Hosea 2014: Day 8

We return, but he comes to us

by

Today's Text: Hosea 6:1-11, Luke 15:20

Text: Hosea 6:1-11, Luke 15:20

 “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”
– Hosea 6:1

His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
-Hosea 6:3 ESV

To me, what is most staggering thing about the process of our redemption and restoration is God’s stance in it. He isn’t like an angry dad standing in the corner with his arms folded across his chest. He doesn’t pretend like it’s no big deal. He doesn’t sit us down for a lecture. Whether it’s the first time you’ve run willingly out of God’s precious protection that comes from obedience, or it’s the five millionth time, the Lord doesn’t stand unmoved by your genuine return.

He comes to us. Like the spring rains that water the earth, it is not in His character to hold back from us. He cannot not want to be right with us. He must be just and He must be good, but He cannot not love His children—it is not in His nature. For us, our love is like the morning dew that evaporates in the sun; by its very existence, it cannot be faithful for the day. But not our Father. His affection toward us will not be subdued.  

Another beautiful picture of this is the Father in Luke 15, in the beautiful story of the Prodigal Son. If you’re like me, you might get caught up in the rest of the story: the characters, the brother, the eating from a pig trough—but don’t miss the action words of this dad as soon as he sees his son returning. He ran. He embraced. He kissed. He could not be still in response to a son who was longing to reconcile. And neither can your Father, when it comes to you.

So, come—let us return. In what ways have you felt far off? What distance have you let exist between you and the Lord? Let us return, for we can be sure that if our hearts and eyes are set on Him, we’ll be able to watch Him come to us—as surely as the sun rises.

____________

Jessi Connolly is co-founder of She Reads Truth, Influence Network and founder of Naptime Diaries Shop. She is a productive lady, but that is not what defines her-Jessi’s heart beats for Jesus and His daughters!

8

  • Chrissy

    I’ve actually been going through something similar too. It is so hard! The rest of the world and your emotions tell you to run away and end the marriage…but the past few months I have stuck it out and God has been healing my heart and helping me to truly forgive him. He has also been helping my heart to catch up with my head- like saying I love and forgive him versus actually feeling it. And learning to worship an praise God through the pain, and giving Him my heart no matter what condition it’s in. A spouses unfaithfulness is so hard, but it has taken honesty of what’s been going on to actually bring healing and shedding His light and truth on everything…it’s also been what it has taken for God to show me the idols I’ve had in my own heart and He has been tearing down those idols. In reality, my wondering about being with another man loving me better and romancing me has been unfaithful to my husband too, it’s the same thing in my heart. Some days are still are roller coaster but it’s getting easier and I’m starting to see a small piece of the blessings and healing and restoration that have come and will continue to come through obedience, forgiveness, etc. Please get Godly, Biblical counseling too, if you can- it’s helped us out a lot! Much love to y’all :)

    • Marilyn

      So glad that God is healing your heart and your marriage, Chrissy. Continue to trust in the Father and He will carry you through. I’ll pray for continued healing for you and your husband as you walk this difficult road together.

  • Oh how I needed this today. Life with a newborn is stressful to say the least. Add in with that trying to rebuild a marriage that was broken with my husbands infidelity and you have a recipe for the evil one to come in and cause trouble. Last week I let these things get the best of me and I wanted to end the marriage. I just wanted to run away thinking that would bring me some sort of peace. So wrong. I’m coming back to my savior. I’m running to Him and I know he’s running toward me as well.

    • Rachel

      I just stumbled across your comment and felt I needed to reply. I am so sorry for the hurt you are experiencing. I am enduring a similar stage of life. Remember that people will always fail you, but God never fails. He remains steadfast and actually runs to us even when we fail him. Hosea is a beautiful example of the grace we are called to bestow upon our husbands. We are to be like Christ to them and run to them even in their shortcomings. God’s kindness leads us to repentance. Continue to strengthen your relationship with Him, and He will restore your marriage.

  • Samantha Edwards

    Praise God right now that I don't feel like we have a substantial amount of distance between us. Praise him that I feel close to him, and not far off. I know that there is always sin separating us, but I am so grateful that I feel close to him despite that, because he wants and he desires and he longs to be close to me!

    I was lost for a while, then found. Then I was separated for a while, and now I feel close. How sweet the Lord's love is!

  • Emalie Linder

    As part of a lesson plan we were developing today, my coteacher and I found a new definition of mercy: “compassion shown towards one which you hold the power to punish or to harm.”
    Obviously, God has the power to punish us for our wrongdoing. He is a God of justice; to punish us would not be outside his nature.
    But he is also a God of mercy and compassion. He doesn’t condemn us but instead he gives us endless chances to be restored. I love that Hosea is such a brilliant illustration of that.

