Daily D – Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (NIV)
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. (NLT)
I’m after love that lasts, not more religion.
I want you to know GOD, not go to more prayer meetings. (The Message)
What God wants for us is less religious transaction and more true transformation; less “I’m sorry,” and more “I agree.”
Religious practices are good if they flow from deep connection with our Father in heaven. They are empty rituals if they flow instead from habits grown cold.
The book of Hosea, in full alignment and attunement with the other prophets in the Old Testament, tells the story of God wooing his wayward people back to himself. He loves them, really loves them, and wants them to come home. It is not religious practices he calls them to, but himself. He wants to be known, loved, and honored.
What God wanted then, God wants now. He wants deep communion with you day by day and not a smile and a wave on Sunday. He wants deep involvement in your closest relationships. He wants deep engagement in your work.
Why wade in the shallows when he calls you to experience Ocean?
Why gaze upward toward purple mountain majesty when he calls you to view the fruited plains?
John the Baptist figured it out. The more he got to know Jesus, the more he wanted to know Jesus. John 3:30 says in essence, “More Jesus, please.”
How will you include Jesus more in your day?
How will you expand his footprint in your life?
I will practice the presence of Jesus by acknowledging him in every activity and seeking his wisdom for every decision.
Our Father, I feel like a Dickens character saying, “Please, Sir, I want some more.” I do want more of you. More of Jesus and less of me. I want the kind of understanding John the Baptist expressed in John 3:30. I want the kind of abiding relationship Jesus describes in John 15. I want to know and experience you in all things at all times. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”