God doesn’t want empty rituals—He wants our hearts.
God makes His desires clear. He doesn’t want us to just go through the motions. He wants us to love Him. Religious activity that is void of a deep love relationship with the Father is just a worthless activity that may appease the flesh but has no connection to the Spirit.
Read Hosea 6:1-3:
- What does it mean to “return to the Lord”?
- Do you think God causes us pain in order to bring us back to Him?
- What does it mean to “press on to know the Lord”?
- What does verse 3 reveal about the character and nature of God?
Read Hosea 6:4-6:
- How did God describe the people’s commitment to Him in verse 4?
- What type of response did their lack of commitment provoke in God?
- Why do many individuals feel they are in good standing with God simply because they attend church or do good things?
- What would be the equivalent of “sacrifice” and “burnt offerings” for the Christian today?
Taking it Home:
- In what specific ways is your spiritual walk challenged by God’s desire for faithfulness?
- How can we encourage each other to live in God’s presence this week?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Praise God for His steadfast love that eagerly desires our repentance.
- Contrition: Apologize for any tendencies you have to perform “acts of worship” out of rote habit or a sense of obligation.
- Thankfulness: Express gratitude to God for the blessings He promises when we turn back to Him with our whole heart.
- Supplication: Ask God to strengthen your love for Him and your knowledge of Him.
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- 1 Samuel 15:10-31
- Isaiah 1:1-20
- Psalm 40
- Jeremiah 7:8-28
- Micah 6
- Psalm 50