  • Elizabeth

    Just return -so simple-just return

  • I started this Hosea plan last week, a day into it one of my good friends gave me a book that she loved…it was redeeming love! How cool is it that when God wants us to hear something, He makes it crystal clear!

    • Katherine

      Redeeming Love is one of the best stories I’ve ever read! Rich in examples of the healing love of God, and also great insight into the affects of this world on the heart of women. Love that book, and this book of the Bible.

  • Emily Elizabeth

    If only us humans could comprehend this kind of love i think more would be running to know God and want to serve Him. We cant even give a love so pure and flawless to eachother even those we love the most. Sometimes i cant wrap my mind around how mch God loves me yet its in those moments of looking back where His love and soverignty shines through an gives me a feelig of Him right there and that He wants me to pursue walking right next to Him.

  • Amen, Juanita!

  • Hosea. Constantly, unabashedly showing me the true state of my fickle, murky heart. Of all the layers of hurt I’ve allowed to harbor bitterness. Of all the untended and ignored good in my heart. But God continues to come, to pursue. To offer mercy when I ‘feel’ unforgivable. He tears so that He can heal. He injures so that He can bind. And I’m hurt. And angry. And frustrated. And humbled. Yes, humbled because once again this is about Surender. To let go of myself. Of my expectations. Of my understanding. And to Trust Him in all seasons, in ALL things.
    Once again, I come. Because His Truths are greater than my feelings. Praise Him.

  • The song “As Sure As The Sun” keeps coming to mind. It’s by Ellie Holcomb…. Check it out! It goes beautifully with this study.

  • 1 “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
    2 After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence.
    3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
    As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
    he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth.”

    Hebrews 12:6 “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” And though painful, at times unbearable, it is for our benefit. He is good and gracious to tear us to pieces and injure us, because we require healing from our sin and binding up in Him.

    Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

  • Jennifer LaPrees

    As a result of allowing sin into my life, as a result of ignoring areas that needed dealt with I wandered away from God. So much farther than I intended.
    I though I had it all under control. Instead I’ve created a spiral of sin, grief and deep regret. It’s affected me and those I love the most in the worst way.
    While I have experienced and have given forgiveness; I still wake up at night at times heart aching, grief stricken. Questions surface, memories plague, anxiety and fear taking over my mind.
    My knee jerk reflex is to accuse, to rail against, to demand further explanations…but I desire mercy and forgiveness for my sins? Why is it so hard to give it…. And have it stay given?! Help me Lord!!!!
    I though I gave these all over to my Father. Where does it all come from? What am I doing wrong?
    Father please help me set my eyes and heart on only you. Only your promises, only your security, only your strength.
    There are areas utterly out of my control, but they are not out of yours.
    Please help me trust that you are more than enough to restore and fill this heart, this hollow, fearful need inside. Please help me trust that you are more than able decimate these fears; I am utterly sick to death of being controlled by fear and anxiety.
    Please fight this battle for me. I’m too tired, weak and afraid. Protect my mind, protect the hearts and minds of my family.
    Please restore us, please transform and renew us. Please lead us into a place of peace.

  • I’ve let myself distance from The Lord in communication. As a result of that, my behavior also started to distance from God. But then when I really thought about what all was going on inside my mind and my desire to be involved in people’s lives…then I can’t live like that! I need to desire God. I need to pursue God for God, not pursue God for me. There’s a big difference in those two. But I’m trying to chase after God because I want to know Him and see Him in my life.

  • It’s not so much in what they did but God’s place in it all. Yes, they need to repent. But that’s just it, even in our un-repentence He loves us just the same. I agree with Rachel and Candace. The verse shows just how we are. We may repent and we may fall again but he’s still there. No matter how sincere we are, there’s a chance and a good one due to our human nature, that we will fall short. But God loves us in our weakness. Some people shun that because they think we are given excuses and freedom to repent and then fail again. No. Don’t be afraid of that. Do be intimidated. Just keep trying and seeking His will for us. It’s not about tallying up our repentance to our sin. Just seek God and ask for His forgiveness.

  • Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”
- Hosea 6:1″

    This just comforts me. I break and fall apart for purpose if I allow God control. Yes- Rachel Weeks I do believe this passage indicates that our hearts need to be in the right place. God’s grace is amazing but we shouldn’t take advantage. I think more over – that this passage highlights how good and faithful he is and sheds light on how unholy we are by nature – but still he runs to is with open arms when we return. The prodigal son expected to return not as a son but as a servant he didn’t think he deserved much more but still his father came running to lavish love on Him. But I think God lavishes love on us regardless he an show it that way when we return with a repented heart or by “tearing” us or “striking” us down so that we may heal by His grace and fully understand His love.

