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Prone to Wander

Day: 1

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Prophet and a Prostitute

Nicki Koziarz

So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. - Hosea 1

I'm a sucker for a Cinderella-type story. You know, the unlikely girl gets the unlikely guy, and they live happily ever after?

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Day: 2

Plan: Prone to Wander

His Redeeming Love

Leah DiPascal

I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lᴏʀᴅ. - Hosea 2

Have you ever loved someone deeply and longed for that person to love you too? But your heartfelt words were met with a cold shoulder. Your generous gifts were re-gifted to someone else. And the commitment you longed for was rejected because they desired someone else.

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Day: 3

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Beautiful Pursuit

Denise J. Hughes

So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. - Hosea 3

Hollywood has a penchant for portraying love as someone frantically running through an airport to reach the girl of his dreams before she flies away forever. Or maybe he's climbing a tall ladder with a dozen roses to declare his love, and the audience knows he's afraid of heights.

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Day: 4

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Healthy Diet

Lyli Dunbar

Hear the word of the Lᴏʀᴅ, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land. - Hosea 4

In 1988, I spent 7 days cramming all the information from the driver's manual into my brain to secure a driver's license. Although I passed the test on paper, I failed to adequately apply its principles when I pulled out of my driveway.

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Day: 5

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Weight of Leadership

Karen McNary

I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. - Hosea 5

"Played the whore." "Spirit of whoredom." I must admit to being shocked at this description of Israel. Oh how far God's people have fallen.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

Personally Knowing God

Hosea 1 - Hosea 5 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 6

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Superficial Repentance

Krista Williams

Come, let us return to the Lᴏʀᴅ; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and 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 before him. - Hosea 6

If you have been studying with us through 1 and 2 Kings, and now Hosea, you have probably realized that Israel is a nation of repeat offenders. Like Hosea's wife Gomer, God's people are prone to wander. Time and time again, their love and loyalty quickly evaporate. (Hosea 6:4) And sadly, their shallow confessions usually last a short time.

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Day: 7

Plan: Prone to Wander

An Israelite Baking Lesson

Kellye Schiffner Carver

For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue; all night their anger smolders; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire. - Hosea 7

I don't know about you, but I have never allowed my anger, jealousy or selfishness to get the best of me.

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Day: 8

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Wayward Nation and the God Who Loved Them

Kayla Ferris

Israel has spurned the good. - Hosea 8

In looking for a little light reading (haha), I opened up D.A. Hubbard's commentary on Hosea. It titled Hosea 8 as "Ripe for Destruction." So long, light reading.

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Day: 9

Plan: Prone to Wander

Fighting Idolatry by Remembering God’s Faithfulness

Titania Paige

Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute's wages on all threshing floors. - Hosea 9

When Hosea 9 picks up, the exodus from Egypt is a distant event of the past. Israel's covenant with God is long forgotten and they've become absorbed with the present blessings of the Promised Land.

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Day: 10

Plan: Prone to Wander

God Wants Our Whole Heart

Lysa TerKeurst

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lᴏʀᴅ, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. - Hosea 10

God wants us to get some things settled in our heart. One of the most crucial is deciding whether we are all-in when it comes to our relationship with Him. Do we want to walk in the fullness of His love and His plans? Or do we want to spend our lives chasing after the world's empty pleasures?

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Prodigal Wife

Hosea 6 - Hosea 10 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 11

Plan: Prone to Wander

The One Thing that Changes Everything

Katy McCown

I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. - Hosea 11

It's the moment everything changes.

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Day: 12

Plan: Prone to Wander

Surrender to Succeed

Karen Ehman

So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God. - Hosea 12

Sometimes I wonder what we look like to God when we try to get our own way. We plot. We plan. We try to get others on our side as we attempt to sway opinions and fix outcomes. And we aren't the first ones to do it.

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Day: 13

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Rightful Judgment

Alexandra Hoover

It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. - Hosea 13

We have always been a people prone to wander, our hearts likely to drift, and the book of Hosea gives us a look into God's pursuit of us, even in our drifting. Hosea 13 starts off by describing Ephraim and its people. We know they were wanderers and drifters. They were full of pride and self-love, reluctant to repent, and zealous for more power.

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Day: 14

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Gift of Repentance

Ann Swindell

I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. - Hosea 14

Throughout Hosea, we have seen — over and over again — the unfaithfulness of Israel and the consequences of sin. The idolatry of God's people has ruined them; they are living in poverty of body and spirit. And yet, here at the end of the book, we find a call to repentance — and a hopeful promise from the Lord.

