The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1
Hosea’s wife had been unfaithful to him and went off to be with other men. God tells him to accept her back and still love her. He takes it even further with telling Hosea to love her in the same way that He loved the Israelites, who had chosen to follow other gods.
Marriage is one area that people will often talk about unfaithfulness. One spouse becomes unsatisfied with the other and goes out seeking where that one can find love from another. As that occurs, anger and revenge usually builds up, the relationship is often destroyed and trust is lost. The spouse that was faithful, usually tell the other one that the marriage is over and will not be loved again.
People in the church are often guilty of this same unfaithfulness to God and to others. Loyal friends stab a friend in the back, striving to look better or raise higher. Hurting gossip is spread, damaging a person’s reputation or life. Turning the back on a friend in need. Telling lies behind a person’s back.
Each of these things and many more can happen, causing great pain and anger. Most people will reject a person who has done this, and refuse to have anything to do with that person. There is no forgiveness or love shown, because of the pain and anger.
Yet, God tells His people to love as He loved. God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for a people who rejected Him and did not want Him. He loved you before you even knew about Him or accepted Him.
God also loved you when you rejected Him. Think of the times when you went against God and followed this world or your own ways. Even then, God still loved you.
In this same way, you must be willing to love those who have hurt you and rejected you. Show God’s eternal perfect love to everyone around you, not just those who are faithful. It is through this love that others can learn of God’s true love. Love as God loves you.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will show God’s love to others; that you will trust God in the pain others put you through; and that you will be His witness to this dying and hurting world.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
As the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, there was a lot of destruction and suffering. At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of hope. The end could not be seen and it appeared as though God had completely abandoned them for all eternity. Yet, Jeremiah notes that God’s love is so great that they would not be completely destroyed. Despite what was going on around them, he could see God’s compassion for them being renewed each day.
When people are going through hard times, they often feel as though they are completely alone and that God has abandoned them. It is common for a person to feel as though God is full of anger and hate, not wanting anything to do with him ever again.
These hard times can be something physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or one of many other difficulties in life. The pain that one is feeling is real.
You may be going through a situation right now in your life, or you may have gone through one, or you will go through one some day. Jesus had said that you will have troubles in this world.
As you are going through a troubling time, keep in mind that God has promised you life and salvation through Jesus. There is a hope that one day Jesus will return and take you away from all the troubles of this world.
Another thing to remember is that no matter how difficult your situation is, it could be worse. The situation could be worse if you had no hope of salvation. If you do not believe in Jesus, then you can only look forward to an eternity of separation from God. As long as you are believing in Jesus and trusting in His work in your life, you have the hope of eternity in heaven.
As you get up each morning, realize God has spared your life on this earth for a purpose. He is showing you great love in keeping you going forward. Do not lose hope or give up. You may be hard-pressed, but you are not crushed or destroyed. Trust God through the tough times because He is faithful and will not abandon you.
I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s faithfulness; that you will know God’s love and compassion; and that you will have hope in Jesus.
“I myself said, ” ‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 3:19-20
God was expressing great sorrow over the nation of Israel. He had brought them up as His children and given them all that they needed. He expected them to love Him back and call Him ‘Father.’ Yet, they did not do that. They gave themselves over to other gods and were like an unfaithful wife.
At this point, many Christians, are very quick to point out the sin of their nation. They like to point out the great sins that are being accepted and done across the land. Sins of drugs, adultery, fornication, theft, violence, pornography, homosexuality and many others are brought up. People rise in anger against these sins.
Yet, many of these same Christians are living in sin themselves. Common, ‘small’ sins are gossip, lying, cheating, and hatred. Some will say they are giving the information, just to pray for the person. Others state God’s word in anger against the person of the world living in sin, with no love being shown at all.
When a person is living and acting like this, one must ask if he is really being faithful to God?
As you see horrible, sinful things occurring in the world or in your community, what are your thoughts?
Do you have thoughts like many in the world and the church–justice needs to be served, judgment, and hatred against someone?
Or does your heart-break for those involved?
When Jesus came to the earth, His heart was broken for those who were dying in their sins. His harshest judgment was for those who claimed to be believers in God, yet did not live for God.
God wants to give the best to you. He wants to be the best Father that you could ever possibly have. He does not want to punish you or be upset with you and your actions.
How are you treating God today?
With love as a son or daughter?
Or hatred as an unfaithful wife?