  • Rachel Weekes

    There’s no doubt God is faithful like the Israelites have declared, but I feel like their return in this reading is not truly repentant. Instead of realising their sin and begging for forgiveness they say “let’s press on and find God and he’ll love on us because he’s faithful”. God replies with “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” which gives you the sense they were seeking God in the same way they sought their foreign gods etc.
    For me I read this passage and see that when we repent we have to be sincere, with broken hearts because of our rebellion. Not just lip service. Thoughts?

    • Jen Lebo

      This is exactly how I was reading it. Not looking for repentance but just for rescue. God replies knowing the truth- their love is like the morning dew that disappears. This is me. Oh how I want to change. To repent.

  • BluVioletM

    Whether it’s the first time or five billionth time …. That’s beautiful, I never realized that he longs for our return. That might sound dumb but I’ve always felt the importance but on us returning to him but failed to really process that he wants that to happen no matter how many times it’s happened before. Thank you Lord.

  • Donna Carter

    When I first started getting this devotional , a week ago it was coming on my Email, then it stopped, and now I only see it on Facebook. I would like to have it back on my Email, if that's possible

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, Donna! Thank you so much for your message. I\’m sorry to hear that you haven\’t been receiving the devotional! Have you checked your spam or junk folders? Sometimes they end up there! If not, email [email protected] and we\’ll get to the bottom of this!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Nikki Smith

    Oh, how it warms my heart. His affection will not be subdued. I am everlastingly grateful for this! My church attendance has been sparse (conflicts at my congregation), and this post helps me so much. I long to return to his affection through a church community. Please pray that our family finds where God wants us to be.

  • NLT says, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.” So much of what I do is just doing it: checking off a list, going through the motions. But to look at my heart’s affections? Yikes. At the same time, that He wants my love more than my “sacrifices” actually stirs up my affections for Him!

  • “While he was still a long way off…” Focus on that in Luke! Those words. So powerful.

    Hosea 6:6 is where my eyes rested. “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.” That word, “steadfast,” has been calling to me as of late. Love, by definition is a sacrifice, but not in an external showy way, like slaughtering a lamb. Love requires that you sacrifice your needs and desires for those of another. That steadfast love he requires? That’s the small moments of dying to self we experience daily. St. Therese of Lisieux calls this the “Little Way” and it has called to me lately. She desired martyrdom, but knew that God judges not the size of the act, but the amount of love with which the act is done.

    My response to the Father’s running to me while I’m still a long way off? Emptying the dishwasher for my mom when I want to read my book instead. I can so that for Him. I mean he’s running to me. I can take a step, right?

    • Amanda Jones

      Wow. That brought a lot of perspective to me just now, the dishwasher things totally applies to me too. Thank you for sharing. Steadfast love= small daily deaths

  • Ashley S.

    We can always depend on The Lord to be here for us even when we can’t for ourselves! He is the only one we can ultimately depend on through everything!

  • V. Elliott

    I am so grateful that my Lord never leaves me, even when I venture off by not making time to read His word or attend church regularly. Thank you Lord for continuously reeling me back to You.

  • No matter how far I run from Him I know He is waiting to run to me and swoop me up in His giant arms and kiss my face!

    This verse struck my heart today…”Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us PRESS ON to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun roses, HE WILL APPEAR….”

    http://youtu.be/9pv5wVS7yzk

  • Genoveva

    … this morning was special! How much I love the way my Prince of Heaven speaks to me
    Blessings and greetings from Romania !

  • Haley Ryan

    Just such a great reminder that literally NOTHING or NO MERE HUMAN can separate us from our Father and His love. He is not like us humans with our unforgiving nature, so thankful for that tonight. And resting in that!

  • I have heard the story of the Prodigal Son so many times but I love the reference today of the fathers’ love for his son to God’s love for us. He cannot NOT love us!

  • Sara White

    I needed this more than I could have ever imagined. Especially today. Thank you to God for always loving and accepting me. And thank you to the amazing women that make this devotional happen. I am truly blessed today.

  • Jenny Raymond

    Wow. That added a depth is never seen or realized – yet have experienced! Also, it never fails to amaze me how timely God is in His word, wherever you are in it. This is so applicable right now!

  • Diana Anunda

    “Treasurer of my heart and of my soul, in my weakness You are merciful. Redeemer of my past and present wrongs, holder of my future days to come.”

  • Diana Anunda

    Amen!