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Day: 15

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Beauty of Gathering

Denise J. Hughes

Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lᴏʀᴅ your God, and cry out to the Lᴏʀᴅ. - Joel 1

In times of crisis, we have two choices. We can either retreat into isolation, or we can move forward surrounded by a community of people who are with us and for us. It makes sense to choose the latter, but too often we're tempted to do our grieving alone.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

God's Yearning for His Children

Hosea 11 - Joel 1 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 16

Plan: Prone to Wander

It’s Not Too Late

Kayla Ferris

'Yet even now,' declares the Lᴏʀᴅ, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.' Return to the L ORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. - Joel 2:1-17

I don't like scary movies. Mostly because I like sleep, and sleep doesn't come easy when you can't close your eyes and have to leave on the lights. Why is it that the scary parts of a movie happen in the dark? And how does the protagonist always end up chased and trapped? I know I'm not the only person who tries to help out by yelling, "Don't go there!!!"

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Day: 17

Plan: Prone to Wander

The First Sermon Ever Preached

Kellye Schiffner Carver

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. - Joel 2:18-32

Martin Luther credits Joel with "the first sermon ever preached in the Christian Church." But you might wonder how Joel's words came to inspire a sermon. And when? And by whom? It's quite an earth-shaking story (literally).

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Day: 18

Plan: Prone to Wander

Grace that Closes the Distance

Titania Paige

For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land. - Joel 3

When a loved one has wounded me deeply, an apology - even a sincere one - feels inadequate to restore the intimacy between us. Outwardly, I genuinely extend forgiveness, but inwardly I still shrink back until loving my offender feels safe again.

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Day: 19

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Lord Roars From Zion

Leah DiPascal

And he [Amos] said, 'The Lord roars from Zion and utters his voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the top of Carmel withers.' - Amos 1

Have you ever been on the receiving end of bad news? Maybe you've been with someone when they received a shocking diagnosis or bad report. Or possibly you know what it's like to be the bearer of bad news to someone you love.

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Day: 20

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Best Because

Nicki Koziarz

So I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem. - Amos 2

I once heard someone say you can be used by God and still liked by man. I get what they were communicating: We don't always have to "offend" people with God.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

Just and Merciful

Joel 2:1-17 - Amos 2 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 21

Plan: Prone to Wander

It Takes Two

Katy McCown

Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? - Amos 3

The phone call alerted me the police had picked them up. The voice on the other end confirmed they were safe, but I would need to come as soon as I could.

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Day: 22

Plan: Prone to Wander

God's Relentless Love

Krista Williams

The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks. - Amos 4

Nathaniel William Taylor once wrote, "Submission to God's divine will is the softest pillow on which to rest." These words are forever true. Today in Amos 4, we discover the people of Israel continue to sin again and again despite God's many warnings. God has promised punishment and exile is coming, but Israel still stubbornly refuses to repent.

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Day: 23

Plan: Prone to Wander

Seek the Remedy

Lyli Dunbar

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lᴏʀᴅ, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. - Amos 5:1-17

Imagine yourself sitting in the pew at church this Sunday as your pastor steps to the pulpit and begins to read your obituary. Your heart is still beating, but the man of God is broadcasting your passing.

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Day: 24

Plan: Prone to Wander

Is My Worship Genuine?

Leah DiPascal

Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. - Amos 5:18-27

"You can't pull the wool over my eyes." That's what my sweet momma used to tell me when I'd get caught doing something I shouldn't have. I knew it would get me in trouble, but I did it anyway.

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Day: 25

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Potential of Privilege

Titania Paige

Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory, O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence? - Amos 6

The word "privilege" has earned a bad reputation lately, but in-and-of-itself privilege isn't a bad thing. It does, however, come with a heavy weight of responsibility.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

Return to Me

Amos 3 - 6 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 26

Plan: Prone to Wander

What is Your Plumb Line?

Karen Ehman

This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. - Amos 7

When we were raising our children, they knew there were certain expectations of behavior that we had for them. We required them to address adults as ma’am or sir. We expected them to be on time for meetings and events. If we ever got a little pushback from one of our kids, questioning why they needed to behave a certain way, we always gave them the same answer: “Because you are an Ehman.”

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Day: 27

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Only Source of Soul Satisfaction

Lysa TerKeurst

Behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord Gᴏᴅ, 'when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lᴏʀᴅ.' - Amos 8

God certainly knew how to get His people's attention in the Old Testament.

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Day: 28

Plan: Prone to Wander

Hide-and-Seek with the Heavenly Father

Kellye Schiffner Carver

If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down. If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them. - Amos 9

"One" … The pitter-patter of footsteps in all directions. "Two" … A stair-step creaks. "Three" … A door hinge squeaks. "Four" … A rustling from the closet. All manner of voiceless sounds follow as the "seeker" makes their way to 10. "Ready or not, here I come!"

