This Advent devotional comes from “Come Emmanuel” an Advent devotional series from Dwell, the young adult ministry at First Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tenn. Find the devotional for the entire Advent season here, and learn more about FBC Knoxville at www.fbcknox.org.
Hosea 1:2, 10; 2:23; 3:1,5
“Love is a verb. Without action, it is merely a word.” This quote indicates that love must be more than static emotion and that it can be shown in various ways.
In these verses from Hosea, we see the action of love demonstrated in three ways: obedience, faithfulness and forgiveness. Hosea showed love by obeying God when told to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him. He may not have wanted to, but Hosea obeyed.
God may ask you to do something difficult. If he does, how will you respond? Will you, like Hosea, obey God and trust there is a purpose in all that is requested of you?
Hosea showed his love for Gomer by continuing to take her back despite her adultery. God showed love for the Israelites by continuing to love them despite their worship of Baal. The comparison of Hosea’s relationship with Gomer to God’s relationship with the Israelites tells a story that we can relate to.
Being faithful and loving to a habitually unfaithful spouse would be difficult. This makes the fact that God continues to love and be faithful to us even though we find false gods for ourselves even more powerful. Especially during this Christmas season, it becomes easy to focus on the newest toys, clothes, electronics, etc., that we want to buy. Our attention can easily turn to shopping, decorations and parties.
Although we are not intentionally worshiping these things, do they take our focus away from Christ during this season?
God shows us love through forgiveness. As we approach Christmas, we can be comforted to know that God forgives us, just as Hosea forgave Gomer and as God forgave the Israelites. God Loves us, no matter what. We can use the last few days before Christmas to focus on God and prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Father, give us the desire to love you and one another by being obedient, faithful and forgiving. Help us to remember that we are your people and that you are our God. In your holy name, Amen.