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A Gateway of Hope in the Valley of Achor

In a gut-wrenching effort to prevent divorce, God said to Israel, “I am going to block her way with thorns…I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart…and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope” (Hosea 2:6; 14-15). Have you found yourself boxed in by...

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A Decree of No Grumbling

When God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute, Hosea didn't grumble, “Come on, God, I only have one life! Are you really making me do that?” Instead, Hosea trusted the Lord and did what he'd asked. Can you say the same about your walk with Jesus? When difficult times have come, have you lifted up...

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The Road into the Heart of Jesus

One sabbath day, Jesus healed a woman in the synagogue who'd been “completely” bowed over for 18 years. This same Greek word, pantelēs, is used in Hebrews 7:25: “[Jesus] is able to save completely those who draw near to God through him.” Just as truly as sinners are completely bound by sin, they can be...

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Love Is Strong as Death

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave” (Song of Solomon 8:6). This is how Jesus wants us to feel about him. The Christian faith isn't about “doing it right” or “believing the right way”–it's about...

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The Treasure of Your Heart?

Human beings were designed to give everything for the sake of what they love the most. In heroic displays of faithfulness, ancient Chinese concubines would be buried alive with their deceased emperors; the first apostles were crucified, beaten to death, or slain by sword; and, today, millions of Americans sacrifice everything for lifestyle, professional sports,...