Solely And Holy Devoted

“For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6, NASB95)

Jesus wants your heart, not your religion!

Hosea is quoted in both Matthew 9:13 & 12:7 as a reference in exposing the hypocrisy of Jesus’ enemies and their religious hypocrisy. Jesus tells them to go and learn what Hosea meant when he said, “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

God was frustrated with Israel’s lack of genuine repentance and devotion. Israel’s hypocrisy was revealed by their shallow religion and rejection of God’s love. Hosea states that their devotion was like the dew of the morning, which was present one minute and gone the next. True love and devotion have to last more than a minute. God desired true devotion and a lasting relationship with His people. Israel’s problem was that they were driven by self-centeredness and immorality. They wanted to be with God when it was convenient and served their own interest. Israel’s worship was mixed with idolatry and Yahwehhism, so they would run to the god that fit their needs the best at that time. This kind of hypocrisy exists in the world and even in the church today.

The devotion that God is looking for is described as “hessed” or a longsuffering love, not religious actions, empty works, or false liturgy. God expects a loving and compassionate heart from His people because they have been transformed by the love and compassion of God. This is not to say that God rejects liturgy and formal worship, but if the worship lacks true devotion, it is worthless. God is spirit and expects to be worshipped “in Spirit and Truth.” (John 4:24)

True devotion can only be achieved through truly knowing God by living in an intimate and personal relationship with Him. Many religious people know about God and practice their religion, calling it worship but are really like the dew of the morning, here today and gone tomorrow. Only those who are in a real relationship with God and filled by His Spirit will have the ability to offer God a true sacrifice of praise. True devotion is not only knowing God but to be known by God in a reciprocal relationship. May you wholly and holy be devoted to God.

Pastor Cary

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