Hosea, Jeremiah, Matthew, Praise Prompt, Prayer Prompt

6.8.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Valleys of Trouble & Gateways of Hope

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I love this verse: “I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.” (Hosea 2:15a NLT).
Don’t those words paint such a visual in your mind?
“I will…transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.”
Hosea is a book of redemption.
Despite all the ways Israel betrayed God and broke His heart, He still loved His chosen people.
He still wanted to repair the relationship and nurture them.
And so He has also done for us.
Despite our sin (our own Valley of Trouble), God sent Jesus to be our gateway of hope.
Through the blood of Jesus, we are redeemed forever!
All we have to do is say we will accept His forgiveness and we will experience hope and joy!
It’s incredible the mercy, grace, and love that our Heavenly Father has for us.
No matter what the valley is that we walk in, Jesus has offered to be our constant companion.
He’s not intimidated or overwhelmed by the hard journey and He’s not discouraged by the obstacles.
He knows our future and has good things planned for us if we will trust in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).
We all have mountains we face.
But Jesus told us in Matthew 21:21, “…if you have faith and don’t doubt…You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.”
Today, whatever Valley of Trouble you face, look to the hope given freely by Jesus Christ, and trust that with Him, all things are possible.
If God’s given you another day, then He still has a plan for you.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for giving hope to all who believe in Him and trust in Him for salvation.
Ask Him to walk with you in every situation trusting in the promise of His redemption and His perfect plan for your life.

2 John, Hosea, Prayer Prompt

12.6.17 Prayer Prompt: Do You Know Who To Turn To In a Crisis?

PRAYER PROMPT ••• Have you ever had a friend who never called you until they needed something? 
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? 
Hosea 5:15b says, “For as soon as trouble comes, they will earnestly search for me.” 
These are God’s words and clearly, He knows what it feels like to only be called on when needed. 
I’ve written this topic before, and honestly – it breaks my heart every time I do. 
How many times have I cried out to God when I had no relationship with Him, but needed Him to fix a problem? 
Too many times. 
Let’s back up a bit and give our verse some context… 
The story of Hosea is about forgiving love. 
God commanded Hosea to marry a known prostitute, Gomer. 
Hosea loved Gomer, but she constantly betrayed him through prostitution. 
Similarly, God loved the nation of Israel, yet she constantly betrayed Him, worshipping idols and false gods. 
Is there any logical reason Homer should take back Gomer? 
There are very few who would say he should stay with her. 
But how are we any different in our relationship with God? 
There’s no reason God should put up with us. 
We constantly mess up. 
But He loves us anyway. 
Wouldn’t it feel so much better to count on God in a time of crisis because of a strong relationship, rather than hoping Someone you barely know will toss you a life ring when things get too hard? 
I don’t know about you, but I feel far more comfortable going to my friends when I need something, rather than someone I barely know. 
2 John 1:9b says, “But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.” 
As one who has lived both with and without a relationship with Him – I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt – calling out to God in times of trouble is far better when we have a genuine relationship with Him. 
It’s more comforting because I have trust in His promises and faith that He’ll see me through. 
He gives me His heavenly peace and I know I’m not alone. 
Today, as you pray, thank God for the merciful love He shows when we don’t deserve it. 
Thank Him for being there in times of trouble. 
Ask Him to help you have a full relationship with Him, all the time, not just in a crisis.

Hosea, Prayer, Prayer Prompt

6.19.17 Prayer Prompt: Redeeming Love

PRAYER PROMPT ••• About a year or so ago, I started reading Francine Rivers’ books. 
If you’re not familiar, she’s a popular Christian fiction writer. 
So far, I’ve liked everything I’ve read, but by far, my favorite is “Redeeming Love.” 
In this novel, she took the story of the prophet, Hosea, in the Bible and set it during the California Gold Rush. 
In reading that fictionalized account, I became so interested in the life of Hosea. 
This is a man who God told to marry Gomer, a prostitute. 
He obeyed but then repeatedly had to keep bringing her back, as she kept returning to her old ways. 
The marriage of Hosea and Gomer is an example of how God felt about Israel. 
He loved Israel and yet, Israel continued to do the same dance over and over… grow complacent, rebel against God’s laws, get in trouble, repent, draw close to God, and then, the cycle repeated. 
How different are we from Israel or Gomer? 
Not much. 
When life’s going well, do we grow complacent? 
Only to call out to God when the going gets tough or we need help? 
And yet, though we are guilty of this cycle, God is still there. 
Still waiting. 
Waiting for us to call on Him and repent. 
Hosea 5:15 says, “I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.” 
As much as I know I’m guilt of this behavior, it makes me so sad. 
The verse gives me a visual of someone who is relegated to a chair in the corner of a room, just hoping to be called on. 
How it must hurt Him! 
And who am I to make God wait while He sits to the side until I decide it’s time to acknowledge Him? 
Today, as you pray, ask God to forgive you and to help you to break the cycle. 
Ask Him to take center stage! 
Let Him know you don’t want Him on the sidelines! 
Tell Him you know His love and grace are endless, even when you don’t deserve either.
NOTE: Feel free to comment, but these prayer prompts are meant to be between you and God. Matthew 6:6 — But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.