“Returning to God –  or Faking It”

Hosea 14:1-9  July 23, 2006  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

The Folly of Over-Confidence

○    dwarfed by giant sequoias, redwoods
○    feeling sorry for snipped pine, never to re-grow

Superficial Repentance Doesn’t Cut It

○    prefer to avoid toughness of “R”epentance
○    Israelite confession didn’t take sin seriously (6:1-3)
○    words of God’s mouth convicting, deadly, piercing (6:4f; Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16, 2:16)
○    genuine return involves getting rid of idols, new commitment (14:1f; Is 55:7; 1Sam 7:3f)
○    sources of sin: world (Assyria), flesh (horses/army), devil (gods) (14:3; 5:13; 12:1; Ps 20:7; Mic 5:12ff)
○    famous general responded humbly to Peter Cartwright’s warning

Faithful, Fragrant, Fruitful

○    maintain love(checed), justice, wait for God always (12:6)
○    God desires mercy(checed) & acknowledgment > sacrifices (6:6; Mt 9:13; 12:7)
○    fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon - aroma of Christ (14:5f; 2Cor 2:14,16)
○    fruitful as vine – when connected to Jesus (14:7f; Jn 15:5)

Blessings, Unlimited

○    owner of largest Christian retail chain acknowledges it’s God’s, not his; ‘it’s not all about the money’, so not open Sundays