Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 8:13

“To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.” (CSB – Read the chapter

God is love. That’s what John told us. That’s not some kind of an interpretive spin on what he said either. It’s a direct quote: God IS love. It’s the essence of His being. It defines more surely than almost anything else (with the exception of justice and holiness which together form the core triad of His character) who He is. Jesus told us that we are to be known by love if we are to be known as His followers. If that’s the case, then we shouldn’t hate anything, right? So what’s going on here? 

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 2:5

“Yes, their mother is promiscuous; she conceived them and acted shamefully. For she thought, ‘I will follow my lovers, the men who give me my food and water, my wool and flax, my oil and drink.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever used graphic language when you were upset? It’s easy to do. When we get sufficiently upset, we begin working to find the words to adequately express our rage. When we’re angry enough, that can be a bit of a tall order. When we fumble enough, eventually we just use extreme words because we can’t find any others that will work. That’s a little like what’s going on here. 

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 1:2

“When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, he said this to him: Go and marry a woman of promiscuity, and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been asked to do something you knew from the get-go was crazy? Not only was it not going to work, you were going to be hurt in the process. But, the one asking was in a position of authority over you and so you didn’t really have much choice but to do it. If you have experienced that, you know just a bit about what it would have been like to be Hosea. Starting this morning, I want to spend some time with you looking at Hosea, and in turn, all the other Minor Prophets (called “Minor” because their books tended to be shorter than Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel’s). I’ll talk more about why in just a minute—and stick around for that because it’ll be important. For now, let’s look at this crazy thing God asked Hosea to do. 

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:17-18

“Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

We’ve been digging pretty deep into prayer the last few days. What James says in these few verses is really powerful stuff. Of all the things he has said that have been hard to get our minds around, this last part here takes the cake. James tells us here just how much power is available to us when we pray. Are you ready for this? 

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday morning we encountered the uncomfortable truth that there just may be a connection between sin and sickness. This came on the back of James’ instructions to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. This is uncomfortable stuff. As we asked then, what are we supposed to do with this?

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