July 22
‘What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ Philippians 3:8a
Bible reading: Hosea 6:1-3 (Go to the Bible passage)
‘Come, let us return to the Lord!’ Hosea cries out. But why should we return to Him? We did not run away, did we? We read our Bible regularly, we say our prayers, do we not…?
Only the Spirit of God can wake in us this desire for the true communion with the living Lord. There are still people who say, ‘If God is a God of love, why does He allow all the suffering?’ The Holy Spirit wants to prove the world to be in the wrong about sin (John 16:8) and everyone who allows the Spirit to do so, knows not God is to blame for all misery, but we. Then we bow our heads and repent, then we stop criticizing the church and the churchgoers. Then we call out to each other, ‘Come, let us return to the Lord! He has torn us to pieces…’
Who comes to acknowledge this, understands that the most severe punishments of God are still the punishments of a loving Father. And when we no longer justify ourselves but bow under God’s righteous judgment, then sadness and hopelessness change into joy and hopeful perspective. ‘He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us. He has injured us, but He will bind up our wounds.’
No one will experience the genuine healing of his sickened soul when he has not truly bowed under the discipline of the Lord. Hosea believed in a way of healing. The second and third verse of this passage do not only point clearly to the dying and resurrection of Jesus, but surely also to the being crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) of all who have heard His voice and follow Him obediently.

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