Tuesday, June 17, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 165: A Beautiful Plea

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 164, June 16, 2014
Readings: Proverbs 9, Deuteronomy 15:19-23, Hosea 14, Philemon 1:8-22

After preaching on Isaiah this weekend, the thing that has stuck out to me the most throughout is God's heart, God's passion for his people - for us! We are not meaningless entertainment to him. We are not a mistake. We are not something or someone that he only listens to when we're righteous, pious and perfect.

No, God continues to love us, to pursue us, and to seek our best. Sometimes that involves discipline. Sometimes that is an embrace. But always it is in love. Always it is for our good. Always it is to draw us closer to Him. See how he calls out to the Israelites as they have turned away from them, begging for them to come home.

I have a hard time imagining the God of the Universe begging humans for anything, but he does. Not because he is weak, but because he loves. Not because we have power over him, but because he feels powerful emotions at our rejection of Him. He longs for us to know Him and His never-ending love.

Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take with you words and return to the LORD;
say to him, "Take away all iniquity;
accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
the vows of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, 'Our God,'
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy."

I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon. 
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.  (Hosea 14:1-7)

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