  • Thank you Lord Jesus for always welcoming me with open arms.. For taking me back always. I think that since my life has been changed because I wandered off.. It's changed the part of me that wants to learn more about Him. I want to grow closer in my relationship with my savior! Thank you so much SRT for helping to grow this relationship. I feel blessed beyond measure!

  • Praise God that His mercies are new every morning! What an amazing love. Thank you for the reminder of the Prodigal Son parable. Why do we doubt His love?

  • This morning I woke up in a fowl mood. It was one of those mornings where life decided you needed to wake up early during deep sleep to start your day. A day where every little thing annoys you — you run out of shampoo and conditioner, the puppies won't stop barking, fighting, and running around the house. Breakfast would have to be quick and on a small scale. Nothing seemed to go smoothly and I found myself angry, ranting and raving to my boyfriend, and being upset.

    During this, I totally ignored God and I put off reading this devotional. Yet, this devotional was what I needed to hear. "In what ways have you felt far off? What distance have you let exist between you and the Lord?"

    The sun may not have shined on me when I woke up this morning, but that doesn't mean that God's love won't. This morning I let my emotions separate myself from God's love, but I'm thankful that no matter how far I run or distract myself, He will always be there waiting for me. He won't force me to come back or make me take the fast track through the airport to come back to Him (if I may refer to Tina's analogy). He will always be there, patiently waiting, for my genuine return home.

    • Crystal

      Thank you for sharing your morning experience, Caitlyn!

      I was reading your comment and it felt like I was reading the thoughts of my morning. Today was an odd start to my day and I had felt the uh-oh this is not starting off to be a great day, BUT like you recognized, though we may drift from God’s love and peace, He stays near, patiently waiting for us.

      God bless you and may the rest of your day radiate with God’s love!

  • I am just loving this study! Every convicting verse, every uplifting reminder!

  • Not sure who all has read it, but Francine Rivers has a book out called Redeeming Love and it's her rebelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea. It is so incredibly well written, as are all of her books, and the pages drip with Gods unrelenting desire and love for us. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it for any woman following this study!

    • Breanna

      My favorite book EVER. It is so heartbreakingly beautiful and such a wonderful reminder of Gods love for us.

    • Carolyn

      I have been thinking the very same thing. Brings the message of God’s pursuit and love of us right to our hearts.

  • "COME" "COME" "COME". This morning I could hear my Savior call, and see Him with outstretched arms running ,ready to embrace his wayward children. What a precious picture. What an invitation that is given to me and to every person, no matter where we are, who we have been, or what we have done.
    It also reminds me of my responsibility to keep up my vigil to pray for those who I love , to "come".
    Our God never gives up— nor should we.

  • Wow, I've never thought of it that way – he cannot NOT want to be right with us. He cannot NOT love us. Simply amazing :)

  • TaniRose

    This is the first Bible study of Hosea that I have done since reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It was over 5 years ago that I read it (I’m waiting for her new book to get to my library) and it is still the most memorable read of my life.

    Francine/Hosea…Such adamant portrayals of God’s NEVER ending love.

    I don’t know how many of you, betting over 90%, have NOT been endlessly loved… It is one of the biggest tools the enemy uses on us to not be able to trust God’s love for us.

    I love how Jessi said it. HE COMES TO US, i don’t know about you, but when I let Him come to me, it is the sweetest feeling.

    Jessi put it perfectly; He can’t NOT love us. He ways for us each time we ignore Him, snub His leadings or just plain outright choose to sin. OK, in sure not many of you out right sin, but I do, way too many times and the Holy Spirit is really working on me to receive that redemptive and immediate love.

    Thank you SheReadsTruth, you ladies are such obedient and transparent sisters!

  • Meeting Him every morning as He speaks to me in the words of the book of Hosea has been such a blessing. He moves me to tears of contrition as He reveals my folly and my wandering heart and then draws me to Himself, wrapping me in His love with His promises to seek and welcome me back to His warm embrace. How amazing, that we should be loved so. May we all be moved to be more faithful to Him and to honor Him by showing unconditional live to those around us. Thank you, SRT and dear ladies, for sharing in this journey! God bless you this day!

  • Beth Starkey

    This… I needed this. This morning, I was praying through my thoughts, and the story of the prodigal son came to my mind… Then I saw it among the reading for this morning. :)

    • Steph_Lilac

      I love how people in different geographical locations can be on the same wavelength through the Spirit of God! Ah-may-zing

  • Did your heart swell like mine when reading this week?

    "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence." Hosea 6:2

    He will restore us. Regardless of our unfaithfulness, regardless of our wretchedness. He will restore us.

    I don't know about you, but that knowledge combined with the imagery of my God running to me with arms wide open is all I need to make it through.

