Tag Archives: Words

Sacrifice of Words

Hosea 6: excerpts from v.1-3
He will heal us
He will bind up our wounds
He will restore us that we may live in his presence
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
Let us press on to acknowledge him.
He will appear
He will come to us

6:4 Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears…6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

7:13 Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them
but they speak about me falsely. 14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail on their beds.

8:2 Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’ 3 But Israel has rejected what is good…5b How long will they be incapable of purity?…

I’m glad I’m reading Hosea knowing that God is going to provide the answer for us in Jesus. It’s hard to read of the disconnect between what God required and what “those” people were willing to give. Still the point of reading this book or any other of the Bible is to consider what possible difference it makes for life today.

Look at the statements pulled from the first part of Chapter 6. Don’t they sound like faith? The reality is they’re only a sacrifice of words. The next two chapters are a frustrated God calling them on it. Isn’t it interesting that God looks at those same statements that sound so good and adds “but they speak about me falsely?” The truth is God pays attention to the words we offer him and their connection to the what he sees in our heart.

There’s sort of a cart before the horse idea here that’s really important to remember. Acknowledging God with words before our hearts are connected to them won’t get us anywhere. We’re fooling ourselves if we think words are all it takes to convince God we’re putting him first and willing to move forward with him in the lead.

TLB Hosea 6:6 I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me.

Chains of Grace

Colossians 4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 18…Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

This is Master-full writing and really good news. No more how-to books on evangelism, no more intimidating classes and no more role-playing exercises needed. This is Paul’s perfect, clear and concise plan for speaking of the mystery of Christ.

• Proclaim it clearly
• Be wise in your actions toward outsiders
• Make the most of every opportunity
• Let your conversation be always full of grace
• Seasoned with salt

What…you’re a little intimidated…don’t know how to answer everyone? Well Paul has covered that for us too in v18…Remember my chains.” Was Paul only speaking of actual iron chains? I don’t think so.

Those three words were not his plea for sympathy. They were his reminder that the power of his words was bound to the “mystery of Christ” by Chains of Grace, not ability as a public speaker or personality and certainly not circumstances.

• Remember my chains. Grace…
That’s the vital last line to the list.