We have all heard the saying, ‘practice what you preach’. Our words have more power if they are lived. When we live it, we believe it. And if we aren’t living it, nobody listens to what we ourselves clearly don’t believe.
Last night in our evening group Bible study, Hosea’s marriage to a woman of harlotry was the discussion. God said because Israel is committing harlotry, Hosea was to take a prostitute to be his wife and have children with her. Hosea was to be a living illustration to the people.
This kind of dramatic living out the message wasn’t and isn’t new to God. Ezekiel had to take a piece of luggage and dig through the city wall as an illustration for the rebellious people that they were about to be sent into exile, Ezek 12:1-3. And Jeremiah had to wear the dirty and unwashed linen girdle as a message to the people of their uncleanness before God, Jer. 13. So for the prophet Hosea to be asked to marry an immoral woman was a powerful, living message to the people of their own unfaithfulness to God.
As I reflect on the message of Hosea having to literally live out the message, it came to me that it’s no different from what God calls for every Christian to do. Jesus said for us to “deny yourself, taking up your cross daily, and follow Me.” Lk 9:23. The Christian reflects in his or her life the cross of Jesus. In thoughts, words, and conduct we are a living representation of Jesus. The Christian’s life reflects the glory of God. When we are living the message, it is like being salt and light in the world. When men taste and see our lives, they very naturally glorify God.
O God, that I might live the message today. O Father, that I might portray the death of Christ by my dying to self and to sin. O God, that I might reflect your truth and love so that a poor sinner will find hope and turn to believe in Your Son. Amen.
I say this in love. until you live the message, it won’t have power and it won’t preach. – Dan M