I pray today that you will see God as your loving Father; that you will know God’s faithfulness and goodness to you; that you will be faithful to God; that you will show love to all around you; and that you will not live in any sinful way.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3-4
Being bound up by someone or something is often seen as a negative thing to happen. Very few people want to be bound up by something because then they are under the control of what binds them.
Collars are placed around the neck of a dog and then a leash is hooked onto the collar. With this done, a person may lead the dog where he wants the dog to go. The dog has lost its freedom.
Solomon states that one should allow love and faithfulness to be bound around the neck. A person should allow love and faithfulness to lead them wherever they go. Not only should it be around the neck, but they should be written on the heart. This makes it a vital part of a person’s life, which in turn will give the person favor with God and other people.
Throughout the Bible every believer is commanded to love God with all of their being. Jesus came along and said that not only must a believer love God, he must also love everyone else, including his enemies. When a person is loving with true love, he will also be faithful. He will always strive to do the right thing for God and for everyone else.
When you are being loving and faithful to God, you will also be loving and faithful to others. Doing this will give you favor with both God and men. Even though a person may hate what you stand for, they will still state that you are living for God and are true to what you believe in.
Too often people give up either love or faithfulness to either God or other people. When this happens favor is lost. They have started to follow the world and reject Jesus.
As you go through your day, ask yourself if you are being as loving as Jesus would be in the situations you are going through.
And ask yourself if you are being as faithful as God is to you.
Jesus is the perfect example of love and faithfulness. How are you measuring up to the standard He set?
I pray today that you will know the love and faithfulness of God in your life; that God will strengthen you to love others as He has loved you; that God will strengthen you to be faithful as He is faithful; and that the world will see Jesus in you.
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
Over the years many people have attempted to describe what love is, while many others have questioned what love is. Volumes of books could be written on the number of poems that have been written about love. Thousands of songs have been sung about love.
Yet, as many poems and songs that have been done about love, many people struggle to describe what true love is. Often, when people think that they have found true love, unfaithfulness steps in and ruins their thought.
People are constantly getting married, saying that they will love each other for life, only to change their mind when their eyes start to wander. One will decide that he/she no longer really loves the other one any more. They choose to no longer be faithful to each other and end up in a divorce and wondering what true love really is.
God is the only one who is really love. The best way to describe God in a single word is: love. His love is perfect and will never end. Look up to the skies at night and see how far you can see. God’s love reaches further than you can see.
God is so filled with love that He was willing to send His Son to a filthy, dirty, sinful world to die a horrible death in order that you may live and have life for eternity. His love will reach down into bars, prisons, broken homes, horrible workplaces, and around the world to touch and change a life.
As God’s love reaches down into the dark places on this earth, He will remain faithful. You can rely on the fact that God will never do the wrong thing. He will never guide you down the wrong path. When God says that He loves you and will love you for all eternity, He meant that. He will never change His mind about His love for you.
Are you trusting and resting in God’s love and faithfulness to and for you?
Or do you see God as though He is a person, unfaithful and changing?
Look to God to know what true love is and what true faithfulness is. You won’t be disappointed.
I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that you will know God’s faithfulness to you; that you will trust God’s love for you; and that you will give Him praise for who He is.
He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 19:9
As king, Jehoshaphat appointed various men to be judges in different parts of the nation. He also appointed the Levite priests to administer the law of God among the people. They were to work at settling disputes brought to them by the people. One of the orders he gave them was to serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of God. As they served they were to do it knowing God is watching them.
In ever workplace there are some people who choose to try and cut as many corners as possible in their work. When the boss is around, they will tend to work a little harder than when the boss is absent.
When no one is watching, it becomes very easy for a person to slack off on the work, or to cheat the system. It is then, that many people start taking money or things from the workplace, or cheating others out on what is rightfully theirs to make a personal gain. Others that are in leadership positions, will work the workers at an unnecessary level, just because of their position.
This can happen in the church as well. A person may lead a Sunday school class, but not really study for the lesson or put his heart into it. Others may use their position to shame another into doing something for the church.
Paul had said that whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Everything that you do is to be done faithfully and with your whole heart as if you were doing it directly for God.
Do not do things like the world does, unfaithful and as though God was not in control. Put your heart into your work, knowing that God is watching you at all times. He sees everything that you do and do not do. Everything that you have and can do is because God has given you it or given you the ability to do it.
Now serve faithfully and wholeheartedly for Him.
I pray today that you will know what God has given you to do; that you will work as though working for God; that you will serve faithfully in every area of your life; and that you will put God first in every area of your life.