Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30, 2013 | John Bayles | A Present and Future Hope (Hosea 14:1-9)

In this final plea to the nation of Israel, we see the passion of the prophet and the God Who has sent him. Very reflective of the heart of the Lord in the ministry of Joel, as He holds out one more time the hand of forgiveness, are the words, “Even now....” (Joel 2:14). So too, here Hosea extends the mercy of God to this vile and backslidden people, not with the hope of their repentance, but as an assurance to Himself and to all the hosts of history, that though they are covenant breakers, He has not wavered in faithfully keeping His word to His people, Israel.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23, 2013 | John Bayles | The Terrible, Swift Sword (Hosea 13:4-16)

Giving thanks is a gift God has given to us. It could be argued that it is also an exclusive gift, in that there is no other example in all of creation that any other creature gives thanks for anything. But, in order for us to give thanks we must first acknowledge that there is something to give thanks for. This acknowledgement is also a gift of grace, especially for the people of God.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 16, 2013 | John Bayles | Experiencing the Love of God (Ephesians 3:17-19)

We have all experienced God’s love, we can see it in the grace He has extended to us in creation, in general providence, and in our personal testimonies. But Paul is praying for us today. He is praying that we will come to know the love of God even more fully. He is praying that we might see the love of God as it is expanded through the lens of our corporate experience.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June 2, 2013 | John Bayles | When Worldviews Collide (Hosea 12:7-14)

As we draw near to our conclusion of the book of Hosea, we continue to hear the same drum beat of judgement against the nation. It is not a new message, for from the time of the first king, Israel began to turn from their God. When it comes to a view of money, we will find a very clear distinction of what money is for, who money belongs to, what money can buy, and who owns the power, position, and distinction of money. Using this very common illustration and a knowledge of the trade practices of this time frame, Hosea shows that Israel has moved wholesale into a man-centered worldview. And this man-centered worldview is in direct conflict with God.