Words That Usher Us Into God's Grace!
Hosea 14:1-9 A Plea to Return to the LORD
 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.  Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.  Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.”  I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.  I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;  his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.  They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. (ESV)
If we could capture the essence of the purpose of GOD’s (grace) favor toward scoundrels like me, it would be CHANGE. God has done all that is needed to be done to rescue me from His wrath and to transform, CHANGE, me into the image of His Son (2 Cor. 3).
He wants me to grow. He wants me to change. He desires this life I now live to be lived in the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the gospel so that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.
 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)
If that’s true, and it is, then the longer I live “in Christ,” the more I should look like Christ.
We have been saved from the wrath of God and we are being changed into the image of His son by the same powerful work of the gospel (Col. 1).
2 Peter 3:18
 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
The word here for grow means to growth in size, number, stature….The WORD of grace changes us!
And yet for many, there is no CHANGE.
In a recent survey, 18% of all believers surveyed said that their effort to grow spiritually…to a life committed to transformation and change by GRACE is the single, most intense commitment in their life.
52% said that they work consistently to grow up, be transformed…to CHANGE spiritually but with limited success.
Another 20% said that they work occasionally to grow spiritually but are not consistent.
The remaining 10% admitted that they are neither involved nor interested in growing spiritually.
What were their reasons Christians gave for not pursuing spiritual growth more passionately?
66% said they are just too busy to give the process the time it requires.
25% cited a general lack of interest or motivation to grow.
Throughout the Word of God, we are told that without a life of confession, a life of brutal honest confession of our sin to God, we face a very stagnate and fruitless life.
In our study of Hosea, we come to the concluding verses that tell us CONFESSION is a bridge to transformational grace…a conduit to CHANGE!
1 John 1:8–9
 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)
 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.  Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.  Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.”  I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. (ESV)
It is through honest, truthful, and clear words about our sin that ushers us into God’s glorious grace, and a trajectory of life change!
Do not miss this Sunday as we conclude our Study in Hosea and the glorious transforming power of Grace that is accessed through confession!
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