Friday, February 8, 2013

Minor Prophet? Major Impact!

For some time now I have been studying what most refer to as the 'Minor Prophets' of the Old Testament. However, what I knew before I began the study was that these men were far from 'minor' in their impact on the nations of Israel and Judah. Currently in the book of Hosea, I have witnessed God's holiness proclaimed along with God's wrath and judgment, but what most people do not expect to find in the Old Testament... I have witnessed the unmerited favor and grace of God shown to His people!

What we fail to realize much of the time is that when God disciplines His children for disobedience and defiance, it does NOT eliminate His grace! When a believer sits and ponders this fact, we understand that God's character will never allow Him to abandon His own. However, when we are in the midst of God's discipline in our lives it can seem as if God has left us for the evil one himself. But as David so boldly proclaimed in Psalm 23 [paraphrased] "Even though I am walking through a valley of trouble, darkness and death, I will NOT be afraid because God you are with me, your strength and your guidance do not fail and you will not abandon me, in fact you bring me out on top by celebrating with me in front of my enemies!" We have NOTHING to fear when God disciplines us. God is NOT a God who abuses His children, but He is a loving God who will swiftly discipline His children when it is needed. As believers, we must cling to the fact that God is good and God's plan is to bless and use us for His kingdom and for His glory. We are being molded day by day by our Savior to be more and more like Him! That molding process can sometimes be painful and it will require that we surrender the direction of our lives and allow the Potter to mold us to His will! Discipline for the believer, is nothing more than God molding our lives. So when you feel God is 'taking you to the woodshed' don't be afraid, and don't feel as if God hates you. His discipline comes directly from His love for you and His desire for you to be all He desires you to become. Accept the discipline of your Heavenly Father and claim the promise that Paul gives us in Romans 8:28 where he wrote, "All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose..." God will use even our disobedience to mold us into a servant He can use in his kingdom.

Proverbs 3:12 [HCSB]

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