  • Caroline

    Loving His Word in this study. As with rain I am being cleansed and restored surprisingly from things I didn't deal with before.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Caroline, I am so thankful He is restoring your heart! SO thankful you\’re with us for this study!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • She Reads Truth

      Caroline, I’m so happy to hear all that God is teaching you through this study! We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Ok, so I have teenagers in my house. Enough said, right?! Seriously, I have experienced the pain of watching these beautiful people,who I love with all my heart, make some pretty bad choices. Oh how it hurts to let them go and wonder if they will follow the right path.

    It has opened my eyes to how it pains our Father when I do the same. It’s exhilarating to watch my dear teens take steps of faith, it fills me with joy. Oh, that I might put a smile on my Lord’s face too.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Such a great image, Barb! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Thankful for a God who runs to me when I would not. Thankful for a God who sees my disobedience and can still love me to no end. Thankful for a God who can heal, bind up, revive, and restore one with a heart torn at times between so many idols. I pray to be all in

    • SheReadsTruth

      Amen, Sarah! So thankful for this truth.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • Safina

        We need to praise God thurogh our struggles and He will bring us thurogh them. I beleive we need to focus on having a strong faith like Noah did in Gods word, be humbly obident and share the gospel. We need to obey God always and in everything we do. No matter all the storms we encounter when we are with God and Have God with us there will always be a rainbow and sunny skies in the end. I am trying so hard to put God first in my life , to obey his commands. I would like for everyone in the world to hear of His word to obey Him live a righteouss life in Him. Yes we may stumble from time to time but thats ok because we arent perfect.

  • Amen! What a beautiful reminder and one that I definitely needed. Also I saw another SRT car decal at the MD Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Brought a smile to my face. :-)

    • SheReadsTruth

      So fun, Megan! Love that you\’re running into other SRT sisters!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • stinav96

    I am so struck at who God is in the book of Hosea: just, righteous, and perfect, yet oh so compassionate, nourishing as the spring rain, longsuffering, steadfast, never changing. I think about how I get frustrated with how my daughter, my middle child, is so much like me, and my tendency is to be dismissive of her until she changes her attitude or whatever it is at the time. And I do believe that in the moment of our sin, we are building a wall of separation between us and God, but He always takes His children back. And I always love on my daughter when my moment of immediate frustration is past. Sometimes I'm loving her in and through frustration (because it doesn't always subside quickly in my sinful, human heart), but I'm always loving her to let her know that she can't do anything to change my love for her.

    Also, as I consider who God is in Hosea, I wonder if the God I say I believe and worship is as powerful as the God portrayed there? There was a time when I needed to simply rest in Him without adding the stress of "I should be doing ….. or ……." But that was a season, and the season I'm in/entering into now is one of greater action. My temptation is to hold back and not add in "unnecessary" stressors, but who is my God? Is He able to keep me calm only in the seasons of rest? Or should I be able to trust that He has me held in His "righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10) in the active resting I have sensed Him calling me to? I often decline increased activity and stick with "safe service" because I begin to feel overwhelmed, which to me has been a sign that God could not be in the activity for me. Yet, I know I'm being called out, so that can't always be the case. So will I trust that He is the God who pursues and uses the weak and undisciplined? Will I trust His steadfastness in obedience as much as I believe it is available for disobedience? Am I going to hold Him to only being able to draw me close to Him when I'm doing the least amount possible, or am I going to test His strong grip and amazing faithfulness by stepping out and taking a risk? He may have to tear me down to build me up, but as long as He is doing through me, what have I to fear?

    Thanks for reading to the end of this long soliloquy. It helps to hash it out! Have a fabulous day, ladies!

    • Steph_Lilac

      We're in similar circumstances my Sister. The Lord It's calling me out too, so I can put to good use the peace that passes all understanding. You'll be in my prayers and I ask that you keep me lifted up also. Blessings as we step out like Peter did!

    • Andrea

      Please pray for me because I'm being called out too. Thanks.

  • It would be really difficult for me to actively pursue someone who has turned their back on me time and time again- I would feel so hurt and rejected and probably give a ‘Hmph!’ with arms crossed when they would try to return yet again. But God. He HAS taken me back after I’ve left countless times. Sometimes I just went around the block, other times I went miles and miles and He was always there waiting for me at the door of my heart saying ‘Welcome home, Love!’ So, so thankful for His unrelenting passion for me- I SO want to give that back in return!!

