Today is Monday September 20, 2010 and we are reading through the Bible in a year. Today's message comes from the reading of the Book of Hosea, chapters 7-14. If you would like to read the chapters along with us here online you can Click Here to read them or copy & paste this link onto your browser: http://www.imfollowingjesus.com/bible-september-20
Today's Message: The Right Ingredients
Bread is made from flour, water, oil, salt, and a leavening agent, such as yeast. Five simple ingredients that are mixed together, kneaded, set aside to rise, then baked until golden brown. There is nothing more satisfying to the sense of smell than bread baking in the oven. However, the key to making good bread is in the leaven, if it has not been allowed enough time to rise it will end up coming out like a rock and even though it still smells good baking it is good for nothing except a hockey puck. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” - Matthew 13:33. The key to the Christian life is three ingredients, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. While only Jesus can save us, without God there is no Jesus and without Jesus there is no Holy Spirit, without all three we are not whole and complete. Amazingly these three ingredients make up One Great God and a wonderful spirit filled life.
The first ingredient we need is Jesus, He is the only way to get right with God, Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” - John 6:51. Jesus is the bread we need to give life to the spirit, without His bread our soul is has no life to it and is just as the bread that is not edible. Jesus was crucified and sacrificed His life (flesh) for every person God created and still creates. To eat of this spiritual bread one needs to accept that he is a sinner, believe in Jesus, and ask Him to save him. It's that simple, yet billions of people will never take of this bread. Why? They follow the wrong doctrine, they listen to what man is telling them and not God. The Bible says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” - Colossians 2:8-10. People make the mistake of listening to other people tell them who God is instead of seeking the truth. If a church does not enforce that Jesus, who is God in the flesh, is the only one who can save them by grace and not works, than it is false doctrine. This is not something that people were just made aware of over the past few centuries, this has always been. If we truly want to live a complete, God filled life we need Jesus first.
The second ingredient we need is God, once we get saved we are reconciled with God and a relationship with Him can begin. We need to follow Him completely in everything that we do, it is not going to be easy, but we need to learn to depend in Him. He is our provider and will always give us what we need, but if we continue to do things all on our own without God we will never be complete. Of course, we need to make an effort to do things, but we need to let go of our total dependence on people and the things that are around us because they do not last forever and can often make things worse. Israel had foolishly put its trust in the powerful nations of Egypt and Assyria for help. This led the Israelites into worshiping their idols and forsaking the One True God. God compared the Israelites to unleavened bread. “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without. And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face. They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies. They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.” - Hosea 7:1-4. What God is telling them was that all they had to do was come to Him and He would have provided them everything they needed, but because they trusted in the heathens they too have become heathens and about as good as bread that has not been allowed to rise before it has been baked. There are many people who get saved, but they never go any further than that, they never allow God to come into their lives and because of that they never become complete or useful to God.
In order to show us that we need to be dependent only on Him, God is going to place chastisement and suffering in our lives. In the midst of their troubles as a nation, the Israelites never thought of seeking help solely from God, they put their trust in men promoting false gods instead of the One True God. However, God did not give up on them, through Hosea He said, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” - Hosea 10:12,13. False religions destroy people and sadly, many are just too stubborn to realize that, however, if they would just seek God through Jesus Christ they would see that, only He is what completes is. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” - John 14:6.
The third ingredient we need is the Holy Spirit (Ghost), the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us understand God and His Word. Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is just words in a book, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us (who can only come to us through Jesus) it is no longer just a book, but God's Word and something we need to hold on to and cherish. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” - Romans 14:17,18.
If we truly want God's blessings and to be complete, we need have all the ingredients that make up one complete God and person in you. There are so many Christian's whom sincerely love God, yet are at a cross between doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord and putting their faith and trust in worldly family or friends in order to keep the peace or have some security in their lives. They are not allowing all the ingredients to come together to make them complete and whole. God will take care of us, we just need to call on Him, only He can give us spiritual victory over the problems we are facing. God willingly waits for everyone to return to Him, “O israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.... Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” - Hosea 14:1-4,9. As we mix up all the ingredients we will walk with Christ and know that His ways are the right ways and when we do God will be pleased and we will be blessed abundantly. Praise God!
Enjoy the rest of your day/night and have a great week.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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