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Day: 29

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Family Feud Fueled by Pride

Krista Williams

Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. - Obadiah 1

Family feuds are painful and can last a very long time. Often, they begin as a rivalry between two people but can escalate into all-out clan-wars. These family conflicts are frequently difficult to resolve and can become vicious. Sadly, our relationship struggles have the potential to impact generations to come.

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Day: 30

Plan: Prone to Wander

What are You Afraid of?

Karen Ehman

Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. - Jonah 1

My friend Cindy and I sat stunned in our seats as our flight began its final descent to the airport. The pilot had just announced that there was a possible malfunction of the landing gear and it might be stuck closed. He assured us he could still land the plane but instructed us to buckle our seatbelts tight and informed us we would see many emergency vehicles on the runway, ready to help if there was trouble.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

Thirsting for God's Word

Amos 7 - Jonah 1 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 31

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Obedience

Alexandra Hoover

But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lᴏʀᴅ! - Jonah 2

I haven't always been the best at obedience and thanksgiving. For a long time, I thought I was doing God's will, when I was pushing my own and running from God's guidance. But even in the midst of my disobedience and running, God was faithful and merciful to love me back into His will.

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Day: 32

Plan: Prone to Wander

A Pattern for Change

Katy McCown

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. - Jonah 3

I knew that sound too well. It had etched its way into my mind the first time I heard it.

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Day: 33

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Pouting Prophet

Krista Williams

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. - Jonah 4

Jonah 3 ended with these thrilling words: " When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it " (Jonah 3:10). Cue the confetti! It's time to celebrate!

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Day: 34

Plan: Prone to Wander

God the Divine Warrior

Leah DiPascal

For behold, the Lord is coming out of his place [his holy temple], and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. - Micah 1

I find it interesting how the Bible sometimes offers a lot of details about certain people and then very little about others, like Micah. Scripture doesn't give lots of details about Micah's parents or his background. But the meaning of his name ("Who is like the Lord?") suggests a lot. And we don't have to read very far into this first chapter to discover that there is no one like the Lord.

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Day: 35

Plan: Prone to Wander

Knowing and Growing

Nicki Koziarz

Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the Lᴏʀᴅ grown impatient? Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly? - Micah 2

When my middle daughter was about five years old, we went through this trying phase with her. Beyond typical temper tantrums and silly childhood tactics, she started saying one phrase every time she did something we asked her not to do: "But, I didn't know!"

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

God Knows the Beginning from the End

Jonah 2 - Micah 2 - Weekend Teaching

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Day: 36

Plan: Prone to Wander

Leadership That Lasts

Nicki Koziarz

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lᴏʀᴅ, and with justice and might. - Micah 3

It doesn't take long in business or ministry to discover there are good leaders and then there are those leaders who need some development. After asking a friend for advice about a leader I served with, she wisely said: "Nicki, every leader teaches you one of two things: how you want to lead, or how you never want to lead."

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Day: 37

Plan: Prone to Wander

The Best Plot Twist Ever

Karen Ehman

For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ our God forever and ever. - Micah 4

Don't you just love a great story — one that really grabs and holds your attention? A successful story includes an interesting plot, complete with conflict, a climax and, in the end, a resolution.

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Day: 38

Plan: Prone to Wander

A King on His Own Terms

Ann Swindell

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lᴏʀᴅ, in the majesty of the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. - Micah 5

As a prophet, the message Micah has for God's people has been full of warnings and rebukes for their neglect of social justice and love of wealth more than God. In chapter 3, God's presence is questioned. In chapter 4, God's presence is confirmed. And here in chapter 5, hope breaks through: Micah prophesies of the coming ruler — a shepherd for God's people.

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Day: 39

Plan: Prone to Wander

What Does God Want from Me?

Kayla Ferris

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lᴏʀᴅ require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6

We open today with something like a scene from Law and Order. God is bringing an indictment against His people. He calls the mountains to be the jury, a pretty good choice considering they have been around to see it all. And when God brings His opening statements, He simply reminds Israel of His goodness.

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Day: 40

Plan: Prone to Wander

Finding Hope in the God Who Hears

Denise J. Hughes

But as for me, I will look to the Lᴏʀᴅ; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. - Micah 7

In the Old Testament, a prophet was sometimes likened to a watchman or a lookout. (Ezekiel 33:7) Just as a watchman stood on the city walls, ready to warn the people of any coming threats, a prophet was sometimes called upon to warn God's people of any coming judgment.

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Weekend Teaching

Plan: Prone to Wander

Love Your Neighbor

Micah 3 - 7 - Weekend Teaching

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