Devotional July 17, 2016

Week of July 17, 2016

Growing with the Prophets:  Hosea

“I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).

Monday: Through Amos we looked at God’s concern for justice and righteousness. This week through Hosea we will come to appreciate God’s mercy and loving-kindness. Hosea deals with Gomer as the Lord deals with Israel.

Read Hosea 1 – 2

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What other “loves” draws you away from God?

2. Sin in Hosea is viewed not simply as going against God’s will, but as cheating on God.  Love language is used   rather than legal language.  Does this give you new   insight or incentive in terms of your relationship with God?  What difference might this perspective make?

Prayer Focus

Pray that you might fall in love with God anew.


Tuesday: Hosea is reconciled with his wife as the Lord seeks reconciliation with Israel.

Read Hosea 3

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. How does God’s faithful love for you affect your heart?

2. Do you love God from your heart?  It is important to love God with your mind and strength as well, but what about your heart?  According to Hosea God wants a relationship with you that is more than obligation or servitude, it is from the heart.

Prayer Focus

Pray that your passion for God might be stirred.


Wednesday: God’s judgment is expressed against rebellious Israel. 

Read Hosea 4

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What are the causes of spiritual decline in you?  (In the church?  In society?)

2. How are God’s judgment and mercy related?  In other words, what is the purpose of God’s judgments in light of God’s “heart?”

Prayer Focus

Pray spiritual revival in you; in the church; in society.


Thursday:  Israel is invited to return to the Lord, but her love is fleeting – like the morning mist. Therefore her acts of repentance are shallow and lack mercy and deep knowledge of God (see vs. 6)

Read Hosea 6

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Have you ever substituted a shallow pious act of worship for true heartfelt repentance?  When?  What impact if any did it have on your life?

2. How consistent, persistent and strong is your love for God?  What can strengthen it?

 Prayer Focus

Pray that your worship might truly reflect your love for God and not be an empty substitute.


Friday: God’s love for Israel is tortured yet God will not let Israel go.

Read Hosea 11:1-11

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. How do you torture and try God’s love for you?

2. What can you do to bless your Beloved today?

Prayer Focus

Pray a pray of praise for God who loves you through it all.


Small Group Format


Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question:  Whose loving relationship do you most admire and learn from?

Opening Prayer

Song (optional)

Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

Have someone read Hosea 11:1-11

Discuss observations about the text

What word or phrase strikes you the most?

What do you think is the most important point of the text?

Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text

Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional.

Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the questions

Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)

Pray for each other

Refreshments (optional)



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Sun, 07/17/2016 - 09:30