    • SheReadsTruth

      I LOVE that, KayLee! I know that it would take a lot for me to actively pursue someone who turned their back on me. He has given us so much grace and I am so thankful!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Kristi James

    One things that's been huge for me this year has been realizing that God didn't just run to me once when I became a Christian, he does it over and over, like this says. Realizing that, even as his child, I try to turn my face and his response is to call me a dearly loved child, rather than a disappointment, was/is pretty transformative.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for that reminder, Kristi! He does run to us over and over-how soon I forget that! Thankful for that truth. We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I love the image of the father in the story of the prodigal son. The joy he feels when he sees his son far down the road. And the way he RUNS to greet him. I am overwhelmed that God feels that way about me, even though I'm returning with my head in shame after chasing idols and having run willfully from Him.

    A couple of years ago, our church did a whole sermon series on the prodigal son and coming home. One of the things that really struck me was a sermon about the morning after the return. We focus on the father running to meet the son and declaring a feast. But what about the next day. Our pastor talked about how everything in God's character would point us to believe that the next morning, the love was still there, because God is steadfast. The morning after doesn't bring wrath and judgment and punishment. Yes, the prodigal son will always have to live with the consequences of the choices he made, but he will live with them knowing he is forgiven and loved and treasured by his father.

    If you have 8 minutes to watch this video they created, I really recommend it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmU8q-3f7fY

    Oh how He loves us!

    • ButterflyBre

      The video was very beautiful, oh how blessed to be so loved. Thank you Lord!

  • Loved this, and today’s devotional! Amen!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thanks for joining us, Katie! We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • miss JLB

    So glad I read this. Well said!

  • I know several times I’ve run n Christ was there d whole time waiting 4 me 2 come back;am typical of The prodigal son..I always cm back when am lost n hv nowhere 2 go 2;when am beat up by d rain n don’t hv a shed or a home 2 run 2…He runs 2 me 2 dry me up..He Loves me!
    Thank u God 4 loving me completely without blemish n thanks SRT 4 d study of Hosea..n making me see God’s love…I pray God wl give u guys strength,grace n wisdom 2 do more..(Love u guys)..

  • Let me return. Life can get messy. And as much as I strive for perfection (failing, of course) desiring to fix all that is wrong — I often find myself getting stuck in the muck of life especially during times of change and challenge, such as now. Not only is life messy, but I have done and do my part in making the mess bigger, worse, and much more ugly. This message is appropriately timed. I feel the overwhelming desire to return to my faithful and good God. Even though I feel less than worthy of His love at this moment and am not sure what this 'looks' like.
    "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6 This verse reminds me that I cannot DO this alone. That all of my endless toiling, trying, and striving will — in the end — amount to nothing because that is not what God wants or desires. I need God. And God does not need or want me to try harder to make everything right. He desires my heart. My love. My growth and knowledge of Him. Simply stated, yet often lost on my heart and mind. Praying that today I would let Him in, let Him come to me — in spite of myself.

    • Emily

      I love what you wrote about God not wanting my striving. I’m a “do-er,” so it’s always good to get a reminder that I can’t do enough on my own. All I have to “do” is love Him. That’s what will bring Him joy. Thank you for sharing this morning!

    • Steph_Lilac

      I couldn't agree with you more! In the scriptural notes of my Bible regarding Hosea 6 it reads : The outward rituals are meaningless to Him unless "mercy"and the "knowledge of God" form the inward reality. This is what it's all about.

  • "Whether it's the first time you've run willingly out of God's precious protection that comes from obedience of it's the five millionth time, the Lord doesn't stand unmoved by your genuine return."

    How can anyone read the book of Hosea and not be moved to tears? I am Israel. I run. I worship idols. I chose physical comfort over His perfect love. Yet time and time again, He stands in wait, arms wide open, ready to embrace me when I am ready to return to Him. And it does truly feel like I have turned from Him five million times. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Yet each morning, as I commit to waking early to get in my quiet time and to participate in community with you beautiful women, He meets me. He loves me. He comforts me. I am so undeserving. I, like Israel, have chosen idols. I, like Israel, have turned from Him knowingly and willingly. Yet He loves me still. Wow. Amen.

  • Oh HOW HE LOVES US! Oh, how He loves Me. So thankful to be reminded of this great love today… to feel it in my heart…. to see it when I look around. May I return every single minute, every single hour, every single day. Return always to my true love.

    • Eko

      Sometimes at church I sing “How He Loves” and change the words to ME. “And I am His portion and He is my prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes…” It breaks me open every. time.

    • SheReadsTruth

      AMEN! Love this so much. Thanks for joining us, Mary!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • joanne Sher

    He comes to us. Willingly. Without condemnation. No matter how many times we turn from Him. And no matter what we have done when we were away. Amazing.

    • Steph_Lilac

      Sis, your posts are short, sweet, and straight to the point. I imagine that's how you are in your daily life. I appreciate your insight sooooo much.

