up the Hard Ground of Your Heart – Now is the Time to Seek the Lord

11“Israel is like a trained heifer accustomed to treading out the grain—an easy job that she loves. Now I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck. I will drive her in front of the plow. Israel and Judah must now break up the hard ground; their days of ease are gone. 12I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my 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.’
Hosea 10:11-12 (NLT)

The Heart of God – I Love This Picture

1“When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt. 2But the more I called to him, the more he rebelled, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. 3It was I who taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. 4I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.

5“But since my people refuse to return to me, they will go back to Egypt and will be forced to serve Assyria. 6War will swirl through their cities; their enemies will crash through their gates and destroy them, trapping them in their own evil plans. 7For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.

8“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah and Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. 9No, I will not punish you as much as my burning anger tells me to. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy.

10“For someday the people will follow the LORD. I will roar like a lion, and my people will return trembling from the west. 11Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt. Flying like doves, they will return from Assyria. And I will bring them home again,” says the LORD.
Hosea 11:1-11 (NLT)

Come back to your God

      6So now, come back to your God! Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on your God.
Hosea 12:6 (NLT)

Listen Carefully…Hear God’s Love

1Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for your sins have brought you down. 2Bring your petitions, and return to the LORD. Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you the sacrifice of praise…

4The LORD says, “Then I will heal you of your idolatry and faithlessness, and my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever! 5I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. It will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. 6Its branches will spread out like those of beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedar forests of Lebanon…

8“O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who looks after you and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green, giving my fruit to you all through the year.”

9Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are discerning listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But sinners stumble and fall along the way.
Hosea 14:1-9

Let’s Return to the Lord
Friends, let’s return to the Lord wholeheartedly. Let’s step away from the things of this world that we hold tightly and that keep us from pursuing Him – things that keep us from loving Him and stepping out to follow Him more deliberately. Let’s just do it!

Comments Comments Off on God’s Heart Revealed

Resting at the River’s Edge provides an opportunity to participate in reading through the Bible in a systematic way. Here’s more details about the plan and our schedules.

Join the conversation as we read together each month. E-mail me, leave a message on the Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog. Let’s share the treasures God drops in our spirits as we read!

Also, NEW in 2012 are our RARE bookmarks. Click on the link below to download them.

Use the tracking method that works best for you – the schedule provided in this blog, the downloadable half-page PDF or bookmark. All provide the same schedule.

Above all, enjoy God as you read! Let Him speak to you!
Sandy

Download All 2012 Bookmarks Here

Download only the March/April 2012 Bookmark Here

Download a Half-Page PDF of the April Reading Plan Here

Here’s April’s reading plan:

April 2012 Resting at the River's Edge Reading Schedule JPG

Comments Comments Off on April’s RARE Schedule

10“Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold. 11For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can be compared with it.

12“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment….14Good advice and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. 
Proverbs 8:1012, 14 (NLT)

As I read verses 10 and 11, the Holy Spirit grabbed my attention with the understanding that choosing silver and gold is so much easier than choosing God’s instruction and knowledge. Let me rephrase that – choosing to pursue silver and gold is so much easier than choosing to pursue God’s instruction and knowledge. Our society highly values the pursuit of silver and gold. Far be it that anyone should set aside the pursuit of these things to pursue God’s wisdom. I mean when was the last time you heard someone say that they were going to work less so they could pursue God more. It happens, but not a lot and most of the world (even those in the Church) would look at such a person with a bit of suspicion.

But then I read on, and learned that wisdom brings along good judgment. Good judgment is one of the greatest values in the workplace. Having wisdom and good judgment leads to the discovering of knowledge and discernment. Scripture continues, telling us that good advice and success belong to wisdom, as does insight and strength.

Now let me see if I have this right. If I pursue (and presumably attain) wisdom, I will also be receiving good judgment, good advice, success, insight and strength. It would seem to me that if I had all those things, there could be little doubt that I would be successful in the work world during the (less) time I’m spending there. I am also totally confident that my spiritual life, my relationship with God, would bring greater satisfaction, joy, peace and victory.

OK, there was an important parenthetical in that last paragraph that perhaps I should qualify. I assumed that when you pursue wisdom you would “presumably attain” it. Well, I have it on good authority that you will:

5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:5-8 (NIV)

God’s Word promises that He will give wisdom to all who ask. When we really believe that verse, we live in expectation that God will give it. (See my blog “What Do You Really Believe” for more on this.) And when we live in that place of faith, God responds by generously giving us wisdom. What’s it take to live in that place of faith? Pursuing Him more so that we might know Him more.

Can there be any reason that makes sense not to pursue wisdom? Well, in case you don’t agree with me yet, let me share one more verse. Here’s Hosea 4:6a in two translations:

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6a (NIV)

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6a (NLT)

Lack of the knowledge of God destroys us, God’s Word says. Conversely, pursuing the knowledge of God brings with it good judgment, discernment and success (among other things).

God’s Word provides so much encouragement to study His ways and get to know Him. Let’s be a community of believers who prove God’s Word to the world. Let’s be people who prove that when pursuing God and knowing Him is more important than pursuing worldly riches, we become people of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, insight, good advice, and success.

