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hos10.12As a point of application to end our study this week, we see that Israel was saying one thing but doing another. Their profession did not match their practice. So for us, in day to day life following Christ, how do we Prove our Profession? How can we be sure that what we say matches what we do? How can we be faithful to the truth we believe? How do we live out what we profess?

Hosea 10:12 gives us the answer. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

First, sow righteousness. When we trust Christ, by faith, His righteousness is imputed to us. This imputed righteousness gives us a right standing before God. It is the basis of our justification. But now we are talking about sanctification. About making progress in our spiritual walk. We are talking about growth. As we grow and mature we should be more and more righteous. This is personal holiness. This involves the things we desire and talk about and do.

Are our desires, thoughts, words, and actions full of righteousness? Are we hungering and thirsting after righteousness? That is, are we striving, working hard, pursuing being right with God? Simply put, to sow righteousness is to do what is right.

And we do what is right not because of what people think or say about us, or because of the reaction it will bring from those around us. Our motive in being righteous must be to glorify God. How will what we do reflect on the character and reputation of God?

We must be clear that walking in righteousness does not mean that we will be sinless but it should mean that we will sin less. In fact, the more we walk in righteousness the more aware we are of our own sin, right?

1 John 1:8 reminds us, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” And verse 10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 2:3-6 gives us the test of knowing Christ. How can we know that we know Him? “3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

So first, in order to prove our profession, we need to “Sow for yourselves righteousness.” Then Hosea says, “Reap in mercy.” Again the word for mercy is loving kindness. 1 John 2:7-11 explores this theme, “7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Don’t claim to be walking with God and then go around hating and hurting people!

We need to “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground.” Again, how do we break up the unfruitful, barren places in our lives? With truth! What breaks hard hearts? It is God’s Word that is described as the hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. It is the truth of God’s Word that we use to till up the hardened places in our hearts and lives. Those areas where we see little or no good fruit.

In 1 John 2:21-27 we read, “21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Finally then, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

Seek the Lord and pray for rains of righteousness. Seeking the Lord may mean that we need to turn back to Him, to repent! Seeking Him also means we seek His will above our own. We seek to please Him, to love Him, to obey Him, to fellowship with Him, to walk with Him. How do we seek Him? Abide. We are back to remaining. We are back to John 15:4-5, “4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
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