Devotional 23: The Third Day

Hosea 6:  1- 3

Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

 

The thought of giving an account to the last Judge, King, Ruler, Savior, and Creator of the Universe is at once something we view as ‘far off’, as it depends to some extent on how soon we shuffle off these mortal coils (depart from life, for you non-Shakespeare readers).

Yet we are told by the Apostle Paul that to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord, and that the spirit of man returns to G-d while the body returns to the earth. We are told by him that we shall be like Christ in glorified bodies when we are called forth from the grave, ‘sown corruptible’ and harvested as ‘incorruptible.’

If our spirit returns, and our bodies are raised at a later time, what are we called to do in the interim before flesh and spirit reunite? Daily, our flesh sins, and while we’d like to think most of it is unintentional and unplanned, that doesn’t mean we’re not called to repentance.

We also make choices to sin when we know better. Just yesterday, I skipped people in a line at a convenience store when another registered opened to reduce the backlog. A man gently touched my shoulder to stop me, but I ignored it and paid for my item ahead of others who’d been standing there. It was a Saturday morning, and I wasn’t late for anything, so I don’t know why I did it other than that I just didn’t feel like waiting. It was wrong, and rude, and I felt bad for doing it, but not enough to hang around and apologize to the person who tried to correct me. I didn’t even look at him, because to acknowledge him meant I knew what I was doing.

Are there more heinous sins than line-jumping? Yes, but that didn’t make it right to do, especially since I know that Christ Himself would not have done that, and I profess to be a follower. It was a moment of fleshly weakness, and I indulged it as fast as the thought occurred to me. We must be ever-vigilant. Let him take heed who thinks he stands, lest he fall, right?

This doesn’t even speak to our so -called secret sins. They’re only secrets from others, but not from G-d, who sees all we do, no matter the time of day. We can also sin through neglecting our spiritual lives by not praying, not confessing our sins, not meeting in fellowship, not reading G-d’s Word, that which He holds higher than His Name.

So how much like Christ can we be then?

Let’s take comfort in the words of this verse, but let’s also obey it, for there is no other way to salvation.

Verse 1: We must act. In order to return, we must stop going that way and turn ourselves, around, that we may stop being afflicted and disciplined for our sins. The Shepherd walks behind us and before us, calling to us that He may remove our sin by the power of His Blood.

Verse 2: We experience restoration though revival, and on the third day, as the Father raised the Son, that we might know it’s by His power and through His will, the Lord Jesus Christ will summon us forth with a great shout, and we too, will feel that power.

When we repent, He resurrects that part of the Holy Spirit in us that we’ve neglected to communicate with, that we live and not die in His presence.

Verse 3: We must learn. From that perspective, we are to pursue of knowledge of Him as a lifelong endeavor, discovering the wonders of Our Father, our Savior, and the revelation of the Spirit anew, without ever coming to the end of our knowledge.

We read that when we seek this knowledge, we are refreshed in our spirits when He comes to us like rain to a dry land, with times of refreshing, covered in the covenant of Grace.

Therefore I pray:

Lord, when move out of your Presence to seek my own way, when I disconnect myself from that power of your healing, the protection of Your hand, I am never out from under the covering of Your blood.

I thank you, Lord Jesus, for not giving up on me, for not turning me away when I stop to pick up the shiny, worthless objects of the world strewn along my path.

Thank You for forgiving me.

Thank You for restoring me.

Thank You that I am free to pursue knowledge of You, without restriction.

Thank you for replacing the rags of my righteousness with Your perfect ones.

Thank you for allowing me to live and not die in the Fathers presence.

Thank You for times of refreshing, for the rain of your reign over my vaporous life, giving it substance, and calling it blessed.

I will return to You, O Lord, for You have said that You would return to me.

“Let it be unto me as You have said.”

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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