  • Candacejo

    I can't help it…"When God Ran" played through my mind the entire time while reading this lesson!! "Then one night, I remembered His love for me…He ran to me, took me in His arms, held my head to His chest, said, 'My son's come home again!' Lifted my face, brushed the tears from my eyes, and with forgiveness in His voice He said, 'Son, don't you know I still love you?!'" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cuitzmires

    That IS our God. His unrelenting mercy, no matter what we have done, no matter the shame we carry, He is waiting with open arms to take us in and to wash away the guilt that the enemy has burdened us with.

    So thankful today. ♥

  • LaurenC_

    Reminds me of the lyrics from Ellie Holcomb's song — "As sure as the sun will rise and chase away the night, His mercy will not end. His mercy will not end." We often carry so much doubt and worry through the night but God's love is always there, breaking through our night and shining brightly like the sun. It's a new day! Let's live in His warmth and glory today!

    • Candacejo

      I don't know that song, Lauren, but am going to try to find it. I am still stuck on the Shane and Shane song someone shared last week about mercy rising with the sun. So thankful for everything that is shared here to encourage and strengthen. ♥

      • LaurenC_

        Hey Nanette – The song is called "As Sure As The Sun" from the album of the same name. The whole album is so, so good, whether you are looking for a fun praise and worship song or you need a song to put into words a feeling or a prayer, but you don't have your own words to say. Check it out!

    • Carolyn

      Thanks you for introducing this song to me. What beautiful lyrics!

      • LaurenC_

        Hey Carolyn – The song is called "As Sure As The Sun" from the album of the same name. The whole album is so, so good, whether you are looking for a fun praise and worship song or you need a song to put into words a feeling or a prayer, but you don't have your own words to say. Check it out!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love that, Lauren! We love Ellie! Thanks for joining us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • LaurenC_

        I love Ellie too! I sound like a paid advertisement in my comments above :) but it's really one of my favorite albums. Has gotten me through some really hard feelings and moments in the past year. I first found out about her music when you guys put her song on the video to advertise the app, so thanks!

  • sweetdes2014

    Come, let us return…. Yes, let me return. How do I express what I feel this morning? I'm a dedicated, loving, child of God…but there are times when my times with God are not as intense as they have been in the past. I then begin to settle for this lightweight, lukewarm fellowship and can literally feel my excitement and joy dissipating. I thank God for the jump start this morning. The conviction that not only should I want more but God is sitting there with His arms wide open wanting to give me more!!! I thank God that He is that Father running to us and wanting to give us so much more than we deserve! Thank God for His love for us …. No matter what we do…He still loves us…..He still loves me… I'm so grateful!

  • Kendall_S

    Thank you Father for seeing me even when I was still a long way off.

    Thank you for your compassion towards me when I did not deserve it and had squandered your blessings.

    Thank you for moving towards me and for the sweet reality of being loved by you with no conditions, lectures, shame or guilt.

    Praise You that your affections for me will not be subdued.

  • "I desire a steadfast love…" Made in His image, don't we all? But it struck me also how unfaithful we are, "like the morning dew." Like a tide, we go in and out on our affections for God, yet He remains like a lighthouse shining light on our journeys home, while the waves of our rising tantrums and emotions slam against Him, He never waivers in His loving guidance for us. If we aren't humbled by such devotion, I'm not sure what would humble us. I can certainly speak to seasons in my life that my frustrations, hurt & anger over what God has allowed in my life, have swayed me into the great wide open far from the shore, but even as I'd find myself without an oar, God would control the oceans to bring me home. His affection, even in my fitting, has never been subdued. To imagine loving me and longing for me so greatly He runs to me as I doddle in my guilt. I could never have fathomed a love like His! ~ B

    • Ingrid

      What a striking, beautiful, image! The waves and lighthouse will be in my thoughts all day…

    • Steph_Lilac

      I agree, never in a million years could I have imagined a love like His. You presented a beautiful illustration, thank you Sis.

  • Oh how I love this!! The image of God waiting. Not angry. Just watching. Filled with compassion. Running to ud with open arms when we return to Him!
    Beckey http://reallyreallyrealhousewives.blogspot.com http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

  • I was reminded of the airport arrivals….and the waiting area for flights in… there are different types of welcomes if you are being met….1) There is the one, you may not know, with your name on a board or card…with them there might be an acknowledgement or maybe a hand shake, and a welcome……2) Then there are the people you may know, who have come to meet you…with them, again a hand shake or maybe a hug and a welcome back, and lots of chat….3)..Then there's the loved one, who has been so looking forward to your return, making sure they are there on time, and just waiting in anticipation of seeing you….no hand shake there, a scoopy up in arms hug, that says it all, with kisses of joy and excitement, at the return of one, so loved, so missed….that is pretty special in itself, …..BUT God……His welcome back….His scoopy up hug is far more intense, because, no holds barred, HE comes running to us, …He comes at us with only good, …His kisses are a shower of Love so amazing…a welcome, beyond welcomes…it's a welcome home, that stands out forever, no questions asked….just LOVE given….

