hosea2

hosea2Welcome back to week two of our Summer Online Bible study on the book of Hosea! This week we learned about the other loves in the lives of Gomer and Israel and of course, me and you.

Bad decisions plague us all at one point or another.  As I read this week’s lesson I thought about the many decisions that I made that were not the best, actually were some of the worst decisions I have made.  And they were made out of reactions from my emotions.   During this week we continued to see how Israel was unfaithful to God despite His love and provision for them.

Our other loves.  Wow, what a statement.  Our current day other loves may not resemble those of Israel and Gomer’s but they still once took the place of our devotion to God.  Worshipping things like cars, money, clothes. Listening to the advice and guidance of those other than God, and doing our own thing even when we know that we should follow God.  All of these are examples of the other loves in our lives that cause us to make bad decisions.  I can relate to thinking that if I could just achieve one more promotion and get the house that I thought would elevate me to that “status” then all would be well with the world.  But in the end, it isn’t the house that elevates me, but God and His blessings.

But I realized that I, like Gomer, thought I was getting so much more from my other loves.  But in the end, my go to pleasures were often just distractions from what I really needed to focus on, God and His will for my life.  My go to pleasures of food, desserts, things, usually faded after a few moments of making me feel great, but the love of God never fades. It is always there to lift me up.

Our other loves come with a price.  Feeling burnt out, unwanted and alone is the price we pay for choosing our other loves over God.  But what is so wonderful about God is the restoration that He provides for us.  God disciplines us and puts us back on the right path because He loves us, no matter what He will always love us and want to restore us.

My Sisters, what we must remember is that our identity isn’t from those things that God gives to us through His blessings.  Our identity is in God, that He chose us and that He loves us.

My Sisters, God’s unfailing love chose us, God’s unfailing love restores us!

ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK

  • Attend a small group this week Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule, all groups are open http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
  • Share some of your favorite book quotes with your social media friends and hashtag #BibleCafe so we can find them too!
  • Choose a time and place where you will complete each lesson, set a reminder for your self
  • Read Week/Session THREE in your book. You’ll read one lesson per day, each lesson is about 30 minutes.
  • Optional Activity: Try our author’s complimentary Idol Busting Prayer for when our idolotrinkets try to get us off track:
  • I: Incline

Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 119:36)

Lord, please tilt me toward You and away from my idolotrinket. I am naturally inclined to

selfishness — what I want when I want it. But, God, You have drawn me to Yourself and I

want to be drawn to You and Your Word. When I feel a flutter of insecurity and feel inclined

to soothe it with an idolotrinket, I ask You to pull me to Yourself — incline my heart to You

and away from that thing I am trying to replace You with. God, You redeem everything,

including my wayward impulses. So, when the idolotrinket starts to call my name, I will

speak the name of the Lord!

  • D: Delight

Delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)

Lord, when I am drawn to one of my idolotrinkets because they are appealing and make

shiny promises, I choose to delight in You alone. I delight in You, Lord, and ask You to tuck

right desires into my heart. This thing, this idolotrinket, may be delightful, but it is not my

Source of delight, You are. So, put in me the desire I need to have right now. Make my

desire for honoring You stronger than my desire for serving myself.

  • O: Open

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19)

Lord, open my spiritual eyes so I can see the hope to which I am called. An empty idolotrinket won’t give me hope. An idolotrinket can’t give me an inheritance of confidence,security, or identity. Only You give me those things. Remind me of Your power in me.

  • L: Love

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Lord, I love You. I want to love You with more than my words, but with my whole heart,

my life, my strength, and my soul. With all my strength, I offer You my love and devotion.

Make my desire for this idolotrinket shrink and my desire for You grow. Amen 

Courtesy of www.jenniferrothschild.com/hosea

  • Optional due to cost: AFTER you finish the reading assignment, watch video session Two available from Amazon or publisher website.
  • Optional Fun Activity: For the next week, at least once per day, look in your mirror and say “You are loved, accepted and complete” then replace “You” with your name. This will help reinforce that you are loved, accepted and complete in God.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK

You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time.  You may also post them here.  Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal.

 QUESTION 1: Think back to a time when you made the bad decision of “demanding your own king” or “doing things your own way” instead of God’s way.  How did that turn out for you? What lesson did you learn about yourself?

QUESTION 2: Oil and drink were the pleasure items of Gomer’s day.  What is your “go to” item for pleasure? (examples could be shopping, favorite dessert, dancing, music, etc) Does it truly satisfy you in times of need? Why or Why not?

QUESTION 3: What is or are the things in your life that you associate with your identity, safety and security? (examples could be money, home, love from other people, success, career, children, appearance, etc.) How do you react when they are taken away?

QUESTION 4: We have all heard the phrase “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side” before.  Why do you think we sometimes feel if we have what others have we will find happiness or fulfillment?

QUESTION 5: This week we learned that an Iddict is someone who is addicted to herself – her wants, her wisdom, her whims, her way; someone who is trying to find her identity in herself.

This happens when we haven’t fully embraced our true identity in God.  Where are you identifying today? In yourself or in God? (record this in your study book or journal, we will revisit it later in the study)

You are chosen and you are loved!

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