HEARTFELT WORDS…..Read Hosea 14

Hosea chapter 14 is one of the most beautiful chapters in all the Bible. Please take a moment now to read all 9 magnificent verses just basking in its exquisiteness. Hosea is included in what’s called the Minor Prophets, but certainly no minor message here. Not at all. This chapter begins with Hosea calling out to God’s people, who have wandered far, far away from Him, calling to them to ‘return, O Israel, to the Lord your God’. He urges them to bring words of confession, of penitence, of sorrow…’take words with you’. Not just any words. But heartfelt ones. From the bottom of their hearts. Mean what you say and say what you mean. When I look at my life, there is so much that I just have to shake my head at…at myself. And I too, like God’s people thousands of years ago, must come to the Lord in honesty, openness, humility and confession. Am I the only one? Asking forgiveness…depending on His grace and mercy, offering to Him not the blood of animals but ‘the fruit of our lips.’ The good fruit that are words of praise and prayer. And look at the promised blessings that come our way from our loving and forgiving Lord…verses 4 through 7. Amazing blessings and gifts from above. Just for uttering heartfelt words; offering the fruit of our lips. Blessings come like healing our sinful ways, turning us around to His way and ways; and loving us with a flood of divine affection that never dries up. Like dew on the ground in a dry land causing flowers to bloom, our roots will keep getting deeper and deeper into our Lord like the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. When I was growing up, my mother had a cedar chest in the attic at home, and when I would open that wooden box did that aroma ever please–that will be us to Him! We’ll be in His shade when life just gets too hot to tolerate on our own. We’ll flourish like grain and blossom like grapes on a vine. The Lord says that ‘I am like a green pine tree…'(verse 8)–two of my aunts had a cabin, a rather primitive one on a lake in rural New Jersey. The whole lake was surrounded by pine trees. Though I never liked that place, yet I’ll never forget that pervasive aroma of pine in the air when visiting them. Not the cabin, not the lake, not the long trip to get there, but the air that was crisp and clear and clean and pleasant. Pine was in the air. The end of verse 8 God reminds us that all of this, all these blessings, all of it come from Him. ‘Your fruitfulness comes from me’. Today, we offer to the Lord our heartfelt thanks for all He’s given us. Heartfelt words. And especially for His only Son Jesus who made our life and makes our life worth living!

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