July 24: God’s Priority is Partnership


He wants to work with you and me, and us with Him

Bible readings:

Hosea 1:2–10 — A time when the covenant with God was withdrawn

Psalm 85

Luke 11:1–13 — Jesus teaches the fundamentals of kingdom prayer

Colossians 2:6–19 — How to live a full spiritual life in Christ

Theme: God’s covenant is an assurance to those who are His

• Read this week’s linked article Spiritual Confidence is Yours with a Little Practice

• And watch this week’s video which uses a storytelling approach woven through all the Bible readings (excerpted) touring the message

Psalm 85 excerpt vv. 4–9, 13

4 Restore us again, God our Saviour, and put away Your displeasure toward us.

5–6 Will You be angry with us forever? Will you prolong Your anger through all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?

7 Show us Your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us Your salvation.

8–9 I will listen to what God the Lord says; He promises peace to His people, His faithful servants — but let them not turn to folly. Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land.

13 Righteousness goes before Him and prepares the way for His steps.


Hosea 1:2–10 — A time when the covenant with God was withdrawn

Foretelling God reversing His compassion for Israel owing to their errant ways

2–3 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

4–5 Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”

6–7 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them — not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.”

8–9 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not My people, and I am not your God.

10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’


SUMMARY Hosea foretells a time when God will withhold His covenant with the northern kingdom of Israel owing to their persistent rebellion. Lacking divine protection, they were conquered at Jezreel, a place of historic sin by the ruling dynasty.

APPLICATION God revealed Himself to Moses as a partner, provider and protector of those who showed themselves to be His by unswerving loyalty and devotion. His ancient intention has not changed, but our way of relating to Him has.

Luke 11:1–13 — Jesus teaches the fundamentals of kingdom prayer

An outline for talking to God in a personal and relational way of supplication

1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

2–3 He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name…

…’Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread.

4 ‘Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.’”

5–6 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’

7 “And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’

8 “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.


9 “So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

10 “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11–12 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”


SUMMARY Jesus teaches His disciples a new way of relating to God and of praying to Him. Now the covenant assurance is about knowing and trusting God as Father, who wants the best for His children.

APPLICATION God’s character is such that He cannot disregard a sincere request for a need to be met. Our confidence in who He is and His gracious provision leads us to persist in petition while trusting Him for His answer.

Colossians 2:6–19 — How to live a full spiritual life in Christ

Why a wholehearted submission to Jesus as Lord gives us all we need

6–7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

9–10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

11–12 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

13–14 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the Cross.

15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross.

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.

19 They have lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.


SUMMARY This reminds us that in Christ Jesus, we have everything. We can’t add to that — to turn to religious works and rituals is to cease to rely on faith in the relationship.

APPLICATION Once we receive Jesus Christ as Lord, we are forgiven and accepted and made new in Him. Religious-minded people may seek to complicate what is a plain and simple faith; we should not let them.

PRAYER Father God, we rejoice that we can know you personally through Jesus.
We are held and sustained by You in a new covenant.
We have Your promise to hear our intercession.
May we grow in confidence to declare Your kingdom over our lives and communities because we are Yours in Christ Jesus.



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Ian Greig

Husband+Father | Missional Christian | Author+ Speaker+Creator — offering ‘Faith without the Faff’ to encourage those not attracted to a formal club-like church