    Sorry, my imagination got the better of me, but you know what, ….what wouldn't I do for a welcome,with a forgiving love like that….I would go through the 'terminals' that register my sins and wrong doing, 'the customs' of questions as to whether I was worthy, or acceptable, ( will God really want me, again, ..Can He really forgive me again….it's been so long…..it's probably too later…etc)…..I would drop 'the conveyor belt' of luggage,( Sin, walking away from God, whoredom, )I have carried on my journey, and for so long along the way…and as I walked through the tunnel, that long tunnel, that eventually opens up to view those waiting…, I would begin with a hurried walk, apprehensive, then a jog, 'the what's the worse thing that could happen moment,'.. and towards the end, the realization that, anything….anything that the Father God, has for me, has to be better than what it is I have now… the running towards….

    Lord God,Thank you for your relentless love and pursuit of us, thank you, thank you wait for us at 'The arrivals' and that you you wait, no matter the hour or day….or how long it takes us….Thank you Lord God…You are a faithful and loving God….and I for one, now, make my way to the Arrivals gate in anticipation of of being met by YOU, the Most High God…

    Lord, I come, longing to know you, Lord I come, drawn by Your LOVE, Lord, I come, longing to seek Your face….Lord, I come….for you called me to come into the holiest place….Lord, .what did I do, to deserve your favour, what did I do to deserve your Grace.. called by my name…into your presence…..Undeserved..Undeserved…Holy God……..This came to mind, as I wrote…..by Geraldine Latty…

    Praying for each of you to be met, today, wherever you are, whichever 'terminal' you are at…..that you would truly know the everlasting, forgiving, all good, love of God, in abundance…for always……Be Blessed….xxx

    • Claire

      Great prayer this morning, thank you!

    • Onfaith

      Let your imagination go Tina! I love the pictures you share and the analogies! "The customs" of questions! Love it! ~ B

    • AisforAshleyKay

      What a beautiful analogy! I love it.

    • Brenda

      Beautiful!

    • GracenJoy

      Brought me to tears this morning. Love it.

    • Steph_Lilac

      Tina!!!! Your illustration was soooo spot on that it brought tears to my eyes. Last night I found myself on the floor of my bedroom crying out to God with sobbing eyes and a runny nose. I had failed again and had to repent. I asked for His embrace and it was there instantly. The Glory dropped so heavy on me last night. Whooo! That's what I pictured while reading your post, Him running too me in anticipation and love. May you be doubly blessed in the amount that you bless us with your sincere Spirit filled words. Love you Sis!

  • LoveHimSo

    He waited for me…..I was a Christian for many years….going to church every day and night. Prayer team you name it I was there. But even in that I was far away from the relationship with Him. I was lukewarm. Professing Christ to all that knew me but my home life was a mirage. But my Father knew that one day the veil would come from my eyes and I would see the gods that I was putting before Him. He waited for me all those years, watching my turmoil and anguish….patiently allowing me to run to the end of my road doing things my way. Then He came to get me. He came to get ME (I can’t help but to cry when I think of just that) How can you not love a Father like that?

    • Katie

      Yes! And all those years, I felt that He was punishing me for my choices when the reality was that He was allowing me to experience the consequences of my own decisions because of His deep love for me. He is so good to us, is He not?!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Such beautiful, beautiful words, sister! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. I'm so thankful for the amazing testament of God's grace your story is.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Hi sisters! The Book of Hosea has been very convicting. At the same time, I continue to understand the love of God deeper…. His Love is just so MIND BLOWING!

    I'd like to share this video with you, this is a testimony of a celebrity who was once voted as "THE MOST HATED MAN" in the Philippines. He was pursued by the LORD, broken, brought back, and redeemed. His life vividly illustrates the Redeeming Love of God!
    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=101523671477

    Hope you take time to watch, it's very touching. :)

  • I was blessed by God with some pretty amazing people who I know He was using to bring me back to Him. For that, I am extremely thankful. WIth that being said, this study couldn't come at a better time. Seems to me, I'm not the only one here thankful for His amazing timing! :)
    Praying for an open heart for all of us reading this study & for a revelation in our own sorts, big or small!

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