Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Fruit of Our Lips

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The Fruit of Our Lips
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Hosea 14:1-2
Return, Israel, to the LORD your God.
   Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you and return to the LORD.
Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously,
   that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

I think it is interesting that what is desired is words. “Take words with you and return to the LORD”
Honest words. Words of repentance. It even tells you what words “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously,” I don’t know about you by my walk before the Lord is less than perfect. My heart can be wild and out of control at times. I can chase after things that I think will filll my perceived lacks. Only to find that I have chased the wind. “Your sins have been your downfall” Admittedly they have been, but what does God want us to do about it. Does He want us to get all pious and religious? Does He want us to make great sacrifices.? Does he want us to get this kind of an attitude? Lord if you get me out of this one I will do _______ for you.  Does He want us to languish away in guilt, shame, depression and self pity? The answer to all of these is NO! This verse says what He wants is words. I don’t think they even need to be eloquent words. They need to be honest words, heart felt words. Words that acknowledge that you have sinned. That you don’t know how to fix the mess, that you are broken, that you are struggling, “Receive us graciously”,  When we turn to Him we don’t get what we deserve. We deserve His wrath, judgement, punishment for our sins. What we get is compassion, mercy, forgiveness and healing. None of which do we deserve. None of which can we ever be good enough to earn. Our best efforts fall horribly short. So what can be done? Your situation seems hopeless. Why would God want a mess like you? He wants to receive you. He created you, sure there are things that could be improved and be better. He accepts you where you are today - filthy dirty, broken, sinful. Don’t try to clean your self up just bring your honest words and be open to share your heart with Him.  He desires to heal and set you free that you can with your words - tell others, be thankful and celebrate and share what has been done for you. He desires the fruit of your lips. What comes out of your mouth is an offering of thankfulness to Him for doing what you could not ever do yourself. He waits patinetly for us to figure out that we are powerless to fix our selves. He waits for us to come.
Things to Ponder:
What sins have been your downfall? _______________________________________________
What “words’ will you take to the Lord? ____________________________________________
How has He received you graciously before?_________________________________________
What is the “fruit of your lips’?___________________________________________________
Prayer:
Dear Lord, Give us the courage to admit our brokenness, failure and our sins. The courage to come to you with honest words, to be open before you. Receive us graciously with compassion, mercy, cleansing, forgiveness and healing.  Give us hearts of gratitude and let that thankfulness  spill out of our hearts and lips like sweet fruit. Help us to return now to you with our words.

2 comments:

  1. I love your devotional and it will be my pleasure to read your devotional daily... at the present time I am not following any other devotional... when we were married we followed Marilyn Hickey's reading through the Bible for many years. I don't read aloud anymore as it's hard to get my breath while reading... keep up the good work!!!

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  2. Thanks for commenting Oceanwaves (Gertrude)
    I will be more inspired to keep on track if there are folks following along. I give you permission to bug me if I get behind. I will do my best to post M-F. I would greatly appreciate anyone who feels led to pray for me and this project.
    Thanks, Margot

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