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Friday, July 12, 2002

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Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 51
Matthew 10:16-23

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asking for it?

"Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them." —Hosea 14:10

As a child, did you readily obey your parents when they quietly told you to do something? Or did you tend to ignore the first command, not respond well to the quiet approach, or even not get serious about obedience until confronted with punishment?

As we get older, we don't necessarily change for the better. We can make our hearts even harder. Consequently, the Lord commands us not to harden our hearts (Ps 95:8). Yet if we insist on hardness of heart, then the Lord in His mercy will raise His voice, shake us up to wake us up, and "continue the punishment of the wicked up to the day of judgment" (2 Pt 2:9). The Lord is kind to the humble, but the arrogant and hard of heart require His sternness (1 Pt 5:5; Prv 3:34).

Are you creating a scenario in your life where the best thing the Lord can do for you is to permit tragedies to befall you? Are you insisting that the Lord pay you the wages of sin? (Rm 6:23) Are you almost asking the Lord to let you "hit rock bottom"? "Take with you words, and return to the Lord" (Hos 14:3). Let the Lord love you freely and turn away His wrath from you (Hos 14:5). "Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them" (Hos 14:10).

Prayer:  Father, may I quit being so stubborn.

Promise:  "When they hand you over, do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it. When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. You yourselves will not be the speakers; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you." —Mt 10:19-20

Praise:  Though often times failing, Janet tried hard to cooperate with God's grace until a pattern of habitual sin was eventually broken in her life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001