Comments Comments Off on The Value and Promise of Wisdom

Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2010-2011

Construction Jobs, Queens, an Unfaithful Wife, the Love of God, and Wisdom on a Plethora of Subjects – all in the month of June!

As we Rest at the River’s Edge in June, we’ll be reading five different Old Testament books and read portions of Romans and 1 Corinthians. Sounds like a lot, but we’re still reading only three chapters on most days. Here’s just a hit of some of the things that await you in June:

  • Construction, construction and construction – You’ll read about the rebuilding of the temple after the Babylonian captivity in the book of Ezra. In Nehemiah you’ll read about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.
  • Everyone knows the story of Esther – the young Jewish woman who would become queen and save her people. We’ll follow Esther’s story with the story of Hosea and his wife Gomer. The story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife Gomer provides a beautiful picture of how God takes us back again and again even when we are unfaithful to Him.
  • I hope you’re enjoying the reading we’ve been doing in Romans. We’ll finish the book coming to such favorite passages as “Nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8) and Paul’s great prayer “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15).
  • Paul will provide wisdom about all sorts of things in 1 Corinthians: Spiritual pride, sexual sin, marriage, public worship, gifts of the Spirit, and more.

I pray that God speaks to you each day as you read. Remember to pause and pray before reading – ask God to join you and open your heart, mind and spirit as you read.

Blessings, friends,
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for June is below.

To download a PDF of June’s recommended reading plan, click here.

Watching the Church Grow & Develop and Reading some Poetry

As we Rest at the River’s Edge in May, we’ll spend most of our time doing two things:

Watching the church grow and develop as we read through the book of Acts

Enjoying poetry as we read some Psalms and the Song of Songs (often called Song of Solomon)

As spring develops, don’t lose focus on what’s important, but feel free to take your Bible and notebook outside and enjoy some spring weather!

Blessings,
Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Comments Off on Resting at the River’s Edge in June

RestingAtTheRiversEdgeLogo

March took us through the Old Testament law presented in Leviticus and then we began reading in Hebrews, a book that was written to the Jews and draws the relationship between the grace of the new covenant available through Jesus and the law of the Old Testament. In April, we’ll finish the book of Hebrews, take a few days off in the New Testament, then move into Romans. I love Romans. It was a verse in Romans that made the most impact on me when I was resisting the influences of God on my heart. He was trying to reach me, but I was running the other way. And then I read Romans. Wow! But I’ll save more about that until the middle of the month!

We’ll also read Numbers. Don’t get bogged down in the book! You might try reading it in the New Living Translation – it puts all the counts in a table, the way we would record the information today. If you find yourself in overload, take a step back…what’s the significance of the size of the total number — is it large or small? What’s the relative size of the various tribes? Know this: Each one of us is important to God. He keeps track of each of us. I’m so thankful for that!

Shortly after mid-month, we’ll begin Deuteronomy. It’s a great book — Moses is preparing to die and he wants to say to remind Israel of all that he has taught them on their journey. We’ll be journeying ourself into Job at the same time. What a perplexing book! But God has a great message in the book, so stay tuned.

I  hope you’re continuing in the journey through the Bible. Please don’t get discouraged if you fall behind…just keep reading. God will honor your efforts as you rest at the river’s edge with him a little each day. He will speak to you as you pursue Him.

To download a PDF of April’s reading schedule, click here.

April ReadingApril Reading

Enjoy your time at the river’s edge this month!

Comments Comments Off on April’s Recommended Reading Plan

 “God blesses those who realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”
      Matthew 5:3 (Jesus is speaking) (NLT)

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my 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.'”
      Hosea 10:12 (The Lord is speaking) (NLT)

7When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 8Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.”
      Jonah 2:7-9 (Jonah is speaking) (v7 NLT, v8 NIV, v9 NLT)

There’s a sermon forming in my spirit from these three verses. It’s not quite fully formed, but you all get to read it in it’s beginning phase:

“When Jonah had lost all hope”…”God blesses those who realize their need for Him”…”Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace” God wants to pour into their lives…”it is time to seek the Lord.”

It is time to let go of (not cling to) old hurts and old habits and even old victories – all become idols that we look to…that we cling to…that become excuses for not doing what God wants us to do…for not being who God wants us to be. They are idols and if we let go of them, God has tremendous grace He wants to pour into our lives. Grace to forgive others…grace to break old patterns of behavior…grace to turn toward Him.

God blesses those who realize their need for Him and gives them the Kingdom of Heaven! (The Kingdom of Heaven here and now, not just in the sweet by and by.) Now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.

After Jonah 2:9, comes Jonah 2:10 – “Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.” (NLT) God’s grace, God’s unmerited favor, saved Jonah’s life and then went so far beyond that and worked through him to save a nation! Grace the double-powered prayer. Not only what God pours into our lives, but the working out of that in our lives.

If we first stop clinging to worthless idols…If we first recognize our need for Him…If we first seek the Lord.

Wow! Make it so, Lord. In my life first. Amen.

Comments 1 Comment »

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter