Entitlement; March 20, 2018

Hosea 2:8 “She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.

God is our Provider, but all too often we fail to recognize that, or at best give it only lip service. Recently we hear a lot about people feeling “entitled” to this that or the other, or how important it is for the government to tackle “entitlement” reform, all the while failing to see that we feel entitled to the abundant blessings God pours out on us personally, not recognizing that it’s all grace. The point God is addressing in this verse is misusing His blessings and attributing them to idols, and we do that, too. If every church member in America were to tithe their income to the Church, the amount would be staggering, enabling the Church to do evangelism and social programs beyond our current dreams. And that doesn’t touch the junk we do use our resources on, even financing abortion providers which are nothing more than the child sacrifice of Baal in modern guise. We also think that our wealth comes from our “business acumen,” or inheritance, or the government, or “luck,” whatever that is. That is exactly what God is talking about here. The comfort is that as we read through the rest of Hosea we find that God doesn’t eternally discard Israel, but only disciplines them appropriately. We had better pray for that for ourselves! It is a simple fact that if every professed believer in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord would live out the implications of their profession, the world would be a far different – and much better – place. We can’t change how others live, but we can start with ourselves.

Of course I’m preaching to myself here. I think I do better than many in recognizing where my blessings come from and using them accordingly, but I am by no means perfect. I have been very encouraged recently to hear numbers of people in the US proclaiming the Christian principles on which the nation was founded, pushing back against the tide of secularism that has engulfed the land. Having people speak up like that is good, but real change comes from changed lifestyles, and that happens one person at a time. I am to monitor my own lifestyle and I am to pray for others, both that the truth will be proclaimed and especially that it will be appropriated and lived out. I need to pray and act against the plague of self-deception that has infected the Church, (James 1:22) in Japan as well as America. Even Jesus was very clear that lip service doesn’t cut it. (Luke 6:46)

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. This is a perennial problem with Your children. Help me repent and live as You desire and help others to do likewise, so that the lies of the enemy may be defeated and people set free to walk in all that You have planned, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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