Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

MISSION FROM EVERYONE TO EVERYWHERE

Hosea 11

 Dr.Thomas Philip

Orlando MTC, Florida
“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. [11:8]

Hosea was a Prophet to the people of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. Through Hosea, God gives us illustrations to understand how He feels when His people live in their own ways. First, God asks the prophet to marry a prostitute and love her, as an illustration of God's love towards His people in spite of their loyalty to other gods disregarding the Lord. This illustration is a reminder that neglecting God and going after other devices is spiritual prostitution. In the passage for this devotion we find another illustration – Israel is like a prodigal son disregarding the love of his father for him. God could have destroyed them as He did to Admah and Zeboyim – the two neighboring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, in His agony for the son He cries out: How can I give you up? How can I hand you over? These, of course, are rhetorical questions. In pain because of His love God is waiting for His every child to return to Him as Jesus has illuminated through His parable (Luke 15:11-32).
In His ultimate expression of love to redeem His wayward people God sent Jesus Christ to this world (John 3:16). Just by believing in His death and resurrection we are delivered from our bondage to sin, our relationship with Him is restored, and we are made heirs of His eternal kingdom. This offer is to everyone irrespective of race (Eph 2:6-16). This is good news.
 
God calls people to be a blessing to others (Gen 12:.2,3). Jesus wants each of His disciples (followers) to be a witness of the good news at home, at surrounding places, and faraway places (Acts 1:8). Thus, witnessing Christ is to obey His command relying on His power; thereby restoring the lost or marred relationship of a prodigal child (as Hosea portrays) with the loving Father. This is a mission entrusted to every Christian. Let us try our best to fulfill this mission.
  

PRAYER

Dear Lord, grant us the motivation, strength, and courage to be a blessing to others through our witnessing for Christ. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“[Jesus] plan called for action, and how He expressed it predicted its success. He didn't say "you *might* be my witnesses," or "you *could* be my witnesses," or even "you *should* be my witnesses." He said "you *will* be my witnesses.” – Charles R. Swindoll